I find that sometimes writing is a real roller coaster. There are times writers may have a “love/hate” relationship with writing. It can be so exciting and rewarding. You create something and just watching the magic come together is an emotional high like no other. But then there are other days. Days where writing can seem terrifying. You might feel your work is awful. “What’s the point?” “You’ll never be as good as…”
It’s a strange phenomenon. I haven’t had too many of those scary days lately – but they do creep up when you least expect it. So how do you get through those times? Do you give up? Throw in the towel? Hang up your pen?
Do you take a step back? Take a deep breath? Take a break? These are certainly great options, especially if you are feeling overwhelmed. Sometimes just going for a walk to refresh your mind will help. Sometimes just writing through it helps. Look to a journal or a blog about your writing progress to sort out those complicated feelings.
But, when you’re done, that story you were working on? It’s still there. Your muse will return because chances are, if you have a story idea in your head – that Muse will not leave you alone. So do what you need to recover from the writing lows when you have them. There will be many more writing highs to look forward to.
Several months back, I purchased the picture book I Wish You Happiness by Michael Wong and illustrated by Ann Baratashvili through Michael Wong’s Kickstarter campaign. I was delighted to get it in the mail recently. Let me tell you, I am so glad I chose to support this book.
It. Is. Gorgeous. Everything about the book is beautiful from the lustrous illustrations to its message of tranquility, peace, and happiness. Page after page is filled with wishes of encouragement for various life experiences complemented by the sense of awe and wonder created by the illustrations. The team of author and illustrator in this book was a perfect match.
I also loved the supplemental pages at the end that highlights a few surprises in the illustrations. This was a great book that I highly recommend. Hopefully, you can grab it before Christmas this year. What an amazing way to begin 2021 – with messages of hope and encouragement.
We are approaching the half way mark through the challenge in a few days. I’m not sure about anyone else, but it certainly has lived up to that last word in the title: challenge. Today I craved a day off. If I had planned better, I probably could have done a few posts ahead of time. However, the more I consider that option, the less I like it. For me, I think the only way I’m succeeding in this challenge is because I “make” myself sit down and take some time out just for my blog. If I did a few posts ahead of time, I’d be less in the routine and probably more tempted to stop. It’s not that I don’t like writing and blogging ( on the contrary!) However, it is harder this time since I didn’t plan well for it. Also, I get hung up on whether or not I have good, solid ,decent, interesting content. While that’s a goal all writers have, I often let that get in the way of my planning and brainstorming.
Today I look at the topic “Keep Going” . No matter how bad the temptation is to “put it off and make up for it another day”, we should just keep at it. Even as I’m typing, I get tempted to get up and check on the dishwasher follow the cat into the kitchen. I think I even once walked to my pantry, stared at it and walked back to my desk. The change of scenery did help my thinking process, but if I spent any more time away from the desk, I’d definitely get distracted by something else. I don’t usually do that with my writing, but sometimes I let myself over think things and then I freeze up. So the best think I can do when I get antsy with my writing is to keep going.
Now that we are approaching the half way mark (Letter M), it is even more of a motivation to continue on. We’ve come this far. If i get tempted to stop I try not to kook at it as a monumental task, but more as a daily goal. This way, it is more manageable. The pep talk I give myself is “See if you can come up with something to write about today.” When I view it that way, it is almost always easier to keep going.
What about you? What does it take for you to keep going?
The more I blog, the easier it becomes. I’ve had my moments when I had to “force” myself to sit and write, but isn’t it like that with our writing projects too sometimes? We’re not always going to be bouncing with that creative energy for our writing, especially if we are tired from a stressful day.
However, as I am moving through my posts, I am filled with hope. Hope that I can continue writing this often and achieve some of those goals I’m setting. Hope to finally get my prized project running again (My Light Magazine) and hope to continue that novel I’m working on. I’m learning that the more energy I put into my writing, the more energy returns to it.
I’m also filled with hope that my original goal, finishing the blogging challenge, might actually occur. This post is just about 1/3 through the challenge. If I consistently blogged this first part, surely I can get through the rest.
And an interesting thing is happening. The more hope I feel, the more creative energy I feel withing myself.
Tonight was a big night. I took my oldest daughter out to a high school open house. It wasn’t just any school. This open house was at the school I went to. As soon as we pulled up, a flood of memories rushed over me.
As we entered through the auditorium door, I remembered the last day of Junior Year. It was dismissal time and we juniors were anxious to start our summer vacation, when we heard the words “Seniors, you may now leave the auditorium.” It took us a minute and then we realized the speaker was talking to us. We broke out in cheers and began our summer vacation.
As my daughter and I made our way into the cafeteria to wait for our tour, memories of friends, dances, and warm cheese reminded me of high school days.
However, the highlight of the night was the tour. Our group entered into the English department in Room 107. As soon as I saw the classroom, chills ran down my arms. This was THE room. This is where it happened. It was the first time someone ever called me a writer! In Senior Year, we worked what seemed like an entire semester on an essay. We worked in groups and critiqued each other’s work There were rewrites and more rewrites. Finally, we were ready to turn in our papers. A few days later I got my paper back and it said, “Great job, you little writer you!” I’ve never forgotten those words and I wished she was there tonight to tell her that her words helped give me the courage I needed to become an author.
The words of a teacher can shape a child. As a teacher and an author I try to remember that. As my daughter and I made our way home tonight, I left the school cherishing the memories and honoring that little encouragement I received so many years ago. Now as my daughter embarks on her high school journey, I hope she finds the same support.