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It always comes back to this

Goals are great. Self imposed deadlines can be great as well. Focus and drive are essential. So it might seem counter-intuitive to say that when I am struggling to write it’s because of these things.

Jennifer Neri posted a comment on my ‘I’m struggling‘ post the other day which gave me a timely reminder about this – when it comes down to it, it’s always just about the words and the love of the craft. All the other stuff is great but at times you can get so caught up in ‘getting stuff done’ and ‘having such and such finished by this specific date’ that the joy is sucked out of it. This makes it hard to slog on because I get so caught up in the other stuff that goes with the writing that I lose sight of the writing itself.

The annoying thing is that this happens to me on a semi-regular basis. Obviously it’s a lesson I’ve not yet learned, though it’s easier and easier to let go of the stress I’ve let build up around ‘progress’ and just get back to the writing.

Thank goodness!

At the end of the day I do this because I love it. I can’t imagine my life without stories. I just have to keep reminding myself of that. It’s the love, that’s why, because I need it, I want it.

I also want to get my work out there, which requires I keep at it, that I have focus and drive, that I can work to deadlines – and I can. But at the end of the day, it all has to come back to the love.

I wrote yesterday. I revised a story and I got some new story ideas, even though time was at a minimum and I was exhausted.

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12 thoughts on “It always comes back to this”

  1. We really are our worst enemies some times. It’s also good to acknowledge just how much we achieve. Let’s make a bigger deal of the good times than the bad times.

  2. The general consensus always seems to be a focus on (specifically) word count, then (generally) fine-tuning, but these can get screwed up in so many ways that aren’t necessarily the fault of the individual – think how many times in a given week you will be called away from the keyboard. It’s easier for me to focus on the parts rather than the whole, so I concentrate on knowing the smaller, less definitive things which will strengthen the story. Word count is fine, but generating the stuff which goes around the story is just as important for me.

    Everything builds towards goals, and you should be looking at the small steps along the way to each goal as goals in and of themselves. There’s a lot you have done already which has (by any estimate) the ring of “achieved goals” surrounding them. There are more abandoned blogs on the internet than there are updated ones, so merely by keeping this blog running, you have managed to achieve something which many people find impossible.

    Congratulate yourself for what you achieve, and work will seem less like work.

    1. Thank you!

      Now…number of times I’m called away from the keyboard? Just about every five minutes, if not more frequently on occasion! lol some days it’s amazing I get anything done.

      I definitely think breaking it down helps, I’m working on each stage of each story rather than trying to think about it being ‘finished’ though of course that’s the long term goal! It’s nice to hear how someone else does it, and certainly I will be trying to think in small steps more often from now. Thanks again πŸ™‚

  3. The important thing I guess is to make your deadlines and goals work for you, not to work for you deadlines and goals. You’re right, it is incredibly important to always keep the focus on the passion behind what you’re doing . Thank you for sharing your experience!

    1. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment πŸ™‚ Always nice to see a new face! I love the ideas behind your blog btw, good luck with your 100 things! It’s very inspiring.

      You’ve put it better than I could – you have to make deadlines/goals work for you, not the other way around. Hard to find the right balance at times, but it’s definitely something to work towards πŸ™‚

  4. JC! I’ve missed you. Sorry I’ve been away, lately – between two back-to-back trips, I’ve missed a lot and am still playing catch-up. Meh.

    It’s totally true that when you start focusing on ‘getting stuff done by _____ date’ things begin to feel reeeeeally tedious. I’ve been taking a more laid-back approach, lately (well, aside from all my crazy color-coded and extremely detailed editing plans, that is). Because my editing plan became more detailed than I expected, it totally cracked my self-imposed deadlines to pieces. It was most overwhelming when I made myself feel guilty for not doing ‘enough,’ when really, I had done everything I could for one day. Since then, I’ve taken it day by day, and just try to get as much done as I can, minus the guilt trips.

    All this to say, not that deadlines don’t matter, but if you feel like they don’t matter, sometimes it helps you get more joy out of it, which can lead to more work, which can lead to more diligent discipline, which can then lead to meeting deadlines. In theory, anyway.

    Hope things are going well today, and how sweet of Jennifer Neri to give you advice. (Hi, Jennifer!!!) πŸ™‚

    1. Nice to see you back! I hope your trips went well πŸ™‚

      Day by day should work for me. I know I wouldn’t be feeling stressed about my deadlines if it wasn’t for the fact that the big one is unpredictable and unmovable (because babies come when they want to, the only guarantee is that they WILL come).

      The morning isn’t starting out well… I don’t really expect it to get much better! When you’re in tears before 6am? never a good sign!

  5. ha ha. Thanks JC, and hi kayla!!
    gee – always behind I am. ..just got this incoming link
    kids coming in door, back soon catch up…
    hope you’re feeling as good as can be!

    1. I am πŸ™‚ I think today, I could go full term without complaining too much even! though, I’d still like a slightly early arrival πŸ˜‰ it’s lovely to see you back πŸ™‚

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