Wednesday, February 4, 2015

IWSG - Allowing the Pause


Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time. Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post.


So...

Before I bought a flimsy poster board and added my 2015 and Life goals to it then tacked it up on the wall so I can view it each day, I had a moment of really thinking I'd failed big time. During October 2014, I'd started a manuscript - someting for my Rayven Godchild side - and just knew I could finish it before 2014 came to an end. But then NaNoWriMo happened and I thought, "Hey, maybe I can do a whole different MS for that then turn December into DecNoWriMo for the Godchild story!"

Then...

Life happened... and it doesn't barge in gracefully. Sometimes it's a tripping-falling-flailing interruption that leaves you worked over, worn out and a little worse for the wear. It wasn't unil after I dusted myself off that I really realized I hadn't made any of the progress I wanted on those two stories.

Although I didn't make it a public affair, I had a few moments where I was a yo-yo-ing bundle of emotions, upset for failing like I had. Litte Debbie Swiss Rolls were a friend to my taste buds but an enemy to my waist line.

Then, during a self-pity moment, wallowing in all the things that happened, I recognized one crucial thing: I was equating some instances of not being able to write (like times spent with my daughter) with procrastinating. Uh, that's not right. Spending time with my child is an investment in our relationship, a pretty important thing to work on. I cracked up understanding what my problem was: I hadn't given myself PERMISSION to pause from the uber-tight schedule I'd squeezed myself into.

A huge weight lifted with just that amendment in perspective. I bought that poster and got excited about what I wanted to accomplish for 2015. The two manuscripts will soon be joined by others, but now I'm going to do so remembering there are times I need to "allow the pause." I think my sanity is in tact (or slightly so lol!!!) because of these breaks.

Sometimes we have to know when to say "just a moment, please" and let ourselves breathe. It can be good for the soul.

13 comments:

  1. That's so true that you have to pause sometimes, especially when you work full-time and are a single mom. Spending time with your daughter is something so precious and you can never get it back. Because she'll grow up and become an adult and your time together will change. So take those important pauses. I have to be a good mom (almost a singe mom too) while working full-time and have had to let my writing sit and do nothing. And I'm glad I did. I'm amazed at all you accomplish.

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  2. Good for you! This is something I struggle with too, but I'm getting better.

    The ironic thing is it took the deaths of several friends to show me what was really important in life. Some of them were pretty, younger than me, and that was sobering.

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  3. Spending time with loved ones isn't a distraction. They are part of our lives, and often forever. That manuscript will only occupy you a year or two.

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  4. Good points. A published author in my RWA group intentionally builds in down time to her writing schedule. She writes 3-4 contracted books a year with publisher deadlines always looming ahead (so much credit to her, that sounds so hard). But realistically, she can't work all the time. She has a family and a life outside of writing. That made a lot of sense to me when she explained it. Writing is her job, so she has set hours with set breaks and set vacation time. Even though writing is my second job, viewing it like a second job has been really helpful. I think we're often quick to not want to view writing as work lest the muse fly away or something. To me, whatever helps you get to your goals.

    Good luck!

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  5. Life can sure get in the way of our writing. When unexpected things happen and we're unable to meet our goals, we need to give ourselves a break. It's not our fault.

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  6. Writing should always be a priority. It should NOT always be the first priority. Keep your balance.

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  7. I remember those moments you had. :( But you know what? Honestly, I think you were being too hard on yourself. What we do, within daily life, is not easy. And you have done an amazing job at getting your work out there. I think you're awesome.

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  8. I agree with you. Those of us who work from home start to equate anything not work to wasting time. I have to remind myself constantly that spending time with loved ones is never wasted.

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  9. I am sure your daughter appreciates you making time for her too. I get the same way with my grandkids, feeling like they are an interruption. Poor kids. I'm remedying that sentiment. Sometimes, gotta be a real person with a life besides writing. Good luck with your goals Angela.

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  10. Since I retired from teaching and started writing full time, I have had a terrible time giving myself permission to take a day off. But there comes a point where I hit a wall, and usually when I do, I remember that when I worked as a full time teacher, I used to have weekends and vacations!

    It's hard to remember, but if writing is my work now, I still need to have weekends and vacations ...

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  11. Good points to remember. I've made some hefty goals myself this year and already in February I'm wondering it I'll make it. But taking breaks/pauses is good for sanity. And sometimes, it's during those breaks when inspiration hits you. Good luck with your 2015 goals, Angela

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  12. Great points Angela! You're the second person recently that's mentioned a vision board. Y'all have got me thinking.

    Wishing you a fabulous 2015, my friend.

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  13. i wosh life could be put on hold! when are they going to invent selfwashing dishes & disposable clothes???

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