Monday, April 23, 2012

Writing Days -- Excuses That Shouldn't Exist

Ok, so I didn't lie in my last post, exactly, but I may not have spoken with complete accuracy. :P  This post is NOT a book review... (although I did write a book review when I said I did, but I'm waiting for a better time to post it. :D)

Instead, this post is about something that I seriously struggle with...


For those of you who have been reading this blog for a while now, you know I absolutely LOVE the activity.  Beyond love it.  I could live on it.  I could eat, sleep, and breathe it.  It is what I want my life career to revolve around, and that is no small wish... it is a wish that I am slowly (and with God's help) working to see become a life-long reality.

But it seems that lately I've had a sort of love/hate relationship with my writing.  And that has lead to some serious procrastination.

Is it that I am having writer's block, you ask?  No actually, I don't have writer's block. :P  I could sit down and write a whole chapter if I really wanted to without even blinking an eye...

But that's just the problem.  While I don't have writer's block, I do have a handful of excuses that should have no business in my life, but that have taken over anyway... excuses for why I don't have time to write.  Most of these excuses revolve around school work and finding a job.  And for those of you who know me well, you know that a job is EXTREMELY important right now.

But here's the interesting thing: even though I've applied all over my area, no one seems willing to hire me.  I've wondered if it's because I'm a full-time student, or perhaps because I was discharged from my last job (for no good reason, I might add, but it's a long story that I won't get into here...).  I've wondered if the places that are hiring are looking for someone who looks different than me... (yes, I've wondered that; I'm sure looks are a factor in the hiring process... :P).  I've wondered if I don't have enough experience, or if people look at my majors and immediately assume that I could not qualify for the positions I've applied for.

I've wondered all of this and more.  But what interests me the most is the fact that every time I talk to people I know about the problem, or ask them to pray for me, they've told me the exact same thing: God has the right job for you... he knows what he's doing, and this may be a test.

Now, if only one person had told me this, I might think it was just coincidence, but you don't get a whole group of people saying basically the exact same thing to you every day.  It just doesn't happen.  And to make things even more curious, I've wondered why this all seems to be happening at the same time I'm trying to launch Magpie Eclectic Press.

Curiouser and Curiouser, as Alice would say.

Through all of this, though, there is one thing that I haven't been doing; I haven't been writing.  Not everyday... not for a very long time.  I've justified this by saying that I am too busy to write: I just don't have time.  But in all honesty, I know that I'm just putting it off.

Why?  I love writing, so why am I avoiding it?

Quite honestly, I'm not really sure why.  I think part of it might have to do with exhaustion... with everything that's been happening lately, I've been pushed and pushed until I feel like I have nothing left to give, and even though I have some time in which I could be writing, I haven't written anything because I think I'm just trying to avoid thinking in and of itself.  Writing is work, I won't deny it.  But it's work that I love.  Even though I'm tired, I shouldn't be avoiding it. :P

Well, today I sat down and started working on SOTD again.  It truly felt refreshing, and I'm hoping I will have more time to work on it later today, if I can find a quiet nook to hang out in on a rather crowded school campus.

The point of this post is now lost to me... :P  It has become rambling.  But I feel like the point I was trying to get at revolves around a confession... perhaps if I confess the trouble I am having, it will come easier for me.  *shrug*

Later I want to post about writing as a daily business.  Hopefully it won't ramble like this post. :P


TJ said...

Hmmmm...seems to me you found some time to write this. So maybe the problem is your not ready to continue your book. Or is something with the plot not quite there yet. Just a thought......Better yet take an hr for yourself and go sit by grandma and grandpa's pond and loose yourself in God's beautiful world. (was one of my favorite place to reflect on my life)

Offset said...

Its nice to hear someone else is struggling as much keeping up with their writing projects as I am.
Honestly what I've found most helpful - take a real break. One where you dont feel bad about making no attempt at all to write - and inevitably you'll want to start writing, because its in your blood.

And yes, God has the right job for you.

Star-Dreamer said...

TJ, yeah, that's one of my favorite places too. :D I wish I could fish there, but it seems that the otters have fished it clean. :P Uncle Jesse would probably have a fit about that, but what can you do, right?

You are right, though. I did find time to write the blog post. :) But I don't think I'm having a problem with the plot... at least not yet. I'm not sure what's going on... But I wonder if it's not partially that I just don't want to think about everything that's going on in the story, and everything that has to work together a certain way in order for the story to be believable. That could be it, I suppose. :D

Star-Dreamer said...

lol! Thank you, Offset. Yes, that just might do it, too. I'm actually writing to day, which is the first time in months, but it's coming very slowly. Not hard, just slow. Hopefully I will warm up to it, or else I really will just take a solid break from it for a while. :D

YaashaMoriah said...

Wow, a week ago I could have been the one writing that post! I know: it's not writer's block--it's writer's slump. I don't know if your reason for the slump is the same as mine, but I'll share my experience just in case it makes a difference.

I was writing like a maniac, but I felt like I had the gas pedal to the floor with the car in neutral. I could write anything, but I felt unfocused. What was the problem? It was two-fold. (1) I was studying writing too much. As soon as I stopped reading writing magazines and how-tos, and simply read good books, my writing jump-started again. (2) I was panicking because I felt that I felt I had accomplished so little in my life as far as writing goes. I realized that I was trying to make everything happen on my time-table, according to my own arbitrary personal deadlines. It takes 9 months to have a baby. It may seem endless to the mother, who can't see the intricate details being worked within her womb. Maybe you're in the "3rd trimester" of your writing, as I feel I am. These things can't be rushed. I learned that I need to treasure the waiting time, because it is not futile--it is vital. It is a gift. Let your writing come to full term!

Anonymous said...

I hope you find the time to finish the rewrite of SOTD.

And if the literary agents aren't interested in SOTD after the rewrite, then perhaps self publishing as an e-book would be best. Amanda Hocking's work was rejected repeatedly, then she finally self published some novels as e-books and they were successful.

For Amanda Hocking, writing isn't just fun anymore, she moved writing to a different part of her brain. She talks about it in her blog post titled "My Lack of Pixie Dust".

God bless you. :)

Star-Dreamer said...

anon: thank you for the link. :D I'll check out that post today.

I actually had a publisher interested in SOTD, and he suggested the rewrite... which I'm very grateful he did, because the story has come so much farther and has improved so much. :D The world has become much more developed as well.

Right now I constantly debate with myself as to whether or not I will re-submit the rewrite to this publisher, or take the finished manuscript through Magpie Eclectic Press. I think I will submit it first, and then if that falls through I will take it through Magpie. :D

Star-Dreamer said...

Yaasha, that is very true! This process is interesting for me, because originally SOTD was just an experiment... originally I never planned to have SOTD become a real part of me; in my mind, I was supposed to stay aloof. My story, "Eldrei" was my heart, as a writer, and I never expected to get so close to SOTD.

However, the process of making this story into something that is not only readable and marketable, but also enjoyable has brought this story very close to me now. And you're right... just as it takes time to have a baby, it takes time to birth a story correctly. :D

But I'm still on edge and know that I should be working on it constantly... especially since I had a publisher interested in the story. He said to take all the time I needed to get the rewrite done correctly, but it's been over a year now. And while he told me to resubmit when I was finished, I don't want to push my luck, ya know? :D

Galadriel said...

I'm having trouble with that too..caused by homework, I think. End of semister and all that.

Philip Nelson said...

I've found these instructions Jesus gave regarding writing to be true:

"What thou seest, write in a book..."

If I haven't seen it, I can't write it. If I try to create the story as I write, it's much harder.

Contrarily, I find if I think about the story, and see the story first, writing the story comes easily, even too easily. I identify with Hocking's "pressured writing", where it feels like I have a firehose of words to write. (Or as the patient Elihu said a long time ago, "bottles ready to burst". :) (Job 32:18-20)

So, I like to (and try to) remember what Jesus said about those who "bring forth fruit with patience". :)

Also, I like to remember the "here a little, there a little" principle: do a little faithfully, and it will add up.