Monday, April 02, 2007

Enjoying Myself

In an attempt to keep ourselves on track, the Playfriends are members of our chapter's goals group. For the uninitiated, this is a group where you post your goals and everyone holds each other accountable for meeting them.

I happen to have an unusual goal to post this month... To Enjoy Writing.

Yes, I need to be cranking out the pages and getting this book moving along the path to completion. But it's all about the attitude, as Instigator has spent our friendship trying to teach me. Unfortunately, she has to remind me more often than I'd like.

Setting a goal in front of me turns my mind into a drill instructor. I learn everything I can get my hands on, then expect myself to live up to whatever standards I set down.

You know what? That can suck a lot of joy out of things. :) Shocking, I know. Plus this week will find me putting my house on the market, so I still have some last minute household responsibilities to declutter and spruce up the place.

How am I going about achieving this unusual goal? Well, I have to admit that drill instructor isn't going to disappear completely! I'll still require myself to put pen to page at least once per day. But I'm not working with a definitive page count in mind, just a vague one I'd like to meet if I can.

Instead, I'm going to gently correct my thinking. Look at my writing time as a "date" between me and my characters, a chance to explore who they are and more about their lives. Use writing time as a reward for a hard day of packing boxes and cleaning house.

Gently, but firmly, redirecting my thoughts away from worries over where I'll submit this book. I'll worry about that a little further down the road, once I see how it is shaping up. Who knows? Maybe I won't even get an appointment at Nationals this year... give myself a break. It would be the first time I went to Nationals without pitching.

I view this as a step in the right direction of loving my writing without pressuring myself to remember the "rules". Were you ever tempted to chuck the rules and do it your own way?



J.B. Thompson said...

Brilliant and insightful post, Angel. This attitude is going to take your writing to a whole new level. It's our right to enjoy what we do, and I'm all for taking advantage of the opportunity to indulge myself occasionally - rules, schmules. I try to stand by a saying I read in a book a long time ago: "Don't be afraid to go out on a limb. That's where the fruit is."

Keep writing, and keep enjoying it, sweetie. And best of luck with the house!

Instigator said...

Break rules? Who me? ;-D

You have a lot of outside forces pulling and pushing at you right now. You deserve to find some joy for yourself and I absolutely think you can do that in this story.


Problem Child said...

I agree with Instigator. You have a lot on your plate and a lot of external pressure. Find joy where you can--and in your book is a great place to look.

Kathy said...

Great post, Angel. It's the writing, putting thoughts to paper, seeing them materialize and become reality that makes this whole process worth while. I agree with everyone else. Don't put so much pressure on yourself right now. Breathe. Let the prose flow out as you exhale. Forget about earthly things, if but for just those few minutes or so that you have time to sit and write.

Here's some inspiration for you this morning.

"Never forget that only dead fish swim with the stream."

"What you believe, you will do." Linda Perrone Rooney

"If there is no wind, row."
Indian Proverb

"Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step." MLKJr.

"Thoughts are energy, and you can make or break your world by your thinking." Susan L. Taylor

"There is nothing impossible that someone, who believes enough in themselves, cannot conquer." C.C.H. Pounder

Scribble On!

Anonymous said...

I agree with everyone on this one. I have found that with the many things pulling at me right now, I need to relax more. I have started reading more and listening to books on tape as I clean the house. It helps me relax and unwind. It also gets the writer in my going again.

Rules? HAHA! What rules? Whoever said their is a right way to do everything is WRONG. It is your way of doing things. I learned this from my wonderful hubby, even with his physical disablities he didn't let anything get him down. He could do it, just had to find HIS way of doing it. :) It took him to his goals of being CEO of a very wonderful hospital. So, even if his life was cut short, he did what he set out to do. Many can't say that, so enjoy the moment. That is afer all why we write.


Rhonda said...

I chucked the rules with JUST TOYING AROUND...and that was my first Blaze sell.

It does sound like you've got tons of stuff going on right now, Angel, so please try and give yourself a little break. Personally, I think if you write a character-driven story, it's even harder to tune out all that other noise and listen to your "people."

Lots of house stuff happening with the Playfriends! Congrats to SP for selling her old house and getting the new one. And good luck to you on yours, Angel!

Rhonda said...

That would be first Blaze SALE.

Sweet Lord, I've spent too much time at the keyboard lately.


Jen said...

Angel, that's one of my goals as find the joy in writing, to savor each word rather than see it as a task to be done.

Smarty Pants said...

I enjoy my writing until I gets hard. When the plot twists in a way I'm not anticipating and I struggle, when a character doesn't react the way I want and I have to go back and change things...thats when it becomes work instead of a joyous hobby.

I need to go back and fix some now so I can enjoy it again.

Playground Monitor said...

If you ever look at the bottom of our blog, there's a quote from Mark Twain that I love: "Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt. Sing like nobody's listening; live like it's heaven on earth."

And I'd like to add "Write like it's the most fun thing you've ever done in your life." Some days it is; other days it's akin to a root canal. I take my "writing satchel" every weekend when we go out of town during the warmer months. Some weekends I get the burn and write like crazy. This past weekend, I wrote maybe 2 pages and it wasn't fun. I just wish I could figure out the dynamics of each scenario so I could avoid one and fill my life with lots of the other.