Saturday, June 27, 2015
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Sunday, June 21, 2015
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
Ok, so avoiding frustration by focusing on something else doesn't work so well - why? Because I follow a PATTERN. And the patter is, checking into Scrivener after all the procrastination to see if the program has magically filled in for me and scribbled down something really exciting on it's own that will make me want to immediately start.
And now I'm REALLY upset. Another day wasted. Nothing achieved. Everything is going down the train. My story sucks. I suck.
Alas, discovering what those damning patterns are and following your reoccurring emotional reactions and working with them to help you stay focused is the key to reducing your frustrations. I write about working happy, but I had fooled myself into believing that I was enjoying the writing process, when in reality I was frustrated 75% of the time. I pushed through these feelings because that’s what I thought I was supposed to do. It wasn’t until I began to notice these patterns that I used them to my advantage.
Let’s say I’m working on my book and the words aren’t coming out right. Instead of banging my big head against this project, I try to switch gears and write a blog post about dealing with this frustration (like this post) or a letter about how my sunflowers grow this year (not sure my cousin is really interested but he's gotta live with that). These enjoyable topics keep my brain writing, but with no expectations for trying to make a clear message. I'm sure the positive emotions will start to come back and I’ll give my book another try.
That way I don't feel like I'm just losing time. I'm doing SOMETHING instead. Yep, I still have bangs of frustration and guilt - and panic that this will never get finished and I'll be old, gray and too fragile to enjoy the benefits from when this at last will find an audience (it will, right?! New panic...)
That’s why I can write when it feels like trudging through mud. I’ve watched my habits surface over and over. That doesn't mean I can successfully fight them, by noticing these feelings when they first occur I can TRY to direct my emotions in a more positive direction. There are almost always some positive thoughts that need to get out even if it doesn’t help me further my book.
If nothing seems to be working, which usually happens at least 1 day out of 7, or more likely once a day right now, I just throw in the white towel and go for a walk. Which has done a lot for my condition actually. Or I cuddle my cat, water plants or treat myself to a nice coffee and cake break with a puzzle. I no longer get only mad that the words won’t come out, because I know that tomorrow will most likely bring that little bit of magic that today just didn’t want to release.
Or the day after.
Or at least next week.
Hopefully next week.
Saturday, June 13, 2015
Tuesday, June 9, 2015
When it flows, it flows, but when it doesn't ... Arrrrgh!!!Frustration can take all the joy out of writing. I know because it plagued me a lot recently. Actually since I started getting 50:50 critiques from my critter groups. If I get a lot of negative, I howl, but I know things have to change (really positive ones I generally have a hard time trusting, so I focus on negative ones). But if they are equally spread and comment on the same things with both, I have no clue from where to go. I fidget, rewrite and at last reverse everything. Don't get me wrong: I love to write and when the words are flowing, the moment feels magical. I never want to stop. This is a rare occurrence. Most days are filled with a stop and go rhythm. Now it's mostly stop and stare...
ExpectationsI realize as a writer, you must remain aware of your expectations and emotions. When I hit a wall, “me” still stresses out. I try to force it. Make a schedule, want to get my hours of writing in no matter what - and basically just waste TONS of time. I get up from my chair and clench my fists or let out a loud grunt. I used to believe that this would help me release my frustrations, but when I look back I realize that it only made me more upset. It wasn’t until I began to recognize these emotions as they bubbled to the surface that I am able to nip these feelings before they took over. It does take as much energy and focus as writing itself does though.
A writer creates frustration when they focus too much on their expectation of what they want to achieve instead of enjoying the words that are actually coming out. It all comes down to a simple emotional process. The gap between what we want and what we have is what really frustrates us.
It's not so much the uselessly staring at the screen - and switching to Instagram, Facebook or Twitter instead (those get regular updates right now lol)
More in the next post - I have a new pic for Insta ;)