When I Should Walk Along, or Over the Edge

I want to let you in on something, Y’all.

I’ve has a kind of a downer week where I work. But I don’t blame my job, or the managers there, or my coworkers; I blame myself. When I’ve told my coworkers that I want to be a writer and that I’m writing a novel, I’ve let their negativity make the decision for me that I am not a writer.

One of the biggest mistakes that I’ve made.

I’ve never been one to have much faith in myself, even when my English professor, Alayne Peterson assured me that I have talent and she liked my writing.

I always had my doubts: “Is she just being nice to me/ feeling sorry for me?”

But tonight, as I was plodding along in my writing through researching the Great Chicago Fire for a plot point, I realized that even though this is the most tedious work of a fiction writer, that I am loving what I am doing.

Christ, I hate looking at the surface of aluminum extrusions for surface imperfections, setting up a saw to run the same length of part for gods know how many cycles. Cut the metal, stack on a skid, repeat ad nauseam.

But after (my real?) work today: I was reading about the Great Chicago Fire, it impacts on the citizenry, And trying to fit in how the protagonist of my story finds his first steps into the chaos of his future. I was trying to incorporate concepts like Maxwell Street, South Branch Chicago River,  Monroe & Dearborn to make a realistic storyline.

My point is writing is hard, like really hard! I am glad that I am doing it. Damn glad, in fact. To do a good job at it I need to be on my best game, but I need to have my writing friends with me, because dammit, I’m with them!

 

Took a Spill at Work Today

Not a great day at my job that supports my writing habit.

I took a spill in one of our robot cells and the results were… unkind.

Bruised elbow, two bruised ribs, and a nasty looking divot and scrape on a leg. But for the most part, I seem fully functional.

OK, maybe not the elbow. I was a difficult time washing my hair in the shower after work.

Oh, well. I could have been much worse. It was my non-dominant hand and my legs are working just fine.

I guess the point of this exercise is, we should be grateful for the health we have (both physical and mental). 🙂

I am back at working on my first draft at Requiem, but it might be fewer words than I wanted to accomplish tonight. I have to be back at work at 5 am. *sigh*

Who knows? Maybe this can be fodder for a future writing idea.

And then tomorrow’s another day.

 

A Magical Morning

I’m sitting here having my usual oversized cup of coffee and as per routine one of my cats, James Joyce, is on my lap keeping company before work.

It really is a beautiful way to start my morning.

I took the last two ways away from writing, I thought it would be a nice break after the challenge and pressure of National Novel Writing Month. I also think I deserve a little break

Tonight I will be back to writing daily but at a less fevered pace. James will be on my lap, I’m sure, doing his feline best to edit.

I wish every morning could be this relaxed and… right

Happy rest of the week to all.

Day 7 NaNoWriMo 15

Back on track!!

Today, I wrote 2028 words for a grand total of 13,024. So I am back on my pace of writing 2000+ words a day. I’m hoping that during my vacation I can pop out a couple of 5000 word days.

I guess it’s all a matter of sticktoitiveness I believe I can be that sticky 😉

Being a pantser, I’ve started with a minor character and not she has become a major ally with my protagonist. She is a captain of an airship, and as it happens, guides him on the next phase of his journey. That and she will probable make a reappearance later in the novel.

But on the other hand, when I get to the revising stage I can see that I have to add some elements. Oh well that’s life in the fast (draft) lane.

Wishing all NaNo participants an awesomely productive weekend.

Huge shout out to Aetherhouse again for her positive words and lots of support for her current novel project, “Paradisa”!

 

 

Self Fulfilling…

A week ago I was diagnosed with depression. Over the weekend and into the week I felt down, sluggish, of-of-sorts and wanting to be alone.

Yesterday, I woke up before my alarm went off. As I lay in bed just thinking (and it is one of my favorite pastimes), I came upon an important insight and it is this:

Yes I have depression; yes, I will have bad days, but n the morning when I wake up, I make the decision how I approach the day. I decide that I will do my best to make it a great day, or not.

So a crappy day at work, I decide how I react. Pulled off my machine… twice, told to relieve other operators for lunch and a planning meeting for the continuous improvement team that I am on.

But wait, through this all I have a chance to be seen by the top brass in the company for efforts to improve efficiency where I work… Maybe  it’s not all that bad.

If fact, maybe it’s HOW I approach issues that arise, THROUGH the understanding of depression that I will transcend what happens.

It’s just a thought.

Peace all.

Stymied

I thought I was doing well tonight. I was rewriting some notes that I had taken for my novel during work and revising them. Writing them into my project notebook. Those Ideas even inspired me to have a few new ideas.

And then…

I thought I would print out some of the research articles that I would need, boiler technology at the turn of the 20th century, Mary Harris Jones, 1920’s steam locomotives; all these great pieces of research that I could use. No problem, I’ll print them up then when I get the chance , tomorrow at work or in the very near future, I’ll read through them and highlight what is pertinent. No Prob.

Big prob.

Printer’s out of ink.

No prob,

I’ll just get another cartridge.

Big prob.

Best Buy, Staples, Office Max… Nope.

So that put an end to novel productivity tonight. *grrrrrr*

Tomorrow I will try Cartridge World and if that doesn’t work… *whimpers slightly*

Built in obsolescence is one thing, but hey! Here is a creative type on a role, but for the want of a nail

Not to fear, I will come up with something and my project will be saved!

Sleep well everyone.

On Receiving Some Advice

I came across the wonderful blog of author Kristen Lamb a few weeks ago. For me her blog is absolutely filled with great advice for writers. But this post I found especially helpful because it challenged me to take a hard look at myself and my life. What I discovered, with her help, was that I have been letting many things get in the way of my writing and that these have become excuses.

”Excuses are free, but they cost us everything.” She writes. I’ve made far too many excuses for NOT writing and it’s time to look for reasons TO write.

So here are a few of the things that have been holding me back and which I shall be improving:

* Letting myself become sidetracked. This is insidious. I have far too often let my attention wander to YouTube, or let a site I was using for research become research drift. The next thing I realize is that it an hour and a half later and I have not committed any words to screen. Yes, my ADD doesn’t help in these cases but that in turn becomes an excuse too.

I must commit myself to writing time and treat that time as if it were my livelihood. Hobbies and time with friends are great, but what am I willing to give up in order to become a published writer? More great wisdom from Kristen Lamb:

Everything is the enemy. Friends and family will want you to keep being the maid and the taxi and the babysitter and the buddy who can spend all day shoe-shopping. Many of us will try to keep being Everything to everyone and we’ll just try to “fit in” writing, but that is the lie that will kill the dream. We can’t be Everything!

* I am too emotionally invested in my job.  And what makes no sense is that I hate what I do for a living. Being a factory hand is great line of work for some but not me. I am a writer. Negative emotional attachment to my job saps my energy and creativity. I must learn to let go. As cliche as it sounds, I must treat the place where I work as if it doesn’t exist when I leave the employee gate at shift change.

Along with that I should allow myself to use vacation time for the sole purpose of writing. A working vacation that I enjoy.

* Tame the inner critic. This is a huge one for me. I think that I am like many writers when I allow my inner critic to run roughshod over what I know is good storytelling, beating myself up to the point where I think to myself, “I’ll put this aside for now and come back to it when I have some better ideas.” Again here, far too often I’ve allowed this to become a fear that I am not now nor ever will be “good enough”.

Change truly is never easy. But these are the biggest changes I need to make to be a writer professionally. It’s nice to have the potential to be a professional writer but potential means nothing without commitment and a big part of that is the commitment to one’s self to make positive change.