Easy as A, B, C . . . from BB
I subscribe to a site called Write to Done. Their blogs make a good deal of sense. This week, I received one called “How to Strike Creative Gold” by Marcy McKay. She was reminding me that, from time to time, writers feel as if they’ve run dry. How did she know I just finished five grueling (and rewarding) days at Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers (WIFYR)? We go merrily along day after day, then out of nowhere we hit a dry spell.
I call it exhaustion. But she offered five other ideas as well. Fear, Perfectionism, Busyness, Procrastination, and Health. I encourage you to read the full blog C she has some interesting thoughts, but here, I’m going to give you my self‑analysis for these five areas . . . and here’s another thing you can do besides reading the original blog: do a little self‑analysis on YOU C especially if you feel you’ve hit a slump.
I did like her idea that self‑doubt points us to what we actually want to do. I either am not fearful, or I have hidden it well by always keeping writing in the back (or even the foreground) of my mind as something I want to do. So I should set my priorities straight. A while back, the “in” thing was to “intend” in your life. What is my intention? To try to get published. In order to do that, I need to finish something. Then I need to submit it to a publisher, or prepare myself to self‑publish. I feel stronger (and less fearful) just putting that down on paper: I’ve made a choice, and that feels less out of control.
She’s nailed me on that one. Having taught English and writing for many years in Utah’s high schools and colleges, I can’t not see errors and sloppy writing. In other people’s writing. Then “others” point out some of the same errors in my writing. Why can’t I see them? And I fear that some of my friends and former students will see my failings. I’m very “critical” of others’ writings, but even more so on myself. What I need to face up to is the fact that I needn’t show my first draft to anyone. Or my second or third. I can keep writing until it’s as “perfect” as I can make it. Then I need to be humble enough to have my writing partners take a look and find the things I was blind to in my own searching for problems..
Nailed again! Only even more so. My entire adult life has been filled with places to go, people to see, things to do. But guess what? I like it that way. So I should stop letting my “schedule” upset me, make me anxious. If I don’t do every item on a list of 20 To Do items, some of them can wait, or even be deleted. It doesn’t mean I am a failure. It means I chose what was most important to me, and I let the others slide. And that’s OK.
For a number of years, I have said I overcame procrastination. And, in a sense, I have done so. How did I manage that? I plan to do everything at the last moment. No guilt. I do other things that are “most” important in the meantime. And when it’s right down to the wire, and this particular bit of business must be done, that’s when it’s important enough for me to “get ‘er done.” And not a moment sooner.
I’m working on it. Like most of the women I know, I’d like to lose some weight. And I know my health would be in better shape if I did so. And, because I’m beginning to see signs of neglect affecting my ability to do all those many things I mentioned in the “Busyness” section above, I am finally getting a handle on enough sleep, eating better than I have in the past, and getting myself moving C every day. It’s finally reached the top of the lists: it’s now or never.
Which of these five areas do you intend to work on next, to become your Best Writing Self?
See you next for Thinkin’ on Thursday!