Hello, Readers! Welcome back once again to my crazy little blog.
As most of you that have been following me know that I’ve been locked tight in a battle with my mentality for awhile now. Yesterday, that all finally changed. Before I explain to you how it changed, let me first tell you what it is like to face something like that. That way when I tell you the super simple solution that worked this time, you will understand how I didn’t see it before.
Often times, when my mind gets to the point of gridlock like that. My depression gets out of control as you know, but what you may not is that my brain begins these thought loops. Not only the negative self talk, which is common place, but I continually begin to question my path in life. I second guess my writing genre or sometimes even writing at all.
My mind screams that there is something wrong. Which is a good warning system, at least, up until it becomes the only focus in there. So, I pull out my favorite motivational videos and things in hopes to find a glimmer of a message that will kick me out of this.
Only, this time, the message I needed to hear the most didn’t come from those videos. In fact, largely, those videos simply became background noise for my own thoughts.
I had wound myself so flicking tight without even realizing it until I could see things in hindsight. It was about pushing to get the book done. It wasn’t moving fast enough for me. What was my problem? Why couldn’t I write the five thousand I was doing on the other book? Yada ya. It continued around and around like this.
Each day, I beat myself up further and wound myself tighter.
Yesterday, I’d finally hit a breaking point. My anxiety was at max. With all of that, my house had gotten really loud. The kids were louder than normal screaming and playing. The animals were bouncing about, chasing one another, which isn’t normal for them. And if that wasn’t enough, the maintenance people decided it was time to get on the roof and clean it before winter.
Mind you we are a top floor apartment so they are walking and banging around on our ceiling, which are noises I’m just not accustomed to hearing.
So, all of this was going on and I got to a point I couldn’t handle it any longer. I was shaking and trying to drown it out with music, which only made it worse, even if I had hoped noise of my choosing would work. Needless to say, I got to a point that I couldn’t take it any more and had to take my anxiety medication.
Low and behold once that kicked in I was able to sit up to my desk and relax. The muscles between my shoulders and in my face slid back into place and I quit pulling myself into a tight ball.
It was during this time that I looked over at my calendar. On this calendar it not only tracks events happening in my life, but I write down my word count for the day or what work I was doing on any particular day. There were a ton of X’s which means days I wasn’t doing anything.
That surely was making matter worse and giving me more ammo to attack myself over it. Each day I added another X or a small word count I threw into the mix of slander against my own person. How dare I not be back to five thousand words. How did I expect to be writing the third book for NaNoWriMo next month when I was barely on chapter three with this book two weeks in? I mean it went on and on like that.
Maybe as an outsider you can see the issue, but for me being right in the middle of it all, I couldn’t.
I came up with one solution. I’m a writer. Here is where you all roll your eyes and mutter a duh under your breaths. What I mean by that is that I had put all my focus on finishing another novel that I forgot where my actual passion and work was located – In the story!
I love finishing a novel and getting the opportunity to share it with all of you, but the bulk of my work is in the art of telling an amazing story. I think part of this hangup comes from the fact that I am a serious plotter so often times it feels as if the first written draft is mainly going back through and plumping up the skeleton so it is mostly written by the time I sit up to the computer.
Needless to say, due to the endless cycle of mental conversation that circled the drain of downright destructive self talk it made it hard to think of that real simply solution. The one of enjoying the writing process. I truly do love to tell amazing stories and somewhere along the way I forgot where my art was located in the process.
I believe having my anxiety medication in my system helped. It allowed my brain to slow down enough and everything else to quiet enough that I was able to figure out the solution to the problem. I’ll have to remember that when I wind myself back up, which is likely to happen again.
So, if you’re like me and you are so focused on releasing novels and angry with yourself for not making these extreme goals you’ve set for yourself, stop and take a deep breath. Remember that you wanted to be a writer because of the stories, not because of the release dates. Those are just another part of the journey, so don’t rush to the end. Enjoy where the art is at, and create beautiful things.
Until next time, remember to L.O.L. (Live it, Own it, Love it) or it isn’t worth doing.