In Church on Sunday, there were a few things that struck me. Most of them were things only the characters in my head would understand, but there was one thought that resonated with me and has kept me driven even amidst doctor appointments and sick kids:
What am I causing myself while NOT doing whatever it is that will get me to my goal?
Simply put, every time I feel like I’m too exhausted to sit and write, or the storyline isn’t going as smoothly as I’d like and I want to quit for the day, I think of that sentiment. I picture what I want from my life, my dream of publishing a good quality book, and I sit back down and start hammering at the keys again. Really, the only person I’m hurting is myself when I allow the daily demands to get in my way, and I’m worth more than that. So are my books
I’m trying some new things, and they seem to be working. I know it takes 21 days to form a ‘habit,’ so I’m really REALLY trying to stay focused and committed.
One of the hardest things (so far) is looking at how far I’ve come rather than focusing on how much left there is to do. I can’t believe it’s so difficult, but it really is! I often wonder if it’s because we’re conditioned early on to look at the “why we can’t” and the reasons behind our failures vs the reasons behind our successes, or if as humans, its easier to look at the struggle than where we’ve shone the brightest. I have listened to countless Church sermons and read all sorts of Twitter updates/Facebook status reminders about the importance of celebrating our accomplishments, but it almost feels like in doing so, we’re not giving proper consideration to what we have left to do. Maybe it feels like bragging? I’m not sure, but I’ve given myself permission to revel in all I’ve done so far to get a writing career going, and I’m pretty proud of myself. It isn’t easy to have self-discipline, and considering what I’ve done, I think I deserve a (quiet) pat on the back
Okay, not really. Same goals, new drive I guess is a more accurate statement. I have my finished novel I’m revamping, a half-done NaNoWriMo work that I’m currently finishing up (well, I’m 3/4 of the way through anyway), and I’m researching the stuff I need to for a rework of The Elements. It’s exciting, but I find I need to keep mindful of overextending myself. I don’t know about anyone else, but if I have a lot to do with no concrete ending in sight, I tend to do none of what I need to
I took a week off. It wasn’t even that I wanted to, but I had something every single morning and every single night of the week, and then we did Christmas-type-things Friday night and all day Saturday, then today was Church and a guilt-free nap!
This week I’m diving back in, but I’m structuring my time differently. I’m going to devote an hour or two to finishing Behind Closed Doors per day, then an hour or two will be spent making The Elements into something I want to work with rather than something that causes me to hyperventilate when I think about it. I am also going to read 3 hours a week with regard to either inspiration or publishing, as well as spend time reading more books that have been published with the same genre and subject matter I am focusing on for The Elements. It means my goal dates for things will have to be pushed back, but I’m okay with that… for now.