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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Everyone's Got One and They All Stink

Yesterday I blogged about why I write. Today I'm going to continue with Castle's advice and write about what's holding me back. When i sat down to write, all I could think about were the excuses I use to get off doing any number of things, really. But especially writing. But my husband lost 100 pounds last year and I tell myself I'm going to do the program and then I just... don't. so "diet" and exercise are right up there with the writing. Add cleaning house and schoolwork to the mix, and these excuses pretty much cover them all.

I thought about not posting this. It's awfully personal, and leaves me feeling extremely vulnerable. But I remember, a post a while back where I said, I wasn't going to be afraid of vulnerability, where I was going to post how I felt, no matter what. And then I thought of the doctor's office. If you have something that needs to be fixed, they have to expose that vulnerable part of you. They have to reveal that weakness before they can fix the problem. So, I'm going to leave this out there, for the whole world to see. Maybe, if you know I'm having a hard day, you can send a shout out to me, give me a little encouragement. I could use all the help I can get.

Here's a list of things I tell myself at least once a day (Sometimes, once an hour)

10. I'm too old. Bullshit, I'm in the prime of my life. If I keep saying this, pretty soon I'll be saying, "You remember back in the day, when I used to write?"

9. I'm too tired. Yeah, and you'll still be tired tomorrow. suck it up and do it.

8. I'm too fat: To go dancing, To go to a party, to go anywhere where people might actually see me. To work out. Too fat to work out? Seriously. None of these make any sense whatsoever!

7.I'll do it later: I said that 2 years ago and I'm still in the same place I was then. "Do it later" is just another way to say don't do it at all.

6. I deserve it: I don't deserve to be thin. I don't deserve to be successful (Even if successful is finishing the novel, or losing 10 pounds, or finishing the semester on a high note...) I don't deserve to have the things that make me happy.

5. Who do you think you are? You'll never be more than this.
4. You are not smart enough
3. Not good enough
2. not strong enough
1. I just can't do it

Some of these things are easier to dispute then others, but I'm going to try to talk myself into things more than I talk myself out of them. Old habits die hard, but i have many that need to be put to rest.

So the answer to what's holding me back from writing (or workingout, or school)

Nothing but little ol' me.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

And now I have Jennifer Archer telling me what to do...

I think there is a higher power trying to tell me to get my ass in the chair to write. After Richard Castle so charmingly gave me the advice I so desperately needed, along comes Jennifer Archer. Here's and excerpt from her blog:

The thing is, I don't know many writers that didn't have a full load of other things going on in their lives when they started writing. In my case, when I started taking creative writing classes at night and began my first novel, I was raising two rowdy little boys, had a part-time job, ran a sideline residential rental property business with my husband, volunteered at my kids' school . . . and the list goes on. If you're serious about writing, you'll find a way to make it a routine part of your life. then she suggested a free write: Freewrite for ten minutes about why you want to write, or about what has been your experience with writing. What pushes you to write or what holds you back -- or both?

I used to freewrite all the time. In fact the idea for my novel came to me during a free write, where I wrote one scene, and the idea blossomed for me. So I sat down to write.

Something completley unexpected happened.

Here's my freewrite:

Since before I can remember, I have always had a nose in a book, but my first experience with writing happened when I was 14. I wrote a short story about a romance starring moi, and my crush- It was a hard core crush, too-but alas he only had eyes for my best friend. Isn't that how it always happens?

Anyway, I thought it was really good, but not good enough to show anyone. How embarrasing to think I'd actually be good at writing. I kept it for awhile but it eventually ended up in the trash.

I discovered poetry (ah teenage angst!) But I knew I could write and no one would have to know. I burned them when I was finished. When I was in college I used to make-up silly stories about my roomates. I joked about writing a story about us.

They thought it was great, I hid my terror of the idea byt saying "I was just joking guys, c'mon. I can't write a book!

I played around but I had no idea what I was doing and never dreamed I'd be successful. Then one day my dad found a piece of my writing. He'd been so proud of me for going to college to be a psych major, but he turned to me and said. "You know you can do this, right? This is really good. If this is really what you want to do- then do it."

A year later he was gone.

So, maybe this is why I write.

Because he said I could.

Happy Birthday, Dad.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Richard Castle just gave me the best advice EVER!

As some of you may know. After my utter FAIL at freelance writing last year my writing confidence has taken a huge hit. I've been sporadic at best, and even when I've have posted something, it's... well... never mind. You can insert your own adjective here.

I've had a huge Writer's block for almost a year now, and even my attempts at trying to "get back in the saddle" have been pretty lame. My pens been quivering as of late, but every time I want to sit down in the chair to write, I either a) feel guilty for all the other stuff I could be doing, b.) decide that watching reruns of teen mom 2 is suddenly of dire import, or c.) start rehashing the list of reasons why I can't write, and shouldn't even bother.

I understand this is a problem. Even with people, my mom, mother in law, MY BOSS, telling me why I should just do it, I give the whole shoulder shrug and an "eh," in response. This may come across as me not giving a shit. But in reality its my way of saying I can't deal with this right now and I don't want to talk about it.

But I was wasting time today, and came across Richard Castle's blog. He gave me the best advice ever. ITS SO TRUE!

I don’t believe in writer’s block. I believe in writer’s embarrassment. That’s when you’re so embarrassed by the horrendous drivel you’re writing that you can’t bear to see it on the page. After all, you can always write something. I’ve discovered that giving yourself permission to write poorly is the gateway to writing well. It may not be good, it may not make sense, but that’s okay. After enough pages of meaningless drivel, your brain will uncover something interesting, and before you know it, you’re off and writing again.

I’ve also discovered that writing about why you can’t write allows you to discover what’s holding you back. Once you know what’s holding you back, you can face the problem and solve it.

This last part seems especially important. Maybe when I finally sit down to write again, I'll start with that.

Leave it to me to take advice from a fictional character!