For three weeks, I haven’t written anything that wasn’t primarily related to education. Semester exams. Emails to parents, counselors, fellow staff, and administrators. Constructive critiques on student projects. You know, teacher stuff.
Sure, I made a few Facebook posts and wrote a few Christmas cards. But with everything going on – drawing first semester of year thirty to a close, ordering, shopping, and wrapping presents, and getting ready for Christmas, there just wasn’t any time to devote to writing manuscripts. Okay, so there were probably some minutes in the day to write, but by the time I sat down to do so, my brain as well as my body had seriously powered down.
Finally, I decided, I’d concentrate on school and the holidays. Since we have an extended winter break (I still consider it Christmas break), I figured I’d have time after the 25th to write and write and write. That was my master plan anyway.
Yet here it is, the 26th of December. I was up at 5:20. Had some coffee. Ate a little breakfast. But did I write? Nope. I looked at Facebook. Finished a book I’d started reading Christmas Eve. Had a few sugar cookies. Downloaded another book to read. Posted on Facebook how I’d been looking forward to this day of writing for weeks, but for some reason couldn’t get myself motivated to even make the bed.
Enough, I thought and kicked myself in the butt. Got up and got dressed, opened my computer, and pulled up the last story I’d been writing. The one that’s nearly finished that’s been a WIP for several years and has gone through so many transformations and edits, it’s barely recognizable from its origin. I know where I want it to go. Even how it’s going to end. Should be easy peasy to finish it up, huh?d. Should be easy peasy, huh?
Wrong. Since 10:00 this morning, I’ve struggled to write 459 new words, and I’m not even sure they’re any good. I so want this story to be finished so I can either move on to another WIP or begin a whole new manuscript. I know that’s the problem. I’m trying to force the ending which is only making it harder to find the best words. Then I get frustrated with myself and begin to feel guilty because it’s a good story that I don’t want to shortchange.
If that’s not bad enough, I, then, get anxious because there are only so many days off before it’s back to the educational grind that saps my creative juices before I can get home in the evening to open my personal computer and write. Seven and a half hours a day with high schoolers can put a drain on brain power, let me tell you. So, it’s even more imperative to get those words down now while I’m on break.
But they won’t come! At least not easily.
I know. I know. I’m my own worst enemy. Always have been. Probably always will be. Instead of embracing the moment and doing everything I can or am able to do, I get antsy, worried, and frustrated. Then I end up with nothing but a massive tension headache and an overall feeling of blech.
Oh, and the never ending lament that I’m just wasting my time anyway.
In retrospect, what I should have asked Santa to bring me for Christmas was the ability to take things one step at a time. To live in the moment. To extinguish my uncanny ability for anticipatory worry. And to just focus on one job at a time. Just rein in all that other unnecessary junk cluttering up my head and concentrate on the task at hand.
Like I just did with this blog.
Proof it can be done, I guess. Just have to get my head in the game. Somehow though, I have a feeling when I go back ot the manuscript open in the other tab, I’ll still struggle to find the right words. But that’s likely because I want to rush the story to get to the next one taking root.
Patience. That’s what I need to cultivate. Not just in my writing, but in most aspects of my life. Just slow down and allow everything to just unfold without trying to force it. And just accept that that’s perfectly okay.
It’s worth a try, huh? Especially since my “go to” method certainly isn’t working. Yeah, perhaps a different, more patient tact is the ticket. Think I’ll give it a whirl.
Wish me luck!