Thursday, August 26, 2010

And in Conclusion,

A lot of us are stuck in the doldrums. Like sailors of old, our sea (of writing) is becalmed and we aren't going anywhere. We didn't need to kill an albatross like the Ancient Mariner to feel guilty about it. The thing is, we have not committed ourselves to doing anything writerly lately.

For the last few weeks, many of us have blogged about not having written so much as a grocery list. Others, mercifully, have told us they are writing up a storm and how they do it. These members are on the knife edge of being dismembered.

In this blog, I am going to round up all the reasons we aren't writing and how the despicables are writing, from your previous blogs and comments.

Some of us were ready to quit, but our muses organized a protest march and were arrested. We can't stop writing; we just can't. The muses are smirking. It is not that they needed the job; it's that they need to make us miserable.

I would say exhaustion is our greatest reason to let the dust settle on the computer. We have been writing, writing, writing, revising, revising, revising, tweaking and double checking our research in case somebody out there knows some obscure fact we got wrong. There are only three known people in a world of six billion who know this teeny tiny fact: the guy who wrote the internet article it took us three weeks to find, us and the jerk who called us on it. We need time off to regroup and revive.

Fear is exhausting. We work like crazy and suddenly, we are reminded that only a teeny tiny number of writers ever get published. It won't be us. We are wasting our time. But we can't stop writing, even though we urgently need a little poitive in our negative....and a trip to the Caribbean.

There are multiple demands on our time. These come under the headings of Family Crisises, such as buying the wrong coloured hockey tape and yucky pencils NOBODY uses anymore - or at least since last week. Friends crisises, such as not being able to tolerate his behaviour another second and would we please come over  and help decide where the body should be buried and does she have to kill him first? Mothers - us and our's. Tax forms. Cute kittens and leaking dogs.

And then there are distractions, such as the pictures Karyn uses in her blogs, even if the hunks in question are young enough to be our grandchildsons. And there's another - grandchildren: our's and the neighbour's whose grandchildren have been screaming since daybreak - a week ago last Tuesday.

There some terrible moments in the writing biz. Karyn stated such moments succinctly: She wrote. She deleted. White space. The end.

Joanne, though she is perking along very nicely indeed, presented us with the five steps of accepting death or dealing with grief. That blog should be looked up and filed under: It's not that bad yet - (Yes it is!)

Now that we are all in the doldrums - not 'down' in the doldrums because of sharks - I will present you with the uplifting, positive, kick ass solutions the despicables have written about in their blogs - as they describe how their writing enthusiasm isn't suffering from anything.

Actually, we are all Despicables because most of the time, we have no fears, crisises, distractions or blank space to cope with and are capable of putting forth 1000 words - excellent ones - with no problems at all.

Janet has a blog that starts out in various shades of grim and grey, but then, her blog becomes positive, active and determined.  Janet plans to: set goals, declare herself a writer and write, and re-evaluate her decision to be a writer on a specific date later on
Being specific is a good thing. I faced Hayley's Kick Ass help association by making a sweeping plan. Then, I sat down, looked at the computer and quit. Hayley pointed the way: set realistic, short term goals such as the end of a chapter. Setting dates close in time is also a 'Good Thing" as Martha would  say. Don't think about Martha. She is probably shearing her sheep, cooking a dinner for 80, organzing the linen closet, berating her staff of two hundred and polishing the silver. After lunch, she will write two novels and win a "Get Out of Jail Free cards while playing Monopoly with her grandchildren while she writes. Talk about despicable!

The group factor cannot be ignored for a moment. Without each other, we would probably all be reorganizing our linen closets. We motivate, support and encourage each other. Through our blogs, we teach each other. Helena and Anita, for instance, in the last couple of weeks have shown us the phenomenally successful 'Get Outa Town' approach to getting it all together again. Friends who are also writers are as indispensible as computers

To get started again, Karyn suggests reading what other writers have to say. I shine at that. I have read a romance novel every day since heaven knows when. Alas, it keeps me from writing.

Now I have to do some creative writing for Hayley - excuses why I haven't been writing to meet my Kick Ass goals. Let's see. The dog ate my manuscript?

Have you been on a real downer? What have you done to get back to writing? Do you think working in a specified holiday time from writing is a good idea? Are you thinking and thriving? Any other suggestions for revival?


Anne Germaine said...

Wow Connie. I hear you.

I try to be hard on myself. I make goals, I announce them, I break them. I try to limit my social life. I try to limit the house work. If I could I would limit (eliminate) my paying job (though I'd want to keep the salary) along with my in-laws, some of whom have no end of complaints about seemingly minute issues.

With the danger of summer slipping easily away (5 days left in August), I guilt myself into spending more time outside. I'm just a big puddle of guilt.

On that happy note, I'm going to go write something!!

Joanne Brothwell said...

Hi Connie,
Funny you brought up my post from the 5 Stages of being a writer. Today, I'm back in denial. Yep. I'm gonna make it big - no problemo.

Now if only I could keep myself here...?

Stephanie said...

Hey Connie,

If anything, your post reminds us that we're not alone. In the words of Canada's sweetheart, Red Green: "We're all in this together."