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IWSG 07/07/16 – Effort Perserveres

  • Posted on July 7, 2016 at 6:28 pm

We're here for you.  I honestly considered not doing this. I very much thought that I shouldn’t, because I’m not even sure I have the right to call myself a writer at this point. I’m finding it exceptionally hard to focus, to put in the effort. I haven’t put metaphorical pen to metaphorical paper in ages. I still write, sort of. I roleplay with a friend of mine, and the words flow easily in response to her replies. But I don’t really write my books anymore.

I consider myself ‘trying’, if only because I truly do want to write, I just… can’t seem to get around the block, the stumble, the ‘I should, but can’t’. I have time, time I spend on tumblr or youtube instead. I have energy, sometimes. Not often anymore, but sometimes. I blame my circumstances, and say to myself “You’re better than this, push through.” But… Honestly, I wonder if I am.

It’s the same with languages. I’ve always wanted to learn ASL and Japanese and Spanish. But I never seem to be able to put in the actual work. Only 180 words into this very article, and I’m having a hard time wanting to continue writing it at all, much less keep typing. My mind wanders, my eyes grow heavy, and I suddenly feel exhausted beyond measure. The same thing happens with housecleaning, with gardening, with anything I try. I feel lost and broken and lazy and spoiled. I feel selfish, because people are demanding things of me that I can’t provide. I feel, on my Bad Days, that I shouldn’t exist at all, because that would be easier than slogging through all of this.

I haven’t been to see my therapist in three weeks. I don’t have another appointment set up. I bathe maybe once every five days, when I can force myself to get up the energy to do it, because if I don’t, I just… don’t. I’m broken, in that I don’t feel that sense of accomplishment everyone gushes about. It’s not there. I finish things, I do things, I work hard, and I don’t feel that glow everyone describes. I just… feel like I haven’t done enough. It’s heartbreaking, and it makes me not want to try at all.

In the last four days, I have cleaned both the kitchen, bathroom and living rooms of this house, plus done more laundry than I’ve seen done in the entire history of my living in this house, plus at least two loads of dishes a day, plus watering the tomato and rose plants, and cleaning up my own room which was a pigsty. This is a massive amount of work. Trust me. But… I don’t feel accomplished. All I can think about is the fact that I haven’t done ENOUGH. That I keep being asked to do more, more, more, as if I’ve failed somehow.

I can’t explain it, properly. And I can’t tell you how to fix it; because I think, perhaps, there are no ways to fix it.

Genre Shift – IWSG 06/01/16

  • Posted on June 1, 2016 at 4:51 pm

We're here for you. It’s that time again, the time when we put ourselves out there, all our worries, fears and anxieties so that others may comfort us, and we, in turn, can comfort them. Theres nothing wrong with seeking comfort. In fact, it can be exceedingly useful, especially when one needs it.

In this case, however, the cause of my anxieties and fears come from within my own mind, and as my therapist continues to tell me, what FEELS true, often isn’t. Speaking words outloud, or in this case typing them down, often helps to change that mental and emotional lock.

So here goes.

I’m going to change genres. That’s it. That’s the source of my issue. You see, there’s quite a bit built up behind it, but that decision alone is what is causing a lot of my anxieties as a writer right now. It, of course, comes with a lot of caveats and changes and reprisals on all thoughts and functions of my mind, but in the most basic of senses, that’s it.

I’ll attempt to break it down for you, and for myself, so that I can work through the various issues I’m having. You see, I’ve always been a fantasy writer. My best works have always been fantasy. I’ve tried my hand at writing short horror stories, and found myself wanting. I’ve tried my hand at writing teen fiction, which kind of fell flat. The only thing other than straight, epic fantasy that I’ve written is fanfiction. And even that, well… Let’s just put it this way, I’m never going to give those accounts up. Over my dead body!

So when I say that I want to break out into Regency Era romance of the Asexual variety… Well, it’s a bit like saying, “Oh, I’m a fish and now I want to fly.” Technically it can be done. However, can it be done well?

Lookit this little guy. He tries so hard…

First of all, there’s the issue of the fact that I’m leaving a huge project, my nearly finished Kurylian Knight novel in the lurch by devoting time and energy to this other work instead. Then, on top of that, there’s the energy that will be taken away from managing this blog as well, and making sure it’s up and running. With my recent bouts of anxiety and depression, I’ve been having trouble with getting the basic energy just to apply to cleaning the house and caring for the children in my care. How am I ever supposed to split my energy even further to give this idea the time and care it needs to flourish?

Secondly, all of MY romances have fallen flat on their face and died, usually due to a disconnect over sex. So what am I supposed to do when writing it? What kind of romance author has literally NO successful relationships? Surely there’s someone more qualified out there to write these stories, right? But then again, this particular project has a tinge to it that’s entirely self serving that I can’t just leave to someone else. I plan on basing the first one off of myself, specifically, my life story. I can hear you now, “Really? You’re going to write self-insert fiction? Ugh. Those are the worst.” Yeah, I know. But… honestly, there’s just something about the idea that makes me want to do it. That and I watched Vanity Fair one too many times.

My third issue stems from the research required in order to try and even come close to tackling this particular genre with any sort of class or joy. Recently, it has come to my attention that I might have undiagnosed Adult ADHD. I came to this conclusion due to a sudden, and quite annoying, inability to focus on a book long enough to actually READ it. It’s part of why I’ve been having so much trouble in the first place. But the only way I’ve found to actually be able to WRITE a genre, is to READ said genre. It’s painful, but necessary. Which means reading a lot of really torrid romance novels for me. Again, where am I supposed to get the energy and time to devote to this?

The fourth problem stems from my inability to find a narrative link throughout this new project. All I really want to do is tell my biography, except set in the 1800s england that stood out so much when I watched Vanity Fair and Downton Abbey. Is that so much to ask? To set my ill-fated story in somewhere beautiful and tawdry? Possibly. But worse still, how do I break down 27 years of experiences into a novel, and have a point to it, a conclusion, when there ISN’T a conclusion to my life yet? There isn’t a narrative focus in my life, really, except perhaps finding balance where there is none, but even that’s speculation brought on by fortune telling. I could risk taking it aside, and just using bits and peices of my personal story, and not having it based entirely in my life, but then, I feel, it would lose it’s meaning to me. However, I fear that if I don’t, it won’t hold any meaning to anyone else, either. What to do, what to do…?

As you can see, genre switches, and starting new projects in general, are not fun, nor do they come lightly. It’s something I still have to muddle over and make a decision on. It’s something that will probably haunt me for the entirety of the time I write the book. I know that worries like this still plague me for my kurylian saga too. But what are we supposed to do with these worries?

Write through them. Push them to the side and tell the story that needs telling. Of course, that’s easier said than done, most often. Some writers I know have six or seven projects all open at once, and I find that if I so much as consider it, I become paralyzed with indecision. Which should I work on, which should I wait on, what should I be doing? But at the same time, the ideas come like a waterfall, no matter what. My therapist says that often times, what we can handle is more than we think it is, and then, even a little more than that. He’s encouraging me to take on more, emotionally and mentally, so that maybe, just maybe, I can grow stronger under the weight. So I think that’s what I’ll do here as well.

After all, if I don’t write the asexual regency era romance novel, who will?

IWSG – New Years Resolutions

  • Posted on January 6, 2016 at 5:05 pm

It’s January, and that’s the time to make new goals and to give yourself new resolution. Not only that, it’s the time of the year when people rest after lots of stressful holiday planning, and lots of gift-giving, and lots and lots of family interaction. It’s a time to retrace out steps, refresh ourselves with our successes and failures of the last year, and to plan out a new strategy.

Which, of course, means it’s time to break out all those old snacks and eat them already!

All joking aside, January, and new years in specific, are a very stressful time for me. I often find myself falling prey to my anxiety. In fact, I spent the entirety of the day of new years eve plagued by anxiety so intense that I literally couldn’t do anything other than  surf the internet. I had to fight myself for two hours to get out of bed. I was litereally paralyzed with fear at the thought of making plans and preparing for the new year. I couldn’t think of anything else.

Of course, it was silly, but when one lives with depression and anxiety, silly things tend to make your day worse. So, I ended up spending new years cowering, rather than partying. It was the lowest point I’ve ever experienced in my life. Okay, well, maybe not THE lowest. But it sure felt like it at the time.

Fully recovered now, I feel as though I have to work harder, to try and set up plans, so that if I feel like that again, at least I’ll have time to recover without also neglecting everything I’ve set up. Plus, with my medicaid now, I can afford the medicine that’ll help manage it. That will be nice too.

Basically, Finding ways to fill in for the gaps in my motivation and mental illnesses is first and foremost in my mind. I’m going to be attempting a lot this year, what with going back to school, and trying to save up, and I have to make sure that I don’t slack on anything. Which can be very difficult. Holding myself to a higher level is hard.

For anyone else who suffers through this, I wish I could tell you everything turns out okay. I wish I could take over for you when your illnesses kick in. I wish I could say that there was something to look forward to, a day when all of it would end and you’re capable of doing what needs to be done. For anyone else who suffers through this, I can only say, you’re amazing. I know you are, because I am, and I’m stronger than I think I am. I know you’re strong too.

If you want to see other posts like this, other posts from writers struggling with these sorts of feelings, go to the Insecure Writers Support Group. We’re all friends there, and I know we’ll welcome you too!

We're here for you.

Weekly Writing Update – 07/13/15

  • Posted on July 15, 2015 at 11:24 pm

This is a really hard post to write. Recently, my anxiety lead me to lose my job. This lead to an extreme downswing in my depression. A lot of my self-worth is tied into how I can support myself, and it’s very hard to have any self-worth at all, when you know you are the cause of losing your own job. I can’t blame the work. It was exactly what I was told, and knew, to expect. All I can blame is this disease in my head that makes it impossible to pick up a phone without my heart beating terribly fast.

This should have been a triumphant month for me. I finally finished Knight of Kuryle, and I’m in the editing stage, before I can give it to beta readers. However, because of my downswing, I have had no energy for anything other than basic survival. There have been days where I cannot get dressed. There have been days I have eaten only one meal. My job search has turned up one part time, temporary position.

I have been plagued with doubts. How am I going to keep my apartment? How am I going to keep from inconveniencing those I care about? How am I going to get food? These are things that circle in my mind.

Word Counts: 

First Book of the Kurylian Saga: 1.5 sections rewritten –

  1. Knight of Kuryle – 31,379 words – Draft complete – Editing started

Kaimi Rowe Series: Seeker Born – Rough Draft – Restarted w/new concept

  1. Snippet can be seen in Bruises and Broken Bones

An Asexual’s Guide to Dating – Outlined – one section handwritten

Blog Posts:

IWSG – The Green Mile

Books Read

None finished this week, sadly. Would love to see some reccomendations for this one!

Goals 

Edit Knight of Kuryle

Two more blog posts for this blog this week!

Read all of Wonderbook by Jeff Vandermeer

Start Dialogue by James Scott Bell

Start The Prince by Machiavelli

 

IWSG 11/5/14 – Nanowrimo Anxiety

  • Posted on November 5, 2014 at 7:08 pm

As November rolls around in it’s pumpkin spice scented, thick scarf-wearing glory, we come to the climax of the year. No, not Halloween, no, not Christmas, but National Novel Writing Month. A stupendous smorgasbord of author-interaction, NaNoWriMo offers opportunities few see the rest of the year (CampNano withstanding). From the immense support of the community, to the open forums that allow for even the most odd question to be answered, to the dreaded and oft loved IRL meetups.

For those of you, like me, who are addicted to the intrawebs, these meatspace meet ups can be a little… daunting. However, every year, I doll myself up Halloween, and attend at least ONE of the meetups in my area. Why? Solidarity. There are people like me, who are jumping at this crazy chance to do something few take the opportunity to do.  These people are there to spend hours hunched over a laptop, pounding out words and giving the world a new story to tell.

The only issue is, for those of you like myself, anxiety. Now, when I attended the meeting on the night of Halloween, I expected glee, to be filled with ridiculous amounts of candy, and to have all of that camaraderie boost me to unwavering heights! What I did not expect was a massive panic attack that I only soothed by moving into a secluded corner when my laptop’s battery died.

I’ve never been the type to have panic attacks based on the amount of people in an area. To be honest, I’ve only had panic attacks when I felt pressure to perform. And I was certainly feeling it. These people were SERIOUS about this, and they were not letting anything get to them, and here I was, my chest tight, my breathing panicked, and my whole body locking up. I couldn’t think of words, I could only continually realize that time was ticking by while I was sitting there in a panic.

Now, normally, to calm down, I would remove myself from the situation. But I’d come here, to this expensive restaurant, to sit with these people and be an AUTHOR goddamn it! I wasn’t about to waste this opportunity! But, in the end, my anxiety won. And there is a lesson here.

Sometimes, anxieties do win out. Sometimes, people just CANNOT perform when there are others watching them. Like the girl in Rumpelstiltskin, perhaps these miracles of straw into gold cannot be shown in the light of day, without revealing some ugly dwarfish truth about ourselves. And that’s alright. I learned the lesson that night that my writing process can only be shared with those that I am absolutely close to. The anonymity of a restaurant has to be offset either with loud music played in headphones, or with a couple of good friends who share a dinner with me while I type feverishly.

Luckily, I have found my nakama, and they do not mind my eccentricities. I doubt I will be joining for another write-in that isn’t virtual, not because of anything to do with those at the meetup, heavens no! But because, to me, the anxiety is not worth the loss of word count, and the loss of my sense of self to that overwhelming panic.

 

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