#weekendcoffeeshare: New Momentum Tactics

#weekendcoffeeshare: I have Lost my Impulse
Image provided by Dave White
https://www.flickr.com/photos/mrdestructicity/

The Daily Post sponsors the #weekendcoffeeshare. If this is something you’d like to do, whether it be weekly like it’s supposed to be or the way I do it, once a month. You can get the lowdown about it at the link above.

[Your dialogue is in purple.]

[My dialogue is in teal.]

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If we were to have coffee…

We are back at The Sisters’ Diner. Although Starbuck’s was great fun, the price of a cup of coffee there is a little steep. The diner does have flavored creamers, plus they have tea too. Yes, I have switched over to tea.

After the waitress takes our orders, you ask, “Why did you order tea? I thought you were a die-hard fan of coffee.”

New Momentum Tactics“As you know, I have been fighting digestive issues for some time now. I read an article about the benefits of tea, and especially of green tea, although regular tea is supposed to help too. That is what got me going on the tea kick. As it turns out, I like the effect of the caffeine in tea better than the caffeine in coffee. I still have a little trouble with my digestion but it is nothing like it was before”

You give me a look of disbelief.

Once our orders are in front of us, you doctor your coffee with the French vanilla creamer while I butter a small sourdough roll.

“Was it one of those articles on the internet?” you ask.

I shrug my shoulders. “Yes, but it was at the site WebMD so I figured I could trust what I was reading. Sure, the caffeine is stronger but it also does not make me irritable like coffee sometimes does.” You cock your head slightly sideways as you eat a buttered croissant. “Besides, tea has become one of my new momentum tactics.”

“Tactics for what?”

“I decided I need to make more of an effort to do more of the preliminary work for writing a novel. In other words, I am making a full-blown attempt at being a plotter.” You roll your eyes at me. “Yes, I know, again. Nonetheless, I am determined to write a novel all the way through to that final draft–that is, before sending it off to an editor.”

“So you think you are going to make it all the way through this time, uh?” I grin at you. “And what makes this time different?”

I really cannot blame you for your skepticism. I have one finished first draft and three unfinished ones in addition to the one I am tackling. “For one thing, one of my tactics is to do a better job on the profiles of the main characters. I am using two questionnaires per character, plus I am writing out each profile in prose. I will be doing a questionnaire and a prose for each scene too. The whole idea is to know the story pretty much completely before I even write it.” I take a couple of gulps of my tea. “On top of this, I have strapped a pillow to the back of my swivel chair so I sit more upright when I type. This way I should be able to be at the keyboard a little longer per session.”

“Maybe it will work. Especially the idea about the pillow. You do sound eager anyway.” You sit across from me with your cup close to your lips as if you are going to take a sip at any moment.

“I have already done a lot of research too. Oh, and I am going into a genre that is, in point, foreign to me–historical/paranormal.” I look at you straight on waiting to get your react.

You look out into the middle of the room with your eyes not seeming to be fixed on anything in particular. Finally, you take that sip of coffee and face me. “And what is the point of changing genre?”

“I think I am bored with what I have been writing so I changed it up.” I am happy with this choice I have made. I want you to be pleased with it too but only if you truly believe it is right for me.

You give me a noncommittal smile.

The rest of our chat revolved around hushed judgments about the other customers in the diner. We make remarks about how a man is dressed, how a woman drinks her cup of whatever it is, and how a child is being so unruly. We do not know any of them and, of course, we would not say these things to these people. They are just little bits of perception that we share.

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Quick note: I have a Facebook Page now. If you are so inclined, stop by and click on ‘like’.

“Life always begins with one step outside of your comfort zone.” ― Shannon L. Alder

 

Assails

Assails
Image provided by Moonlight 徐宇峰
https://www.flickr.com/photos/9706990/

It’s three days until New Year’s Day. Have any of you made a list of resolutions to work on during the coming months? I’ve never been one to make such a foolish list because, for me, it would jinxes anything I want to accomplish. Yes, I’m one of those who firmly believe in hexes, especially the ones I seem to put on myself.

This last year has been sorely disappointing for any advancement in my writing. I had such high hopes for this past year. I had been so certain I could get that first draft done and get, at least, halfway through the second one. As it was, I barely made it to the beginning of the middle of the first one before finding myself beating my head against a formidable wall of indecision,anxiety, and apprehension. Only through great stubbornness have I sat at this desk to try to go on every day.

My health problems these last ten months just added to the mental torture I insisted on flinging upon myself. Who would have thought as a scantily senior, I’d begin to suffer with the digestive problems my mother didn’t have until her late eighties? All I can do is be prepared to cope with them, which, I’m finding, isn’t any small matter. One thing is for sure. It wants to cut into my writing time.

At any given time over the past twelve months, I could have taken a break. I could have concentrated on the house, my relationships with ones I love, made more of an effort to make friends with the outside kitties, anything but keep on struggling at the WiP. My health might have improved, or, at least, learned more ways of how to cope with it better.

I tried conversing with other writers about these disputes I’ve been having with my WiP. All had excellent suggestions and advice. Somehow, though, nothing they were offering to me seem to fit with the tribulations glaring at me from the screen. I even tried taking bits and piece of what I was given, trying to weave a cure for the multiple dilemmas I saw before me.

You’d think I’d give up, right? I just couldn’t, still can’t. I’m obsessed, possessed, bewitched. What gets me is that it’s all a self-made plight. Maybe I need some time in a loony bin.

I’m hoping this next year will be more amicable. I’m still fixated on writing every single day. However, I’m becoming rather jaded with this WiP that’s been brutalizing me for months. Slivers of other stories are dancing in my head, sometimes calling to me in a sing-song voice.

No resolutions though. I stay firm on my belief of ill winds.

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“Writing is really just a matter of writing a lot, writing consistently and having faith that you’ll continue to get better and better. Sometimes, people think that if they don’t display great talent and have some success right away, they won’t succeed. But writing is about struggling through and learning and finding out what it is about writing itself that you really love.” ― Laura Kasischke

 

Stomping On Hate

Stomping on Hate
Image provided by darwin Bell
https://www.flickr.com/photos/darwinbell/

A few days ago I woke up with a multitude of health problems. Some were easy fixes. I opened the new bottle of Ibuprofen and swallowed two with water. That took care of the headache and the chronic leg pain for a while so that I could come up with some sort of plan to alleviate what else was wrong.

I’m not used to chronic illness. Most of my life has been spent being healthy despite the disability. That’s always been thought of as a constant annoyance instead of a health issue. Now I’m at that place in life where health problems are becoming more frequent. I can tell you right now, I’m not adjusting well to this.

I had been to the doctor just days before. According to all of the blood tests, I’m in great shape for a disabled person who’s entering senior-hood. So why do I have all of these digestive difficulties? Truth be told, I know what part of the problem is. I’m eating food I’m sure are ones I should avoid. But I love these foods and I used to eat them all the time. I’m older now. I know this, yet I want to eat as if I’m just embarking on adulthood. Yes, I’m foolish. The rest of the tummy issues may subside a little once my body doesn’t have food in it that hates me.

Maybe that’s where this other hate I have inside me is coming from.

Since the middle of July, I’ve been trying to work on my WiP. I let this blog slack a little, hoping to create more time being productive with the hope-to-be novel. I made some progress–for a while. Then I hit a big black wall of hate. I found myself hating all of my characters, settings, and how slow it’s going getting from one part of the story to the next. Yet, at the same time, I was certain that these characters were worth this story I long to write. And I knew the settings were working. All contradictions.

So, what has happened? I have a feeling I’ve gone into self-loathness as a writer–at least as a story-teller. Rationally, I know that many writers go through times like this. In my head, I have to admit that this knowledge does help me feel a little better. However, the emotional side of me still wants to delete all my story ideas, all my character sketches, and anything else I have pertaining to serious writing. It all sucks.

The inspiration and motivation had died somewhere within a four-day span.

I went searching for free writing courses online. Although many of them are what I would consider worthless because they’re so elementary, there are some excellent free ones too–just a few though. I found a new one at Creative Writing Now. I’m in the middle of their one free email course, struggling but learning. Through taking this class, I’ve seen how I’m not paying attention to blogs that have good advice. I had become shallow when reading them because, after a while, they were all hitting me the same way. My reaction: I know this already. Move on.

It’s time to read posts as if I’m a brand new writer and see what knowledge I can scrape up from them. I’ve started a digital journal in my OneNote program for all the notes I’m going to take with a new attitude–okay, hopefully a new attitude.

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There are some blogs that have never hit me as being all that repetitive. I thought it might be good to share them with you.

Blogs that Help Me Write

From WP

Amanda Staley: https://staleybooks.wordpress.com/blog/
Today’s Author: https://todaysauthor.com/
Writerish Ramblings: https://writerishramblings.com/
Sharon Bonin-Pratt’s Ink Flare: https://sharonboninpratt.wordpress.com/
A writer and her adolescent muse: https://awriteradolescentmuse.wordpress.com/
Quintessential Editor: http://quintessentialeditor.com/
WordDreams: https://worddreams.wordpress.com/
Jean’s Writing: https://jeanswriting.com/

Out in Cyberspace

Jami Gold: http://jamigold.com/
Fiction University: http://blog.janicehardy.com/
The Writing Practice: http://thewritepractice.com/
Creative Writing Now: http://www.creative-writing-now.com/

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From the deepest desires often come the deadliest hate. ~ Socrates

 

Bickering with Writing

Bickering with Writing

I’m told that anyone who has a passion for writing goes through periods of confusion, hatred, utter disappointment, focused depression, and the list of negatives goes on and on. I’ve been going through this since before Christmas.

Everyday at approximately 6pm, I sit at my computer desk trying my damnedest to keep writing on my writing project, what I now call my novel project. I struggle with words, phrases, and sentences until 8:30. The way I figured, all I had to do was keep plodding along and something in me would jiggle loose. The words would start flowing as they had with my first page.

Did it happen for me? Well–no, but if I hadn’t pushed myself for almost two months, I don’t think I’d have ever seen any light in my passion again. All during this distressing time, the concept that writing is hard work never left my thoughts; and there’s no getting around it either. Still, by the time New Year’s Day had come and gone, I was feeling some serious doubts about my capabilities.

It was about that same time a friend blogger, Cat started giving me moral support. At first I thought he was just being a friend and trying to boost my spirits. By the third post I had written since the first of the year, his uplifting comments began to sink in as being sincere. I’ve never quite believed in compliments before. This isn’t to say that I don’t like myself. I do–but I also believe that I’m not any better than anyone else. Additionally, although I have talents, they aren’t the kind that will make me stand out. Now I wonder if I could stand out eventually as long as I keep on pushing forward.

I’m still bickering with my writing as I head toward the end of February. Some of this is due to habits that have been ingrained in me since childhood. I am having a terrible time looking beyond misspelled words when writing a draft. This slows down my progress to a snail’s pace. Somehow I have to get out of this habit and just keep on writing (typing). Using Word, Docs, LiveWriter, or whatever other writing software, the mistakes are going to be underlined. I’m not going to miss or forget them if I jump over them during the drafting. There isn’t any reason to have this habit of correcting every word as it’s mistakenly typed when using a computer. Sure, some errors will still be missed, but with diligence, I’ll find and correct them–later.

A couple of things I didn’t dream would affect my approach to writing is personal complications and health.

My husband wasn’t working for three weeks, part of January and part of this month. We do have some savings and he has a small military pension, but I knew we couldn’t live on that for very long. I was handling it okay. I was able to continue to keep my anxiety level relatively low. I had a little problem sleeping but it wasn’t major. He’s been back to work for a week now and seems to be doing well at his job. I no long need Tylenol PM to get to sleep now. It did affect my writing, which I didn’t recognize until after the fact. My focus and motivation are elevated from what they were before as well.

The stomach issues I’ve had for over a month now haven’t been causing a lot of pain. Still, I guess enough underlying pain or ache does affect how I do some things, and unfortunately, this includes writing. It does distract me. Just think how much better my writing will be once this trouble is taken care of.

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My message to you–If you’re a writer, do not give up. Find a way to muddle through the difficulties. And let someone be nice to you.

 

Stop being Indecisive

Stop being Indecisive

Honest, I’ll not directing this at any of you. Some of you are so grounded that you’re astounding to me.

As far back as I can remember, I have loved colors. Each one has a specific place to be in this world. The Crayola box of crayons, no matter what size, doesn’t have all the colors seen in the world. My love for colors is only surpassed by my love of writing, and not by much.

I know you haven’t missed it. I changed colors and header picture again. I am desperately hoping that I can make this one last long. I had started off with a different palette and picture. I must have had some misgivings somewhere in the back rooms of my mind because I asked my writing buddy, Tess, to give me feedback on my decision. Although her answer was positive, I sensed somewhere in the words she used that she either thought it wasn’t what she would pick or that she thought it really didn’t fit me. With the new color and picture you see before you, I didn’t ask the opinion of another living soul before putting it on my blog. Do you like the turquoise background? I still love this template. Does that mean I’m headed toward finding what look really is me? Quite possible. 😉

Because I can’t seem to stay away from colors, I have decided to get back into web art manipulation. No, I’m not leaving writing behind. This will be something I do as a deliberate distraction from writing. There are times when I just can’t look at what I’m writing any longer and need a distraction to clean my head. Yes, doing housework is one of the ways to get this done, but shouldn’t there be something else to do? Lately, there is nothing on TV worth watching. I can’t afford movies. I’d get out of the house, but with mobility problems, often it isn’t a good idea. So, I will dabble in manipulating photos using my PaintShop Pro.

I wish I could get to the bottom of this fickleness that clings to me. It makes life complicated when it should be simple. Do I try to finish cleaning despite the fact that I feel tired or do I risk taking a break? I may not get up again until it’s too late. Do I keep on trying to write this scene that has me frustrated, or do I go read? Both are important parts of writing but… Do you see what I mean. And most of my days in general are like this. Could it be that the medication for my GAD needs to be increased?

I’ll figure it out. I just need some time to do it. 🙂

BTW, Happy Ground Hog’s Day! 😛