October 10, 2006
Flailing & Finding Purchase
There are days when I feel I am a creative giant in the writing arena, walking amongst my peers with respect. Then, there are days (or right now it feels like, weeks) where I am a literary dud with all of the creativity of a bowl of dried paste. I flail about looking for my lost muse and the bitch just laughs at me from wherever she's hiding.
The past couple of weeks have been focused on finishing up this year's Kendrick story arc for TEoP in anticipation of having to spend 90% of my writing time on the MWP THING for the rest of the year. However, my outline is now two weeks late and it is disturbing my calm in a major way. I've already had to swat the paranoia fairy a couple times. So, instead of dwelling on the ticking of the clock, I've completed through 2.5 of the last 3 Kendrick stories. This final one is a hard story to write. I'm wrapping up plotlines that started in the very first story, trying to tie all of it up in a neat little bow. Writing is usually very easy for me. When it is hard, it is very hard and discouraging.
But, sitting in the background is the looming question of "What's next?" I have the THING coming... sometime. Soon, I hope. I know I need to fix the ending to Sanguine Six and I have 15 TEoP submissions to start going through. I've written up my TEoP submission form responses - 3 rejections, 1 maybe and 1 yes. I really need to start reviewing them. But, I don't want to. I know I could start outlining my YA book again in anticipation of my Writing Year but I don't want to.
I think I'm flailing because I set up my mental schedule to be focused on the THING, writing like a madwoman, working to beat a very tight (ever shrinking) deadline. The other reason I'm flailing is because I seem to be shifting into a "reading" mode. I'm more than half way through Cherie's book, Wings to the Kingdom. It's a good and fast read. I need to finish it and get my review to Black Gate by the end of the week. I don't anticipate a problem with this. I'm eschewing my normal tour around the internet at lunch in favor of reading it. That is a sign of a good book in my opinion.
I'm also flailing because my mind is restless. I don't seem to be able to focus on anything for long. It's hard to visit other worlds when you are working 50+ years a week and worrying over foster kittens. Momma cat is having issues. It's hard to dream of the stars beyond when you have to cut stinky mats from the haunches of a cat in your care. Thank all that is good that this is not an issue Esme has ever had. I think she'd take off my arm before letting me near her butt with a pair of scissors.
I feel like I'm spinning my wheels. My contract with MS should be over soon but I don't know exactly when. I'm hoping for mid-November but it could go through December. I'm waiting for the THING to start and I'm almost done with the stuff I need to get done by the end of the year unexpectedly early. I did not expect the number of TEoP submissions that came in within a week of posting the Call for Submissions.
Meh. Now, I'm just whining. Enough of that mess. Full stop. I have much to be thankful for and I need to remember that. Switch gears and never mind the grinding.
So, just last week I was changing the subject... to the idea of possibly picking up The Artist's Way again. Ivan is going through it and is having excellent success. I did not go all the way through it the last time I picked it up. Maybe it is what I need to for the beginning of my Writing Year. Something to shake up my muses and brush the cobwebs of routine away. I'll have to remember to ask him which group he is doing it with.
The other thing I need to do is figure out a better exercise routine. Right, it's non-existent. Randomly, I take walks. I need to find a routine and stick to it. I'm not a morning person and I'm not doing so well with the walking at lunch. I know exercise makes me feel so much better when I'm in the middle of it. I've been pondering the idea of a gym again - for both exercise and social interaction - in specific for my Writing Year. I know I will need to (want to) interact with the outside world. As Mr. King puts it, "The so-called 'writing life' is basically sitting on your ass." It is, by necessity, a solitary life. While I enjoy living worlds inside my head, I also crave outside stimuli. It feeds my muses as much as they feed my soul. Plus, my butt gets sore with all the sitting.
There isn't much I can do about the THING. It will be good to get all of the Kendrick stories done ahead of time and I will have time to work on both other short stories and to review all of the stories for the guest author slots for TEoP. I think I will begin The Artist's Way again once my Writing Year starts. I should also make a list of those things I need to do to facilitate my Writing Year - things like seeing my tax guy, make up my "Honey Do" list, investigate the cost of Curves or 24 Hour Fitness and plan out my convention and vacation schedule.
When things get tough, the tough start planning. It's better than whining.
Tarot Card for the Day: Strength, Inverted