Thursday, October 24, 2013

Wake Up, Stupid

It's 6:08 a.m., the time of the day when I seem most able to write.

Not because I'm brilliant at this time in the morning. No... but at this time all I hear is my grandfather clock ticking, and everyone else is still sleeping. The hubby has been quite obliging lately, elbowing me to get up by 4:15 each morning (as if he's dreaming that I'm sleeping through an alarm I didn't even set), so I've had time to catch up on e-mail, pay some bills, and even do a Sudoku game up to this point.

So I'm awake, I guess. But not really.

How much are we really awake during the day, anyway?

It's a basic question, not too complicated. How much do we pay attention when we are driving, for instance? I drove right past the library on Tuesday, then drove right past the post office Wednesday. If I'm on auto-pilot in the car, when I probably pay attention most, what am I doing the rest of the day?

The truth is, I'm distracted. I have thoughts racing through my head--fears, too--and lately they are keeping me from enveloping myself in the present moment. Even as I counsel my daughter about math or nag my son about his homework, I'm fearing the future if they can't grasp the concepts I'm teaching. Even as I write this (or work on novels), the voices I mentioned earlier (in a post two days ago) creep into my consciousness, slithering around until what I would like to write is a jumble.

I feel like I'm half awake, only half aware, and it's not a good feeling.

My kids are only half-engaged, too. They are brooding through their assignments, most of their brain energy focused on the moment they will get to play video games. But that is the whole problem. Their lack of focus means that homework is five times harder and takes five times longer to do. And that means they are literally finishing up their final piece of it right before bed. No video games for them!

So last night I took it all away. No TV, no video games, no computer for the time being. Until they can focus, their only outlet will be physical activity...

That has to be my rule, as well. No TV, no video games, nothing but physical activity until I really throw myself into this novel. (I have to get the physical activity, or I will go completely crazy, and crazy is no way to write--or is it? Hmmm... must think about that one.)

IF I revise at least a chapter AND/OR spend at least an hour on my novel today, I get some TV or other fun time. If I don't... well, then I get diddly squat, as I'd say to my kids. We've all got to wake up, get our work done, and earn the play time at the end of the day.

If you have advice for me, advice to make me wake up, to stop putting off my writing, please let me know!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Stop the Voices!

Courtesy of michi2004 (

The voices keep coming. It took them no time at all to grapple with my brain cells, yanking and yanking as they pulled out connections, added confusion, and debilitated my writing...

My daughter has them, too, but only when it comes to math word problems. She just took a test, missing all but one word problem at the end of the exam, though her overall grade was pretty good.

I looked over the test with her yesterday. "I see your brain shut off right here."

"Yup," she agreed. "I hate word problems."


"I just can't do them." She had just repeated what the voices told her, and she and I both knew it. We've been working on what I call "Math Therapy" for a few weeks now, practicing over and over what she is going to say every time those voices crop up and tell her You can't do this.

"What were you supposed to say to them?" I ask her.

"Shut up." This is her talking to the voices, not to me, of course.

"That's right," I tell her, nodding.

But then I face my novel, again. The one I had started to revise before my laptop's hard drive blew up. The one I was really turning into something brilliant. Before the great big bang. Before it was all gone.

And the voices come back as I am revising. You'll never get it back the way it was, they say.

"Shut up. I'll make it even better."

You can't even remember how you moved sections of it around. 

"Shut up!" But I couldn't stop listening. The voice was right. Everything seemed jumbled.

It's not going to work.

The voices continued, creepier and creepier as the minutes passed. I made it to page eight, sweating like a pig by the time I gave up for the night.

But I'm going back, voices and all. If my daughter can face word problems day after day, I can do this too.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Really Not Writing--UNTIL TODAY!!!

You know this already. This is not new information.

I'm not writing.

Nope, haven't written a page of anything in weeks!

A shocker. Yet again, I've filled my life with everything in the world I possibly can to keep myself from writing.

I could blame the kids for needed to be home schooled. (Okay, I'm one of those weird moms who pull their kids out of school and then torture them with whiteboards, essay assignments, Latin, Astronomy, and all sorts of odd subjects inside my own house.) It takes a lot of time.

I could blame my stupid hard drive for developing "mechanical failure," meaning that all info on it once it's crashed becomes completely inaccessible except to the CIA. It certainly punched me in the gut, especially once I realized that I'd e-mailed only my finished novels to myself, and not the latest revision of my ghost story (which I was halfway through editing), nor--*gasp*--last year's NANOWRIMO novel all about mermaids. It was like I'd never written it.

But the truth is, these are all excuses. If I don't write, it's because I have chosen not to. It's my own damn fault, and no one else's. If I really wanted to write, I would have written.

Now that I've accepted responsibility, it's time to write.

No, really. I'm going to write. I wrote here, didn't I? My first entry since LAST APRIL, people! Jeez! And it's only going to get better the more I write. And easier.

So I'm writing. I have one more blog entry to do, on my other site, Creative Arts Anonymous, and then I'm off to start my funeral novel (all about dead people and a funeral director...). And I will make time for writing EVERY SINGLE DAY. WITHOUT FAIL. I will put writing on the top of my list every day, not the bottom.

With my new external hard drive in hand, ready to back-up everything, I will succeed and restarting, at returning to what I truly love to do, without fear, without regret, without anything holding me back.

And I will get it done.