Getting back to what works.
Sometimes we move steadily forward, and sometimes, we need to take a few steps back and rediscover that what worked before is still the better way. Such has been my discovery over the last couple of weeks. Not only have I started pre-making my healthy lunches again to prevent impulse eating, but I’m getting the writing down to a routine again. In the last couple of days, I’ve re-re-re written the first chapter of my book, run it by someone who is giving me editorial advice, mulled over the advice, re-written some and held on to some, and expanded what I’ve discovered is my limited knowledge of my craft. Some rules have changed while others simply had yet to be mastered. Either way, as I write, re-write, get feedback and ponder, I’m moving up the learning curve. It’s a little like dancing where it takes a bit longer to unlearn bad habits before forming good ones.
For example, I’m finding that once I receive some feedback, I need to read it, then step away from it until my natural tendency to be defensive wanes, and I can look at the criticism from a purely objective point of view, seeing the wisdom in some, recognizing that the point I was trying t make didn’t quite come through in others. Only then do I sit back down in front of the computer and strive for improvement. There’s a fine line between taking someone’s advice and letting them write the story for you, and that is the line I am currently treading. I’m also having a bit of a struggle with punctuation around dialogue, but that, too, will come in time.
I also find it interesting that I’m getting a complicated message wherein the text should be lean and mean, yet show the reader a picture, instead of telling them something which could be conveyed in a word or two, though eliciting no visceral response.
After several days of writing the same thing over and over, reading it back, changing things, living, breathing and even eating my words, I find that my flow has slowed to a trickle. The thousand plus blog posts I pounded out for most of the week won’t continue this evening. I have just used up far too many words to find that many tonight.
Writing is definitely hard work, at least the part that comes after the initial writing via stream of consciousness. Trying to massage the words into something that more than five people will actually pick up and enjoy is a great deal more difficult than I’d imagined. Will I throw in the towel, concluding that I was mistaken in my ability to tell a compelling story? Not hardly! I just need to spend a lot of time returning to the proverbial drawing board, and studying up on how to make my work better. Giving up is not even an option, here! I saw a few recommendations for books awhile back and will invest in a couple and work my way through them, coming out better informed and better able to produce a memorable, well-written tale in the process.
I’m wounded, perhaps, but hardly broken.
For tomorrow, I’ll get the mundane tasks out of the way early in the day, allowing my brain to breathe. I have errands to run and shopping to do for my son-in-law who is deployed. There are groceries to acquire both for me and my furry children, and by the time I’ve finished, my brain should be relaxed enough to give the chapter one last pass before tomorrow night’s read and critique.
My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for the opportunity to see what I lack, and to correct those lacks.
2. I am grateful for setbacks as they only serve to make me more determined.
3. I am grateful for routines. Some of them actually work better than organized chaos.
4. I am grateful that I’m feeling better now that I’m eating a more healthy diet once again. (Taco Bell quesadilla notwithstanding).
5. I am grateful fro abundance: criticism, guidance, motivation, routines, inspiration, determination, love, health, harmony and prosperity.