Throw Away Month

So much for NaNoWriMo.  I have more personal issues to work through than I thought I did!  Plus, moving with a toddler is just not as easy as one might take for granted.  Whoops.

I need to find a way to make this new space “home.”  It’s weirding out my psyche.  I can’t focus, can’t keep on task, can’t seem to muster willpower or courage or productive notions.  (Or it could be the exhaustion and stress…maybe…)

Anyway!  On to writing of more pleasant things!

I have planned a new project for Facebook.  This has been something of a preoccupation for a year.  I’m ready to try something new, and this promises to be both entertaining and challenging.  The basic idea is this: I have no readers beyond my husband, and I need some.  Even if it’s only more family and close friends, I need to share my work with a greater variety of readers.  I need to be serious about my work, instead of timid and fearful of personal rejection.  Facebook, for all its ills and ails, is a perfect place to share and woman up.  I shall be releasing a series of short stories on my Facebook page, free for all who wish to read.  They will be futuristic, set on a New Earth, embodying beginnings, endings, triumphs and failures.  And for me, they will be Hard To Write.  I don’t do short.

Stay tuned for more details!

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NaNoWriMo!

This post should be longer than it’s going to be.  But, I don’t have the time!  So, here’s the highlights:

See what NaNoWriMo is all about!

I did smashingly yesterday.

Today, I am filled with nervous fear.

My doubt demons have come to play, but I don’t wanna let them in.

Unfortunately, I think ignoring them is turning into ignoring writing, and I don’t want that to happen!

I haven’t written successfully in SO.LONG.  I’m afraid I won’t manage anything productive; that I’ll hit a wall; that I won’t finish; that I will always be a wanna be and never an actual published author.

Just the fact that this fear exists makes me angry.  I shouldn’t be feeling this way.  I was once confident about and excited by my writing, and while I still have the latter, I don’t have the former.  Too many people who were supposed to be encouraging and supportive (isn’t that in the critique partner/writing buddy contract??) let me down, and my silly self took it as rejection not of the time it takes to be encouraging and supportive, but of me and what I create.  It’s…well, it’s ugly.  I know it’s not stupid that I feel that way, but it IS stupid that I’m letting it get in my way.  I *want* to write.  I *need* to write!  Yet here I am, whining at my blog instead of using these words to propel forward my story.

Sigh.  Days like that, I completely understand why professionals on the other side of an actual paycheck say that if you can do something else with your life, you should do it.  Ugh.

ETA:
Oh look!  It wasn’t short after all.  😛

Wanted: Time ManagerBot

I have been working on this particular bit of writing for over a month now. The original inception was too large, too complex, and the instructions are for simple and short. It’s “only” a job application, and yet I have poured dozens of hours into this puppy. It takes a good eight+ hours to write the dialogue for a single character using the structure I’ve loosely decided upon, and there are eight characters. Theoretically, I should be done already.

But there’s this thing called life. More than that, I have a serious problem with time management. Not that I can’t do it, and not that I don’t attempt to fit writing in when I can. No, the problem lies with the squirmy, babbling, adorable bundle of baby who is my alarm clock. That, plus work, exercise, finishing my last class for my degree, worrying about family, worrying about finances, and trying to make ends meet that are missing several inches each doesn’t leave a lot of time for sitting down to get the words written. Mr. Sir is always on top of anything I have in my hands, and I love his growing curiosity and adventurousness. It does tend to make it difficult to put pen to paper when one or both is in his mouth, or fingers to keys when littler fingers slather slobber all over them. I know there is extra writing time lying around, it’s simply a matter of finding it.

So I have decided I need a Time ManagerBot. Said little droid would let me know when I was wasting time between activities. When it was time to think about food and time to ignore it (it’s ridiculous how much of my day is spent thinking about/preparing/cleaning up after/hating/dreading/defending against food). When I should take a walk. And while I’m thinking about it, it should tell me the weather and pollen count, too, so I don’t have to second-guess my chances of being attacked by random acts of sky and weed/tree/grounds maintenance person. It also needs a happy little chime for a reminder, and an angry, Enterprise-Red-Alert siren for when I just can’t seem to stop what I’m doing. And if it could change the baby’s diaper, or at least hold him down while I do, that would be a major plus, too. As would a brainwave device capable of turning off the worry/anger over things like the tires about to explode off the car, or my broken glasses that have no chance of being replaced in the near future, or the family drama (because it would not be my family without The Drama). Ooh, and it could return phone calls for me, because I either never remember to do so, or I spend an hour on what should be a fifteen-minute conversation.

Any Artificial Life gurus want to make me one? For, you know, free?

The Agony of Years Unwritten

I began what I consider my “writing career” in the fall of 2003.  I had moved to a new state to go to a new university, leaving behind all I knew and loved.  It was a wonderful experience.  It helped me grow.  It helped my writing grow, as well as my motivation to continue writing.  The process of learning craft began with a book that went nowhere.  It continued with my first completed manuscript, that clocked in at a whopping 175,000 words.  (Somewhere around the 3/4 mark, I realized I’d actually written two books that would eventually need separating.  Craft-learning in action!)  I then got married, left school, and moved to Florida so the spousal unit to go to school so he, too, could follow his dream.  I finished a second book, the first in a series that I’d been playing with over and over and over again in various non-book formats since high school.  It received lovely comments from an editorial assistant, but in the end was just not *quite* good enough.  And then my critique partner and good friend went on the fritz.  The spousal unit got busy…REALLY busy.  My family fell apart.  I gained more weight than I care to ponder.  Bad things happened.  And I stopped writing.

Then I started setting goals again, goals that didn’t include writing, but were moving in the direction of productivity.  I went back to school.  I had a baby.  Last December, I tried to write again.  It was agony, the second-guessing myself, the doubt, the feeling of total failure.  The agony of the years left unwritten depressed me to the point of giving up (that, and the sleep deprivation that comes with an infant who does not like to sleep).

A few months later, I reread what I wrote in December.

It’s the best thing I have EVER written.  Despite being rusty.  Despite the doubt.  Despite the total failure and the brain that didn’t want to work.  And it was FUN.  And FUNNY!  Hope birthed again, and I plowed through finals to complete the semester so I could get back to my writing without the mental drain of school.

Tonight, however, I find myself nostalgic, and keenly away of the years I wasted.  And the doubt is back.  I stagnated because I hit a ceiling of my own ability.  I was good, but not *quite* good enough to publish.  Without the influence of critique partners or writing groups, I had no idea how to fix the problems.  I couldn’t even SEE the problems, beyond the recognition that they existed.  Tonight, I recognize that I have the capacity and perspective to tackle them.  But that doesn’t change the years I threw away on silly, stupid things.  The years I hid from my failure instead of kicking it aside and making it eat my creative dust.

Tomorrow will be better.  But tonight I mourn my writing youth and time unspent yet gone all the same.  Tonight, I allow myself to be filled with writer’s angst.

And I sleep, so that tomorrow WILL be better.

Tomorrow, I conquer.

Real Writing Renaissance

You know that “readiness” I spoke of in my last post? Yes, well…I apparently forgot about finals. Finals were…strenuous. But they are over and done with, and we move on!

“Writer’s Eye View” will begin on the morrow, when my year-long life project is officially over. I might also lament about the unpleasantness that is finding a day job if my cup runneth over with such things, but I will try to keep it on course. It’s difficult to separate the day job from the writing, so it has its place here. I promise not to be too whiny about it!

Hold onto your hats, my readers, for it’s about to get steam(punk)y in here!

Writing Renaissance

At least, that’s what I hope to accomplish – a rebirth of my writing devotion, creativity, and imaginative play.
Because I want to be a published author.

Really, really, really.

My journey toward that goal went on hiatus when I went back to school, and stayed that way when I had my son.  But now school is almost over and my son has started indulging in these things called naps.  I am once again ready to put fingers to the keys, hindquarters to the chair, and return to my beloved imaginary worlds.

To…”help…” myself get back in the swing of things, I’m starting a project I’ve dubbed (somewhat boringly) Writer’s Eye View.  At the very least, it will force me to build the writing habit again.  What I hope it will become is a fun, insightful look inside my process, to show non-writers what it’s like and provide fellow would-be authors a resource for commiseration, empowerment, and camaraderie.

You can find me on Facebook at H. L. Henrikson and HL_Henrikson on Twitter!