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DEEP BREATHS & BABY STEPS




Some days, like today, I’m more than a little overwhelmed. There’s a bunch of things other writers are doing and I’m lagging behind.

 

  1. Write – I’m not getting to write as often as I’d like to. Not by half. And I have so much I’m desperate to get down on current projects. Not to mention the revisions on other projects.
  2. Read – my pile of “must reads” looks like the Tower of Pisa.
  3. Blogging – I’ve failed in my weekly obligation to myself.
  4. Reading blogs – I’ve failed here too. There are many insightful writers’ blog entries to read and absorb. I’m not even getting to my few “friends” on a regular basis.
  5. Submitting – how am I ever going to get published, if I don’t submit?
  6. Researching the market – I can’t submit unless I know who to send it to. But it’s so time consuming and I’d rather be writing.
  7. Honing my craft – writing exercises, workshops, experimental writing and reading those recommended “how-to” books. So much I’m dying to try.

 

Argh! I think I’m having a panic attack!

 

Deep breath! And another. I picked this up from a Blue’s Clues episode that I watched with my son eight years ago.

Stop! Take a breath. Think.

 

With each cleansing breath, my heart slows and, guess what? I stop panicking. Now comes the thinking part.

 

Hmm. I’ll make a list. I’ll write down all the things I’d like to accomplish. I’ll prioritize them and realistically timeline them, taking my work and family schedule into account. I’ll take it one step at a time. I’ll stop beating myself up.

 

I’m still frustrated, but I think my panic attack has passed.

 

Now for another list. The things I do accomplish as a writer:

1.                  Write – I’m writing more often than I did last year. I’m making progress.

2.                  Read - I just finished Shift by Jennifer Bradbury (recommended by writerjenn).

3.                  Blogging - Hello, here it is.

4.                  Reading blogs – I visit and comment when I can.

5.                  Submitting - I have two manuscripts out there. One waiting to go.

6.                  Researching – I’ve read the latest SCBWI bulletin.

7.                  Honing my craft - I’ve read Stephen King’s On Writing and Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down The Bones. Anne Lamott’s Bird By Bird is on my bookshelf. I’ll start reading that on the train.

 

Is it enough? No, but I’m working on it, one step at a time.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
kellyrfineman
Oct. 6th, 2008 06:48 pm (UTC)
I am glad you took time to breathe and think
Breathe. Just breathe. "There's a light at the end of the tunnel, she shouts, and you're just as far in as you'll ever be out." Yes, I'm quoting Anna Nalick. It's on your iPod. I know that for a fact.

You've been making tremendous progress with your writing, getting decent results on your submissions (hello? didn't you win a contest?), building publication credits with a magazine, etc. Perhaps, dear friend, it is time to once again pare back TV time so you have time to breathe and to read (and write) of an evening. Remember your 15 minutes a day, and how that launched you into a completion of your horror novel? And you still read more books than most anyone I know. In fact, you've been my personal hero (or heroine, if you prefer) this year, so don't you dare fall to pieces now or we'll both tumble down!

angeladegroot
Oct. 6th, 2008 11:12 pm (UTC)
Re: I am glad you took time to breathe and think
You really are the best!!!! You made me cry. I'm so glad to know you and call your friend (and writing buddy!)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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