I’m not sure why I came up with the name Veronica for my muse just now but we’ll roll with it. At least until she shows up and decides if she likes it.
Yep, she’s gone AWOL. I haven’t heard from her in a while. Well, I’m not sure that’s completely accurate. The ideas Veronica and I generate are not missing. It’s more like Veronica and I are not on speaking terms at the moment. I’m not sure which of us is to blame for that. Or if either of us is to blame for it. Blame is an ugly word. Let’s not us that.
Veronica and I are…socially incompatible at the moment.
…that sounds just as weird. *sigh*
This is November. It’s National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo. I’m supposed to be letting the words fly from my fingertips and writing fifty thousand words or more in 30 days. This is my second blog. Do Facebook posts count? Granted, there was a death in the family last month but I have had no desire to write. Not like I used to. Historically you would find me with no less than two notepads of various sizes and half a dozen pens in multiple colors. People know me for this so well they often gift me with writing paraphernalia.
At the moment, I might have a pen or two in my purse. My phone has a notepad app on it but I’m not sure I have a piece of paper on me other than a tissue. How does this even happen? I have felt distanced from my writing for a while now. For a long time, the writing was an escape for me. I don’t have as many things I need to escape now. I’m not sure how to channel the same energy into the writing now that the emotional need is different. I’ve tried really hard not to let go of the writing. When I look back at some of the things I’ve done, I really like the work I’ve done and thing it would be publishable if I keep at it. But then I don’t do anything with it. I don’t write anything else. Veronica does come knocking. I get more ideas and I do write them down so I don’t lose them. But they don’t grow into anything more. It saddens me to see notes scribbled in a notebook between shopping lists waiting for me to shape them into characters and plot.
Sometimes it feels like I don’t know how to get motivated. Which is absurd when you think about it. As many blogs as I’ve written about how to get your ass in gear over everything else, I should be able to figure this one out. Yet I here I sit with Veronica looking over my shoulder wondering why I’m not working on the idea she gave me. Hopefully she won’t get too mad at me.
Lately I’ve been studying something new. Well, it’s not totally new. It’s a topic that I’ve flirted with for a long time but I’ve been…wary of. The few instances I’ve had close encounters with it have been very personal and intense. Those reasons alone have made me block out much of my own talents in regards to this topic. And yes, I am intentionally being vague. It’s something many people view as a pseudoscience. They think it’s bullshit. But once you’ve actually had experiences with it you know that it really does exist.
I’ve had those experiences all of my life. I wasn’t allowed to talk about them as a child and learned to hide them, to not react when they would happen depending which relative I was around. You see, one side of my family believed in it and the other did not. But certain talents run in the family, an inherent skill for this particular topic makes us super sensitive to it. The problem I’ve run into now is that I’ve blocked those skills for so long that I’ve almost forgotten how to use them. Until I came across this class.
I’ve felt for a long time like something was missing, like something just wasn’t quite right. My last couple of jobs haven’t felt like the right match even though I’ve been with them for quite some time. I feel like I’ve been searching for something, as if a part of me has been missing. I had no idea what. Late one night the pieces started to fall in place and the hints all lined up. I got the point. I followed the clues.
They led me to the classes I’ve been studying over the last couple of weeks. Self-paced online classes that I can devour because I’ve finally found what my soul was seeking. I have been very excited over these classes. I even started with the longer one because I knew the one I really wanted might still scare me a little, even though it teaches you how to not be afraid of it. Denying ourselves, denying who we truly are can make us sick. It’s unhealthy to force ourselves into situations that we don’t want to be in. That’s why we end up with stress, anxiety, high blood pressure.
Remember those toys with the different shapes that you have to match the right shape to the correct opening? Yeah…people work that way, too. You have to find the right place or your soul will not fit and you’ll be miserable. You really do have to make your own happiness.
It’s supposed to get close to 80 degrees today. I’m taking my boyfriend to the park. He’s new to the area and hasn’t been there before. It’s going to be a pretty day. But really, 80 degrees in February? Enjoy the sunshine when it comes. Enjoy the rain, too.
Make the most of whatever comes your way. Being happy is not dependent on the weather. It is a choice. I realized this a long time ago. Some people are miserable no matter how good things may be in their lives. Job, home, car, family, friends, food, clothes, kids, pets, vacation. They can have all of these things and still not be happy. While there are people who may not have half that and be happy all the time.
Some people seem to enjoy complaining. They enjoy finding the negative in a situation, in other people, finding something to degrade in other people. I’ve found that it means they are usually unhappy about something with themselves. It’s not something they would ever admit, not even to themselves late at night after a lot of drinks. But I can tell when I look at them. It’s written all over them. They wear it like an old coat that smells of moth balls and mildew.
Make a choice to look for the positive in each situation. Choose to make the best decision for yourself regardless to what others think. Choose to be proactive with your own happiness. Finding happiness can be a lot closer than you think. Yes, this is February. Let’s go dance in the sunshine.
It is that time of year when the air is crisp. Everyone hurries to get inside and nobody wants to go out. We all want to get stuff done and go home to try to warm up. We try to plan so we can be exposed to the cold as little as possible.
But the Earth needs that cold. We need it to kill off germs and overpopulated bugs and make the spring a little nicer. We need to go through the rough spots. It’s how we learn to appreciate the better times.
I have recently realized how far I’ve come in my decision-making processes. I don’t enjoy those rough spots but I recognize that sometimes they are necessary to get me to the next bright spot. It’s how I grow as a person. It’s called maturity, emotional and spiritual. And that’s important. I gave up on established religion a long time ago, disillusioned with the whole deal. I prefer to find my own path. And it continues to amaze me. That is why this recent growth spurt has been a good one.
I have made some tough decisions that needed made. Yes, I should have made them sooner but I did make them. Timing is always an issue but I’m getting better at that, too. At least I did make the choice to make the first move this time. I didn’t wait. I didn’t hesitate. I got tired of waiting and did something about it. My happiness is in my hands. I get to say what magic happens. And the new decisions are leading to some promising new magic. I’m looking forward to it. So bring on the winter.
Yes, Christmas is almost here. Traffic is bad. Shoppers are running over people. Kids are out of school. It’s not safe to leave the house. The most wonderful time of year, right?
This year has been rough for a lot of reasons. We have had a turbulent political scene with a hotly contested presidential election as well as many highly contested state elections. There are still several major issues in the news as well. We have also lost many well-known icons of pop culture this year, most recently Zsa Zsa Gabor who passed yesterday. But we still made it this far.
We can still celebrate the simple fact that we made it this far. We have passed the halfway point in the last month of the year! Yay! It’s less than a week until presents and turkey and ham dinners with family. We get to eat too much and watch more parades and football and sappy movies. We can slow down for a few hours and forget about work and deadlines and bills. We can be nice to each other. Maybe it should be Christmas all year long.
The weather in my native North Carolina is finally starting to feel like fall. We routinely have very warm nights in October all the way to Halloween but this year we are already getting low temperatures in the 50’s and 40’s. The leaves are turning and the mountains are even starting to get frost warnings. I love the fall.
I rearranged all of my furniture and stuff a few days ago. It had been over a year. I didn’t realize it had been so long. When we don’t change things up we get stuck in a rut. We may not realize it but we start to stagnate in our own stench. Sounds appetizing, doesn’t it?
Our energy, our chi, flows around us and moves with us. When we don’t let it have some room to breathe it becomes stale. It needs fresh air now and then to re-energize it. That includes our spaces and how we arrange the things around us. Yes, the way you stack the magazines on the coffee table can actually be important. Did you know that the principles of feng shui say not to store anything under your bed? It blocks energy flow at night when you are the weakest. Now, ask me how much stuff I had to relocate from under my bed after a whole year…
Turn off the news. Ignore the politics for awhile. Get outside and enjoy the sunshine and the cooler breeze. Appreciate the leaves turning red, orange, and gold. Decorate your porch with pumpkins and scarecrows and mums. Recharge your energy before winter gets here.
It’s been a long time since I have felt the fire to write. Oh, I’ve made notes and played with the odd scene here and there. But to actually want to sit at the computer and write…it’s been a long time. Two things have helped to reignite that spark.
One is a meme I came across on Facebook. It said, “Don’t cling to your mistakes just because you spent a lot of time making them.” While the nagging doubts and crippling anxiety were nurtured when I was a child, I can’t allow myself to use them as an excuse not to do what makes me happy. Yes, my mother taught me to doubt myself, to hesitate instead of taking the chance. But life has taught me that I can take control of my destiny. I can create the future I want. As long as I don’t get in my own way. That’s where the “clinging to mistakes” comes in. It is my mistake to allow myself to wallow in self-doubt and self-pity. I have to forgive myself for getting into that habit and break out of that cycle.
The second thing is a post a friend of mine shared. The original author was posting about binge writing. He said it was not that he didn’t want to write, but the words didn’t flow for him except in bursts that hit at random times. He would spend every waking hour thinking about writing and stories and characters but he would only binge write when the Muse struck him. I understand this binge writing he talked about. It’s how I have written most of my life. I think my binge writing comes from anxiety. I have to work really hard to break through the doubts and worry to get to that free space that feeds the flame.
These two things together have helped burn off the fog for me. Why do I have to be afraid to write? Why do I have to be afraid to submit a story? Because I was never taught to have self-confidence? Because someone else instilled their anxieties into me? Why can’t I act like the strong independent woman I try to project?
I am strong. I am confident in my abilities to write a compelling story. I have the power to silence the voices that tell me I can’t do it. Those voices lie. Those voices don’t know the real me. They don’t know what I’m capable of. They only know fear and shame. I will not listen to those voices anymore. Do you hear me? I WILL NOT LISTEN TO THOSE VOICES ANYMORE!
I spent the morning going through some writing stuff I’ve been hoarding. I have no less than 12 story ideas in every stage from concept notes to a finished story needing rewrites. I’m getting all my shit in a pile. I’m going to start finishing these stories. I am going to submit them. I am going to write more stories. I will prove to myself that I am the confident woman I know I am deep inside. But I do ask you to do me a favor. If you see me falling back into that negative cesspool of doubt, remind me to hold my head up and get back to writing.
You can find John Ringo’s post about his writing process Here.
This is the article on High-functioning Anxiety.
How many masks do you wear? Are you one person at work? Another person at home? Someone else around your friends? Do you know who the real you is?
A friend of mine on Facebook posted a meme today about being true to your authentic self. It struck a chord with me. I’m certainly a different person at work than I am at home. The real me is still inside there but she doesn’t come out much. Why do we do that?
For me personally, I only feel like Me when I’m alone or with someone I trust a whole lot. I was Me when I was in my dorm room alone, dancing with my headphones on. I was Me sitting up until 3:00 am reading because I loved the story so much I couldn’t put it down. I’m Me when I put down the car windows and sing at the top of my lungs.
I’m the most Me when I’m passionate about what I’m doing. If I can’t show you how I feel about something then I either don’t like it a lot or I don’t feel comfortable showing you the real me. The problem starts when other people tell us how to act. Don’t get me wrong. There are times and places for everything and appropriate behaviors accordingly. But when you’re a child and you’re told to put down the book your reading or to stop singing and go clean your room or to go change clothes because those colors don’t match…you lose a part of who You are.
Find the parts of you that you hide from the rest of the world. Find those things you are passionate about. Share them with someone who has no clue who you are. Go play in the rain. Dance and sing. We don’t stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing. Remember the things that make you happy and bring them out for the world to see. Be true to you.
Don’t get your panties in a wad. I’m not talking about diverging arguments on the origin of life. I’m talking about how we change as people. Maturity comes with time and experience. Note I didn’t say age. You can be in your 40’s and still act like a 12-year-old. I said maturity, all the changes you go through (hopefully) as you experience life and learn how to interact with other people.
Think back to the person you were at age 9, 15, 18. Are you the same person now? I know I’m not. I have learned so much in those years since then there is no way I could still be the same person. Experiences in life change us, whether for better or worse. If you become a famous writer, would you want new readers to know the person you are right now? Or do you want them to judge you based on memories of the kid who sat behind you in English class? If you meet someone and they talk about how a person was in high school or college, there’s a really good chance that person is nothing like they are now at 30, 35, 40 years old.
Whether we like it or not, we judge other people. Everybody does it to some degree. We learn to judge because we learn to make comparisons. As little kids we are open to everything and absorb the world like a sponge takes up Kool-aid. Then we start to compare things. Do I like the blue one or the green one? We may not understand our choices but we make those choices just the same. As we get older, we realize we love blueberries but we hate green apples. Green apples become evil. We judge them. We look down on them. But there is nothing inherently evil about green apples.
The same thing happens with people. We may not like certain behaviors so we vilify people who exhibit those behaviors. But people change. You can’t judge a 40-year-old person you have never met based on the opinion of someone who knew that person when he/she was 16. Well, you can judge that person but how is that fair to them or yourself? You limit yourself when you don’t do your own research and form your own opinion without bias.
We all have our own behaviors that others might find strange or disagree with. Does that mean our behavior is wrong? Does it mean the other person is an asshole? Why does it even have to be an issue? In order to grow as human beings, stop judging people. If you don’t want to get butthurt every time somebody disagrees with you, stop worrying about what other people think. Learn. Research. Study people and life and behaviors and the universe and everything else. Then form an intelligent opinion without bias from somebody else. That is maturity. That is evolution.
Sometimes we need a little help to figure stuff out. The big stuff. Deep stuff. Stuff we don’t always like to examine in the light of day. I came across a blog post today that really struck a nerve. Here is the part that brought me to tears:
“When I feel better, I am more creative and more willing to allow myself to take the risk of feeling good about myself. Isn’t that strange? It’s a thing that I do, that I’ve done for my whole life: I don’t want to take the risk of feeling good about myself, because I’m afraid that I’ll get complacent, or arrogant, or someone will discover the Truth that my Depression tells me: I’m not that great and I don’t deserve to feel good about myself.”
I’ve never felt like I was depressed. Sometimes aggravated and upset with myself that I haven’t ended up where I thought I would be by now. But I never considered it depression. When I found this blog post from Wil Wheaton, I realized that what he described is exactly how I feel. I don’t know when it started but I have the feeling it goes way back. Mom had a way of making me feel guilty for doing something well, even my grades. I wasn’t given a choice but to make good grades. Yet she would fuss at me for always having my nose in a book whether it was for school or not.
How do you learn to break free from that when it’s all you were ever taught by the one person who’s supposed to love you and encourage you and nurture you above all others? For a lot of the time I remember, my mother was a miserable person. Nothing I could do to make her happy, nor my dad or my brother. She seemed to revel in it. The more I read about depression, I’m not sure she had a choice. That doesn’t make it any less tragic to instill that thinking into your children.
Now that I recognize what’s going on, I have to stop the cycle. I don’t have kids but I do have friends and family. I don’t want my behavior to be a negative influence on anyone. I recently had a meltdown. I hit my breaking point. And I am now medicated. Hopefully, the medication will help me find my way back to the right path. The path I should have found my way to when I was supposed to be learning who I was.
Here’s the entire blog from Wil Wheaton: http://wilwheaton.net/2015/10/seven-things-i-did-to-reboot-my-life/