I Think I Forgot How to Write

anything that might take some effort. For the last–I dont’ know how many–months the most I have written has been status updates. It is true that when you don’t use it you lose it. 

The fog is so thick outside. My brain mirrors this fog and the words are just not flowing. Maybe my New Year’s resolution should be that I will write every morning. I hate New Year’s resolutions. How long do most of them last anyway? One month? Two weeks? Why is it that a bad habit can take root in about 2 weeks and yet a good habit takes years to stick? I would imagine that if my New Year’s resolution was to start smoking I could accomplish it in a matter of weeks. I have no desire to smoke but, I bet I would still be smoking by the end of the year; however, if I wanted to start waking up early to write, I would give up in about 2 weeks. Yes, one is an addiction so it isn’t a fair comparison. How do you get good habits to become addictions? I guess a good addiction would be an oxymoron wouldn’t it?

I tend to think if I just had more time in the day then I would… Yet we all have that same 24 hours don’t we? Yet some of us can take those 24 hours and make magic and others of us seem to slowly plough through the day accomplishing very little. It is all in our choices and motivation. What motivates me? Laying around the house eating chocolate does sound nice, but I honestly don’t do that too often. I think the hardest part about writing sometimes is just sitting still long enough to do it and writing even when that brain is a fog.

I did it, though!

I made it to my goal of 30 days. Yes, there was a bit of cheating, but not that much. I was able to eat a few m&m’s and not the whole 1 pounder bag! I am not without all grains like I was in the 30 days, but I have decreased my grain consumption so much — especially white flour. I do have an occasional bowl of steeled cut oats (yum) and I made steel cut oat pancakes last night (extra yum) with the added almond flour for more protein.

As far as my love of ice cream, well, I haven’t given up ice cream. I have though made my own with only stevia as a sweetener. It was so good. I made it with blueberry, nectarine crisp. The crisp was great too. I had oats, flax, almond flour, pecans, and grapeseed oil in the topping and was very pleased with the result. My extreme low-carb life is now a low-carb life and I do feel much healthier.

With the decrease of carbs has come a decrease in my humor. Okay, I am kidding. I have been busy. I now have a 7th grader and well, it has been an adjustment. My business (the one that brings in money) has been going well and in turn keeps me busy, but my writing business has been stagnant. I haven’t been as disciplined in writing consistently. I seem to want to sleep more than I want to sleep. I have these grand dreams of waking up at 5:30 am and working out, then knocking out a few children stories in 30 minutes and then having my kids dressed and ready to go by 7:45 am. In reality, I am forcing myself out of bed at 7 am, and trying to get the kids fed, dressed, and with proper backpacks filled with books and lunches out the door by 7:48. How can people function on so little sleep? You are probably thinking that I should go to bed earlier, right? I go to bed by 10 pm most nights!  So I must find a way to function on lest sleep I guess or do a better job scheduling my time…

That Was My Last Post?

I had no idea I hadn’t blogged for so long. Sometimes I have all these ideas floating in my head and I convince myself that I blogged about them. Obviously I haven’t been writing about them and I couldn’t tell you what those floating ideas were now. Yes, I know I should have a notepad or recorder by my bed, desk, in the car, etc.   I talk myself out of my ideas at times. I will think oh yeah, I need to write about that — that is so funny. Then after about 5 minutes, I realize that it was only funny to me because I saw it happen or because I am strange. Who would think that is funny? So then I think about trying to make it funnier, and by then I have convinced myself that I wrote a funny post.

Writing. Really, do I need such grief in my life? Maybe my desire with success with my writing has taken all the joy out of writing. Maybe all the rejection letters have taken all the joy out of my writing. Yes, I know many wonderful writers have had tons of rejection letters until they got published. I can try to convince myself that I am the next one–that more rejection letters equal later success–but, what if I am just a lousy writer. Now I am not fishing for compliments here. I am honestly taking time to analyze if I am giving writing my best shot, or am I looking for quick success?

I received 4 rejection letters in the last 6 weeks. Writing well doesn’t come easy for me. School came fairly easy for me. All but one of my jobs were unchallenging for me. I played lots of sports and did fairly well. I guess now in life I am faced with something that I can’t accomplish and it drives me crazy. I can’t just study hard and pass the test. I can’t just practice and win the game. I have to depend on someone else to make an opinion on what I’ve done. I can follow all the guidelines and the article is still not good enough for the magazine to publish. I can try to write the funniest post I have ever written and there is no guarantee anyone else will think it is funny. So, do I want to write? Do I enjoy writing? Or am I going to give up because it doesn’t come easy for me?

“I love being a writer. What I can’t stand is the paperwork.” ~Peter De Vries

Blogging Into a New Year

I like to think that the reason I dread the holidays is because of Christmases past. I tend to over-analyze things and since many a Christmas found tension in the house from my parent’s less-than-ideal marriage and my grandma taking over my bedroom and leaving it with a stale smokey smell, the truth of why I dread Christmas is probably more simple. I don’t like it when it’s over. After weeks of searching for the best presents, singing Christmas songs with the rat pack, and looking at houses covered in electric brightness, the idea of slowing down and facing a more normal day is rather anti-climatic. The house is left with a tree losing all its needles, empty boxes of See’s candies, and wrapping paper that was once filled with possibilities now lying flattened and torn on the floor.

But, I love the possibilities of a new year ahead and the wonder of what each day may bring. You see, I love goal-setting. I enjoy (mostly) watching my children learn new things and grow into their personalities and abilities. This last year was yet another year of change for us. We moved to yet another new town, bought a new house and had to make new friends again. My kids had a great year. My husband had a great year professionally. I finished my children’s writing course, but didn’t complete my goal of having a children’s story published. I can’t say I gave it my all though. I spent the year avoiding “rejection,” which meant not sending my writing out there enough times. I probably sent out 4 stories this year. I have one that was just recently sent out. I should be on a more aggressive pace–at least if I want to be published in a children’s magazine. I spent time fearing failure instead of searching for possibilities.

I am a Will Smith fan. Of course I’ve never met him and don’t know who he is personally; however, I like the person I read about and he has said many inspiring things. I hope to meet him one day. Yes, I know that is a fat chance. I do have a niece that goes to school with his oldest son — so maybe? Anyway, I would like to focus on one of his quotes as I face this new year:

“Even if you’re on the right track you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”

I would like to think I’ve been at least sitting there writing in 2008, but I haven’t been writing, just sitting. I know I’m on the right track with my writing and my jewelry business. But in 2009 I hope to get moving before I get run over. I will end this uncharacteristically solemn post with two ancient proverbs that I hope will inspire you towards a 2009 not focused on a broken economy, difficulties or past failures. 

“Fall seven times and stand up eight” –Japanese proverb

“Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors” — African proverb

I’m a chicken

I have a story for 8-10 year old’s next to the computer. My children’s literature teacher has read it and likes it. I have made the changes she recommended and I don’t have the nerve to send it out. I like the story and I think it is one of my best and I don’t want to send it only to get a rejection note — or worse no response! I have researched the market and know where I should send it. And yet it sits next to me. I have proofed it, my kids have both read it and like it and yet it stares at me everyday.

I was getting used to the rejection letters. They got a bit more hopeful and then I started getting no responses again and that is just plain depressing. I have changed the date on my cover letter 4 times now. I keep saying that I am waiting for the right time. The right time for what? I don’t know. There is no right time for another rejection letter.

So I must forget about the other rejections or lack of rejections and act as though this is my first submission. What do I have to lose? Even if it is rejected by one publication it doesn’t mean another children’s magazine won’t like it, right? I am weary today. Somedays I just don’t feel like I have any talent to write and it is discouraging.