Remember when you first learned how to ride a bike without training wheels? I couldn’t wait to get those wheels off and be like the big kids. When the training wheels came off, I fell more than a few times. The rose bush hurt the most. True story! I careened full throttle into my mother’s red rosebush next to the driveway. To this day, I won’t plant a rosebush next to a driveway, walkway or any other way where a person could get harmed! There were some thorns to pick out of my leg and I still have a slight scar on my leg that only I can see because I know it is there.

Of course, I eventually moved up to a ten-speed bike and then I had to learn how to use the brakes and balance. One time, I hit a crack in the street and went flying into grass. Lucky for me my pants were torn and a minor cut was the only issue.

The last year, I’ve watched my youngest bike faster than ever even with training wheels on this tiny bike. Next year, she’ll still need them but I’m sure will want to be like the big sister or other kids who don’t have them. 

Thinking of being a kid and learning how to bike, I realize I was so focused on the goal that I didn’t enjoy the journey of biking all that much. Maybe I did and I just have over-simplified the process as an adult. However, I noticed that lately I’ve haven’t been enjoying the journey I’m on now which is writing my first manuscript.

After some thought on this, I realized I want to enjoy it. Just like my pregnancy, I want to savor the daily growth of a baby on her way in the near future. My other baby, my manuscript, is also growing in word count. The problem? I’m not enjoying the journey since I’m worrying about everything I’ve been learning.

The stream of thoughts go something like this:
  • Word count matters. How many words did I type in the last hour? (Checking...)
  • Voice. Can I hear my writer voice? 
  • What will I do for the next chapter?  I need to outline. Wait, I can just wing it! 


The thoughts were overtaking my creative mind and I had  lost that enjoyment of writing. Perhaps I spent too much time trying to learn how to write this way or that.

I want to enjoy the journey of being a new writer learning the ins and outs of the publishing world or the new options that await us. For any new writer, there are more options than ever for getting a book published. If you realize this, you know that no matter what, you can end up having your novel done and published even if it is only in an e-book format. That goal is the destination.

With that thought, I realized that this journey I’m on now will happen to me only once in my life. There will be only one time I get to write my first manuscript. Even if I don’t publish it, I want to finish it.

The age to use to training wheels goes by quickly. My kids are proving that time flies. In a matter of months, we can write our hearts out and lose that first time feeling of our first completed manuscript. No matter how painful the process may be, how many falls we make, or scars we my have at the end – we only get to be the newbie one time.

So let’s finish it but enjoy the journey along the way but stay away from rosebushes! 

 
 Even though I didn’t participate in #NaNoWriMo, I can relate to having a plan to write X number of words within a certain time. I’ve always been goal oriented. What I had to learn along the way, especially as a former manager of direct reports, is that I can’t let a missed goal become more of a distraction. That thinking has, in the past, caused me to delay any additional positive movement to attain the goals set after the missed goal. The chain reaction would spin me farther down the negative black hole. I’ve had this struggle the last few months due to health reasons but even before that I would miss goals. Either way, I’m still frustrated that my first draft sat around this long with the word count needle nearly stuck in the same position.

When that feeling of hopelessness creeps into our brains (and many of us writers hit this wall now and again), we need to hit the brakes before we head face first into the palms of our hands and give up hope!

During the last 24 hours, many of my writing friends have been bummed with missing their goal (especially some who aimed to complete the #NaNoWriMo challenge). What we as writers must realize is that even if we missed the goal, we should celebrate any accomplishment. Don’t celebrate to the point that we make excuses though but rather think about how many more words we have because of having the goal in the first place! No matter how small that word count is, it is more than what you would have otherwise. What was the starting word count? Zero. Now what do you have? More than zero I hope. If not, there must be a reason to explore. (For me, October was a near zero because I got that pesky blood clot/ DVT in my left leg.)

Lately, I’ve been diving back into writing my first draft. For example, I had a goal of 1Kaday over Thanksgiving and I got a whopping 2245 words written (sarcasm may not be clear here but it's there). It’s frustrating, but I let the fun of the holiday distract me. I have kids and they are getting older. Whatever the reason, I am accountable for that goal being missed.

I’ve learned that I wish I had a higher number to celebrate. At least I have more than what I had though.

The number one rule is to remember this feeling of guilt and learn from it. If we want to be a writer, we must write. Therefore, I am accountable to my individual goal of being just that – a writer. If I continue down the path and delude myself then I will have to be accountable either way. On the flipside, if I learn from this I can set perhaps a more realistic goal over the time I take off in December. 

I am accountable to take action to meet the goal of finishing the first draft. Step by step, word for word. It is all up to me. Given the last few months, I had to move out the timeframe a bit. I refuse to let one missed goal stop me from what the final goal is – my first finished draft.
  • Remember, don’t let one missed goal derail you from the overall goal.
  • Learn from missed goals.
  • Revisit your goal planning to plan realistic, attainable goals. 
  • Celebrate the goals along the way.
  • Keep writing with the long-term, high-level goal in mind. Every milestone counts.
  • You are accountable to yourself as a writer (first draft, revised manuscript, or whatever the end goal may be).
 
Before I get into today’s blog post, I personally want to thank everyone for taking the time to stop by and read my blog starting on Tuesday. I realize this is a new blog and it’s awesome to see in my stats that people are clicking on my site. The feeling from seeing these results has been humbling and motivating. Please feel free to leave comments! Now for what’s on my mind…

On Tuesday, I posted a blog about fighting for the dream and how we have to keep going. I know I wrote that I would blog about my personal experience but something happened after I posted that blog that I feel takes a bit more precedence for today’s post.

Within a few hours of posting Tuesday’s blog, a tweet appeared in my newsfeed with a RIP reference for the rapper @HeavyD.

My first thought was, “No way, he’s gotta be young…what 40’s?” With a certain amount of disbelief, I looked it up to find out that HeavyD had passed away suddenly after being rushed to the hospital. Again, this all happened the same day that I posted my first blog in nearly five months.

Why is that so important to me? Back on October 6th I woke up fine in the morning. That night, my left leg swelled about two times its size and I was rushed to the hospital. That morning I had no idea that would later be diagnosed with a DVT by Saturday. (Again, I’ll post a more detailed blog in the coming days about this.) I went back and read Tuesday’s blog post again I ended my blog about having no guarantees. We need to get going and take action on our dreams! If you find that you easily put off writing then think about how much you want that dream to come true – that feeling of finishing the novel. No matter the quality yet but just getting it done. What a feeling that would be! (I speak from my own experience here.)

What struck me is that is Heavy D died so young at the age of 44 and so suddenly. When he woke up that morning, I’m sure he had a list of things he wanted to do and some dreams he wanted to tackle. Do you? I know I do.

One more thing, if you check out @HeavyD on Twitter you’ll see an amazing last tweet. It is simply, “BE INSPIRED”. What an awesome last tweet. Let’s be inspired by that and get moving. Take action on your dream.

Now I need to go put my own words into action and get writing that novel stuck in my head. How about you?

 
I wanted this and wanted that. I had a goal to start writing a blog and work on my dream of being a writer. With over 60K words in the WIP Bank I felt I was on my way. Then, life happened. Much to my surprise and husband’s we found out back in June that we were expecting our third child March 2nd!  We had come to a point in our lives we felt blessed with our two beautiful children and I started focus on the next phase of my life and a dream to be a writer. I balanced being a full-time job, mom duties, and all the other things that go with daily life. Okay, as balanced as I could be and still go after that dream of writing my novel that is.

What I didn’t expect was a roller coaster ride that would derail my dream of being a writer. Yet I’m a fighter and after a time that spirit came back to the surface and I’ve made the decision to go after that dream. The book in my head is there. The characters are waiting for their lives to be more real and tell me they can’t live their lives until I live mine. It’s the crazy writing thing that writers hear characters in our heads. They bang, scream, and do anything to get our attention. My characters changed after awhile and got sad. They wanted to know their futures. So do I.

During this rough journey the last five months I’ve learned more about life and dreams than I ever would have otherwise. I believe that with all my heart. I plan on writing about the journey but will summarize that I had plenty of time to sit on my laurels and think about exactly what life meant to my future, family, and friends. Trust me I thought about what I really wanted and had thought I wanted.

I wanted to write a blog about writing. In hindsight, iIt was one-dimensional and was not enough of me to give. It took all these troubles to realize that.

After some thought, the urge to write a blog that encompasses more about how I would approach this writing dream in general became my goal. It won’t be just about writing or my career. It will be deeper than that. Most of what I’ll write in the beginning will be about what has happened, how I faced a very troublesome pregnancy, and how I value the life I have and the one inside me. My wish is to share my journey to support people in their dreams and get through the rough times the best I can. There will be some focus on the daily ups and downs of bedrest and two distinct points of time when I ended up on my back in a hospital and told how lucky I was by an ER doctor that I trusted my instincts. Mainly though, I’ll write about how I plan to learn from this experience and how it has changed me as a person and as a writer. For women, I hope that if you have some of the troubles I had that you feel you are not alone. That goes for all the writers reading this as well.

Remember, there are others out there going through tough times. You are not alone.

Remember, there are others out there with dreams. You are not alone.

Remember, it is okay to feel fear of the unknown (medical, writing, career, etc.). You are not alone.

You can feel afraid. It’s okay. How I now get motivated is think about time as a precious gift and that if I let fear overtake me, I’ll have to face regret, not just fear.  I’ve chose to face my fear and dive in…go for it. That way at least I know I tried.

For my next blog, I’ll get more into some of the pregnancy struggles I’ve had since June and therefore am providing a high level overview of what I see as the “Big 3” challenges so far.

These three phases of my pregnancy that were challenging to my body, mind, soul and each required bedrest of some kind:

  1. Morning Sickness which meant morning lasted all day and night
  2. Walking Pneumonia (bacterial)
  3. Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) AKA a blood clot in a major vein of my left leg
This journey of life is always in motion. There are no guarantees. As I write this, I know that the baby inside me is at risk. But aren’t we all every second?

 
Yesterday was one of those days when I sat there in front of a blinking cursor and heard my friend's voice, "You're thinking too much." Diane, a beta reader, told me that a few months ago when I was rambling about how I need to cut out this and redo that in my WIP. She was on to something. I cut but didn't cut as much as planned. After all was said and done, I felt great about what I had cut from the WIP and posted that as a status on my facebook page. Since then, I've heard her voice loud and clear ring through my head causing me a healthy pause at the perfect moments. 
What exactly was I doing? For starters, I was thinking how I could make these two chapters spin differently. My protagonist sometimes tends to follow easily and then there are days she fights back. While attempting to write yesterday, I found I wanted to "force" the story my way. It wasn't going so well for me. Meanwhile, my protagonist was getting a bit more assertive that she really wanted to go quite an opposite path. 
Something didn't feel right and I knew it. I fought this way for an hour. Writing. Deleting. Writing. The cursor and I weren't getting along either! 
What did I do? I walked away. It was one of those days when I needed to get away from the computer and let the story wait. It isn't easy to do that but it was a day of letting go. Let the story come alive again tomorrow. My protagonist could wait. We would meet up tomorrow and collaborate. I would listen. However, I would decide because I know my plot and ending. The ending of my WIP won't change. It's just the daily writing that gets me there to that ending. 


Today is a new day to write. Just don't think too much. Let the story be.

What have you done when days like this happen? Do you walk away? Do you have tips or tricks that help you get through it? 
Please share!

    Author

    By day listen to voice of the customer / client loyalty. Rest of my life listen to my protagonist & write her story. YA fantasy, mystery #writer. Live w/ #DVT..

    Blog posts are Tuesdays and Thursdays.

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