Monday, March 25, 2013

When in doubt


The form of excercise I utilize the most is the treadmill. I know most people dislike them or find the repetation of walking and staring at a wall an unwelcome prospect. I on the other hand enjoy the solitude along with the convenience of having one in my home. Yes, I am vain enough that, if I went out side to run or went to a gym/workout place, I would have to shower before hand and make sure at the very least that my hair didn't look as if I'd just rolled out of bed. Plus, I like being able to put on my earplugs and listen to music as I traverse the treadmill track.

Or at least I used to.

Lately, I feel as if I'm on an endless treadmill loop, getting nowhere, accomplishing less little and generally unsatisfied with the view. Except for the fact that I'm currently not finding the wherewithal to get on that treadmill. Instead it's as if I'm sinking in a rut of my own making.

I'm not sure what's the cause of this funk I've allowed myself to become mired in. Some of it has to do with the constant waiting/uncertainty of knowing what's going to happen. But then I think "Well that's not anything new nor is it likely to change anytime soon". I can't seem to find the motivation to do much of anything lately.

It worries me.

While my motivation seems to be missing in other areas of my life, the center of the issue is the writing. Let's be honest, when you've been pursuing this field of endeavor for as long as I have, I suppose it's inevitable to reach the point where you question if you should continue on or give up the good fight. My critique partner is encouraging. My family is supportive. My writing community believes in my eventual success.

I still enjoy the process of writing. I love meeting new characters, learning their backgrounds, watching them meet and fall in love. I've come to tolerate if not entirely accept that my writing process includes little plotting and writing mostly by the seat of my pants. I even trick my mind into believing it's more engaging and exciting this way because hey, I so didn't see that scene coming! I've also, through the tremendous help of my critique partner, become more comfortable with my ability to revise.

I've faced the blank page down before. Why am I struggling so to do it now?

Is it because it feels as if there's more at stake now? Does it have something to do with the amount of time invested vs the rewards? Could it stem from trying to decide which alternative publishing thread to tug? Or is it little more than the nature of the beast to question and doubt?

I'm not sure of the answer anymore than I'm sure of what today, or tomorrow for that matter, will bring when I sit down at the computer to wrestle with my work in progress. What I do know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, is that I am a better person in addition to an improved writer for having traveled down this path, for having met the people I have had the privilege of getting to know.

So, while this morning I did not make it upstairs for the treadmill run before I came into the day job, I hold out hope that tomorrow I will find that missing motivation. I will manage to stay one single, stingy step ahead of the doubts.

I will, to paraphrase a verse from Philippans: Forget what lies behind and strain forward to what lies ahead.

3 comments:

  1. I so empathize with where you are. I've been there for over a year now, struggling each day to put one foot in front of the other - especially with my writing. I'm sure a lot of that has to do with my divorce last April, the new challenge of trying to write around a day job, and life as a single mom. The fight to progress hasn't gotten easier. Sometimes, days go by with not one new word appearing on the screen. A few times that stretched into weeks. I had no clue what to write, where my characters were headed, what needed to be said in the scene, or even how to advance the plot.

    Despite all of that, my dream has never left me. The burning desire to have my stories in the hands of other people hasn't so much as flickered. That soul-deep yearning pushes me on, even when it feels like I'm sludging uphill in three feet of snow. And my persistence has been rewarded. In the last six months, I've contracted with an agent, slowly but surely written 40k more on my WIP (10k from completion now!), and edited/revised prior manuscripts.

    So no matter how hard it becomes, follow your heart's desire. Be the tortoise. :)

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  2. Angel,
    Thanks so much for commenting.

    I know exactly what you mean about the dream never having left. Despite all the turmoil, doubts, questioning, and the occasional pity party :)I simply can not imagine my life without writing.
    And look at you! Success! Congratulations.

    My critique partner and I have somewhat adopted the slogan "Slow and steady wins the race" - at least on some days we hold to that.

    I hope you have continued success and life fulfills you as much as your writing seems to.

    Best
    Pam

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    1. They need a "Like" button on blogger. :)

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