Posts Tagged With: writer’s block

Cold Water Kickstart (sequel to In the Cave)

So here’s the part where I explain the reason why my recent life has been like the cave at Enchanted Rock. I’m about to start a whine session…

I’ve been having a really hard time getting my life together lately. I graduated from a top-tier university within three years, and eight months later I’m still living with my parents because I can’t seem to find a decent job. I’m working around 25 hours a week to make around $420 dollars a month (that’s freelancing for you…) and my novel has been the only thing that I really feel that I have going for me. And of course, because I recognize that it’s the only thing going for me, I get an insane case of writer’s block. Meanwhile, my friends are hundreds of miles away and I’m too afraid to call them because I feel like every time I do I’m risking a huge emotional breakdown and spending the next hour sobbing to them about why I’m so dissatisfied with life. (In case y’all are reading, just be glad I haven’t put you through this….) Because of this mild rut of depression that I’ve fallen into, I’ve been lazy about my schedule. I get up at 8am, don’t get my ass into work until 10:30, and then I when I get home it’s a struggle to get my butt out the door to do my daily run. I’m basically dying inside from self contempt.

So the obvious response to all this whining is:

It’s only by the grace of God that I have a roof over my head at all, and at least I have the freelancing gig to keep me going and at this point, I’m in a great position to experience the pressures of life and the benefits of God’s unending grace provision. This is a huge point of spiritual growth and development for me, and I shouldn’t waste all my time feeling sorry for myself just because I don’t have a road map to tell me every turn that my life will make.

It’s true, I’ll admit it. But letting go of the wheel is probably my most difficult challenge seeing that I’m a major control freak, and eight months of not having a clue what’s going on in my life is probably one of the worst kinds of torture you could put me through. All my life I’ve known exactly where I was going, what I wanted to do when I got there and how I was going to make that happen. That’s how I graduated with my bachelor’s degree at 20 years old. Suddenly, I’m without a road map, and the only peace I can find is when I separate myself from my very confusing and uncertain life, aka, going on a hiatus from the world at Enchanted Rock.

That being the case, I’ve made a rather unusual decision. I saw a fascinating article on this blog by Joel Runyon that made me realize what I need is a huge kick in the ass. And nobody (except for God) can do that better than myself.

I’m going to take the cold shower therapy challenge. As explained in Runyon’s amazing blog, the idea of the cold shower is to psychologically shock you out of your comfort zone. When you’re in you’re comfort zone, you’re never going to do anything amazing with your life, and you’ll never achieve your goals. The only way to do that is be forcible, self-motivated change. And that’s exactly what I plan to do. Thirty days of starting my day with a run and a cold shower, paired with the revitalization of my job search and my writing.

Run, cold shower, go to work by 9:00 am, apply for one job, write two pages. Every. Day.

I know this method may sound a little odd, but I honestly feel that it’s the only way I’m going to be able shake myself out of the doldrums. I have never been the type of person to just jump face first into something and run with it. I admire those people. I’m a planner. And when I don’t have a plan, I feel lost. So this strange type of therapy is the perfect way to get the queen of planning out of her terribly uncomfortable comfort zone. I need to come to the complete realization that sometimes, the only thing you can do in life is to trust that God’s plan is far greater and far more precise than ours can ever be, and sometimes the best thing that we can do is to trust Him and jump into life. Right now, all that I can count on is that I’m doing ok, and I need to take advantage of this opportunity to get my personal life and my novel up and running, so for the next 30 days, I’m going to cold water kick-start my life.

I haven’t decided whether I’m going to blog about this challenge. I think I should, but it all depends on if I have enough time to do that along with my other self-assigned duties. I invite you to participate in this challenge with me. Kickstart your life!

Categories: Adventure Time, Spiritual, Writing | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Revelations and The Hunger Games have got me in the Doldrums…

So I’m going to admit that I haven’t written in more than a week. It’s really depressing. Mental constipation. Mostly I feel like I’ve met a road block. It’s different than the fog I faced before that clouded up a scene or two. This is massive; like I stumbled straight into a brick wall and I can’t see anything around it.  All the sudden I have no idea what I’m doing with my work.

I feel that I’ve lost direction. I think it may have a little to do with the sequel that I’ve been mulling over. The beginning of the sequel might completely change the ending of this novel. I think that’s exactly why I feel like so clueless all the sudden. In the past few months, I had everything about my work developed for the first time in my writing career. I knew the characters like the back of my hand, I knew where they were headed and what would happen to them. I had everything from the first to the last chapter planned out, and now… nothing.

I can’t express how frustrated I am. I feel like I’m losing myself as I lose the plot. What’s worse is that I’ve been encouraging my distraction by a new obsession: The Hunger Games. Fascinating and amazing series. I don’t like Collins’ writing style, but as far as the plot is concerned, my work pales in comparison. I ate up her books like a starving dog. And even when I wasn’t reading, I was thinking about her characters, my beloved Peeta. I’m sure that this distraction is aiding the loss of focus in my own work. I really need to stop reading other book series when I’m busy working on my own. Perhaps I got side tracked because of how similar her constructed world is to mine.

So anyway, I waited a few weeks to see if the wall would crumble and reveal my path. I read the Hunger Games trilogy and waited. Still nothing. My only hope is to suppress the obsession with someone else’s work and thrust myself, fingers first, into my writing again. There is no laxative for the mind; I can only hope that pressing forward, whether what I produce is crap or not, will loosen the mechanisms and get things going again. And suddenly I’ve realized how much I’ve compared my work ethic to an intestinal tract. Eww.

Stupid Hunger Games.

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