Posts Tagged With: writing

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

Walking in King’s dark footsteps?

I write like
Stephen King

I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!

So apparently I write like Stephen King. That’s pretty badass, even if it’s just based on syntax and structure. I would love to have a style like his. He’s incredibly imaginative and I love his gritty, dark tone. In fact, just yesterday I realized that my work has officially become adult fiction. I had intended for it to be suitable for teens, but I don’t think that’s happening. Somehow, drug references, a rape and murder all found their way into the plot… whoops! *bashful* Most people wouldn’t expect that of me, and I’m a little worried about how it will come across, especially if and when my friends (and oh jeeze, my parents!!!) read it…

For the past few weeks I’ve been going through some pretty severe writers block… again. Thankfully I was able to start up again and I’ve hit the 115 page mark for my novel. I’m pretty ecstatic about it XD Just that much closer to finishing it! In other news, I’ve decided to stop updating about my training. I feel like this blog was becoming more of a workout log for a while, and that wasn’t my intention. Also, I recently visited Enchanted Rock outside of Fredericksburg, Texas, and a post about that is forthcoming. 🙂

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Transitions Suck, and…a Sequel in the Making?

So I’ve been finding it really hard to write for the last couple of days. Partly this is due to exhaustion, but I think it’s because I’ve reached a huge transition in the novel, and I suck at writing clean transitions. I’ve reached the point of the book where the world opens up for my heroine, Helen. She’s introduced to the city where Jude lives, and this city will remain the scenic center of the novel until the climax of the plot. This is a very key point in the story, because at this point, my two protagonists are just getting to know each other, and the city opens up a whole new can of worms as far as the main conflict of the story.

The problem I’m having right now is a limitation of sight. I can see the rest of the storyline clearly, but the transition is all a blur. It’s important at this point to develop the relationship between the protagonists, and I’m having trouble keeping their characters constant. I feel like I’m losing them in a fog; I can’t see where they are or what’s happening. What’s even more frustrating is that usually what I do when I’m struggling with transitions is to write the scenes directly before and directly after the fog, just to organize my thoughts. Sometimes writing the figurative destination of a scene can help you to clear up the details of how the characters came to that point.  But in this case, I made a pact with myself when I began writing this novel that I would NOT under ANY circumstances jump ahead in the plot or write the scenes out of sequential order. (I did this because it tends to distract me and lead to a crap-load of re-editing) I don’t want to break my promise, but I also don’t want to get in a rut just because a few scenes are foggy and refuse to be put into words at the present.

I’m still not sure what I’m going to do. I don’t know if I trust myself enough to not get distracted if I temporarily skip over parts of the storyline.

In other news, I’ve been realizing that lately I’ve been developing a new plot line in my noggin. Usually it would concern me and I would fear that I’m losing interest or patience in my current project. The reason I don’t feel that way now is because… (drum-roll, people…) the ideas that are developing are for a sequel.

I have never in a gazillion years thought that I would be able to write a sequel for any project. To be honest, my attention span for my own work is very short, and I’ve always had trouble sticking with a novel let alone thinking of a follow-up. But yet, the ideas are coming forth without warning. This is more exciting to me than pretty much anything right now. The fact that I’m subconsciously developing a sequel means that I am even more invested in my characters than I thought. XD

I love my protagonists to death, and I’m already imagining their lives after the end of my current novel. This fact is extremely motivating for me for my current project; if I know there will be a sequel, then I absolutely have to finish this novel, and ASAP, before the ideas burst out of my head!!! Can I get an A-WHOOP!

 

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