Thinking Myself Out of Writing

I think too much. I once had someone say to me, “It is too bad you have to hang out with yourself.” LOL. Really! I can worry and ruminate and whirl about something that should be left alone. I sit at my computer trying to organize my workshop for tomorrow. The challenge: each session will be complete. People will  regularly change. How do I impart anything about the writing process if each session is completely new.

I sit working on my novel,  long term project of mine, and I reach a point where I have to change the approach. I get tired and have to stop. Just as I can think too much, I can write too much narrative and not enough dialogue and action. I have been accused of being too much in my head.

Maybe that is why I get headaches. LOL. I am keenly aware of my habits, the feelings in my body, my thoughts. I have been working on mindfulness and positive thinking. Right now I feel as if I have to practice “Acting as if…” Do you know that expression?

There is always respite from myself when I exercise and when I pick up a book to read. Today, I will use both those tools AND I just got Netflicks so perhaps I will watch for the first time House of Cards to see what I have been missing….Oh, I didn’t talk about my art. Since Sept., I have been painting with watercolors. Some of my work is impressive, some of it is awful. However, that is another blog.

What I know: My workshop will happen, and I will learn some lessons. My novel will get written and published, and I will learn some lessons. I will address my behavior and learn some lessons. Hopefully, I will accept the joy in learning the lessons.

 

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At the Edge of Fear

I am by nature a fearful person. The irony is that I am a strong, fearful person. Figure that out. This week I begin a new project. I am going to teach a creative non-fiction writing class at a substance abuse treatment center. I am scared. Why? because that is my first response. It doesn’t matter that I have taught college for many years. It doesn’t matter that I have facilitated workshops many times. It doesn’t matter that I understand and write about addiction. It doesn’t matter. The old voices in my head scream out to me, challenging me. 

I am much better at handling those voices then in the past. I have learned how to diminish their power. It was many years ago when I first became aware of my inner self talk. I hesitate to use the word voices as I do not suffer from a mental health disorder. But, I do suffer under a mean and wicked judge who doesn’t like to give me a break. 

A friend of mine told me, “What are you worried about. Even if you could do something wrong, who would know.”  I think part of the problem is my desire to be unique and outstanding. I have a wealth of creative energy and understanding to offer and want to change your life. LOL!  There is a saying in 12 Step rooms that is ” I am an egomaniac with an inferiority complex.” So, I will prepare my workshop, and hope that I can touch someone’s life for the better. If I can do that, I can’t loose anything.

Peaceful thoughts, calm energy, and mindfulness to me and all of you.

 

The days linger on….

I have no idea what that title may mean. I am sitting here at my computer planning the day’s work with thoughts tumbling about in my mind. So, I will write about a few things as the hot days of summer get going.  I love to travel, and I associate travel usually with summer time. After all these years, and it is many years to be accurate, I am still on the old school schedule. Summer vacation!

I just came back from visiting my daughter and that was great. In July, I plan to visit a friend in CO and in August I am scheduled to go to a wedding in Ireland. I would like to travel in the fall. I actually thought I was going to Paris in the fall, but that has been delayed replaced by the Ireland trip.

Switch subjects: I went to a fantastic Christian McBride concert Sat. night. This year’s South Florida Jazz Concert series was outstanding. Next year’s promises to be wonderful as well. One of Sat. night’s trio was a 24 year old piano player, my my. What an extraordinary talent he was and just a baby, as it were. So exciting to see that talent and hear him play.

Sunday was father’s day. My husband was visiting our daughter: my son is away in Nashville, and I went to visit my dad at his resting place.  He would have been 93 yesterday. I do miss him. He was a good guy,  funny guy, talented guy. My sense of humor and perspective had a lot to do with my dad. I am grateful for him in my life.

Today I was reading a Buddhist magazine. Yes, I am reminder of being mindful. I have many blessings in my life if I stay out of the negative stories I spin in my head and remember to disengage and observe.

Happy, mindfulness to everyone on this hot summer day.

A snob among us or everyone is just not equal

Here I sit. Focus is scattered. “Work on your book,” I tell myself. What stops me besides me?  Good question. I actually went to a writers’ group last week with a chapter from my book. I don’t think I will return to that particular group. Every critic began with “that was really well written.”  I didn’t share the group’ enthusiasm for the works presented nor did I believe the pieces were well written.

I can be such a snob, but I have been writing for quite some time. I know what I need from other experienced writers. I have always gone the process on my own. But then, I have never written a novel before. My books have always been written without input from others, an editor, yes, but nothing like a writing group. I related my experience to others who replied “sounds like you were in the wrong group.” I actually could write a short story about the people who participated as they were caricatures of familiar characters–the arrogant male, who has never published, the old man who was confused, the neurotic, depressed middle aged lady, etc. I walked away thinking I had better simplify the structure if this is my audience.

I have a tendency create complicated structures. Not difficult for a particular group of people, but the majority of readers are not within this group. Years ago, I was told my writings would never be selling in COSCO. I was insulted at the time, but with time I have learned to dumb my work down. Ohhh, the trials of brilliance. LOL. I actually am far more modest than I sound, but I do not have patience for this. I know what I want and need and will not settle for “that was very well written.” Actually, no!  The works ranged from boring, self conscious, neurotic without a point, to having no style, sense of dialogue, place, or movement.

So, there you have it. Now back to my novel.

Working for nothing…*-??!!

I am between jobs, yet again. Or as the saying was in theatre years ago, I am at liberty just now! LOL. The life of a freelancer who would be queen. Whatever that might mean. I do fancy myself more important than I am, or at least the world hasn’t caught up with my brilliance yet. Still it has been a long time since I have agreed to write for nothing. I have worked on being paid for what I do. For some reason people believe that writing is one of those items that are not crucial to the project…

I have met with a friend who is starting a business. The competition in this particular arena is great. She and her partners have tried writing several pages for the soon to be website but can’t figure out what is needed. The call to me comes in. I am at liberty. Why not get involved in this new enterprise? Being unable to clearly explain what it is or what is needed to be written, I asked to meet with all the potential partners– including the techies who are the driving force at the present. That meeting is this Thursday. Upon thinking about this project, I have decided that I must be compensated in some way. I mean, what if the business takes off? What do I get for my efforts without any financial investment? More to be discovered.

In truth, I am an awful business woman. I do work for clients and forget to send an invoice. There are those who intimately know me that refer to such moments as my Gracie Allen moments. For those who are too young to remember, she was an hilariously ditzy character. She was lovable, as well. That’s it. My charm is in my Gracie Allen moments. In the meantime, I need to find work that will pay the electric bill and the internet service I am utilizing.

Maybe I should just forget it and collect my small share of social security early. OOOPPPPSSSS. Did I just give away my age?

Knowing what to say and when to say it

Ok! My daughter is 20. I long to share my experience, strength and hope with her. I would willingly help her with anything. My problem, accepting that she doesn’t want my help. It upsets me, it hurts me, it frustrates me. And, I am continually being provided with lessons to stay out of her business. My perspective could be helpful. But, it is not what she wants. 

I anger her. She feels diminished by things I say. I don’t know how to tell her anymore directly than I have that I see a talented, creative, bright, beautiful (and she is beautiful) young woman. I even attempt to send her affirmations hoping that she will take my advice and read them, say them to herself, etc….

She continually misunderstands what I want to communicate. I know some of this is a function of that mother/daughter thing everyone talks about. Some of it reflects real issues that separate us. My heart is with her and my other child who happens to be a son. I can’t force anyone to take my advice. In truth, my parents struggled with me. I didn’t see it their way. It being almost anything. I don’t know that I still see things their way. Unlike many individuals who get chronologically older, I have not grown more conservative. LOL! I am not anything like a conservative. 

I am told over and over by friends, let her come to you. So difficult. But in truth, I dislike it immensely when someone tries to tell me what to do and I haven’t asked for it or found myself in a jam. It has taken me many years to get to the level of self reflection I can do. Why should I expect more from my daughter. So, as I write this, my daughter is angry with me. I have called her several times over the last few days. I have texted — all to no avail. Another lesson!

 

The sight of serenity

I return to this blog after a long hiatus. Why so long? I get involved with things in my life and don’t see the value in visiting my blog. I haven’t worked the blog as it should be worked. I haven’t connected with other bloggers. Why? Just part of my journey. I find myself, as my last blog stated, in transition once again. This transition, while not of my choosing, is better for my psyche. I was working in an environment that was toxic. No longer.

But, today I am faced with starting over again. Something I have done a good deal. Perhaps I need to accept more of my choice to live as a freelancer than I have. I like some structure and routine, but I like to be able to change within the structure and alter the routine.

The photo of the serene lake on the home page of my blog gave me a moment of wishfulness. I love to travel and be in nature. I get stimulated by nature and travel. That does give me a sense of peace.

I have neglected this blog and my own writings, and now in this transition I will seek serenity in working on my writing.