Back to basics

Sometimes, everything gets to the point where it’s all a bit much. Thinking about anything other than things I have to do is beyond me. Even the little thing that would actually be easy to slot in, just the idea is too much. Not a great place to start.
To get some brain space, I realised I needed to get myself some sort of order in my head. Considering the running joke is that logic wants to be tried separately, that can be a bit of an ask. But, I’m lucky, I have a brilliant group of people who listen to me and make suggestions, and since they’re my family it can be refreshingly blunt.
I needed to make time for things. That meant parcelling my day into increments of things that must be done. Time on assignments, time on Thesis, and time for writing. None of those were optional.
I sat, somewhat rebellious, at my laptop and folded my arms. I couldn’t write, I had a bajillion things that need done! And I didn’t know what to write or anything. Of course, the question that followed was to the point.
What do you like doing the most?
I was going to offer a quick but amusing retort, but paused instead. I like free writes. I like listening to music and writing whatever comes to mind. Digging my hand into my quote box and pulling out a random line that strikes a chord, or doesn’t, and writing about that.
Some of my friends think I’m mad, but the more I owned that truth, the more I relaxed and then I found myself doing free writes again. For the first time in months, the characters I already know didn’t intrude or demand, they waited in the wings for their turn. I enjoyed the short, sharp beauty of the writing, caught up in those defining moments without worrying if it made sense.
I found my happy writing place.
And I’m going back there later, after I’ve done assignment and Thesis, and I will be glad.

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Tidying up

I have been so uninspired lately that it was all I could do to belt of the words I needed to get through Camp NaNoWriMo. Even then, the jaunts at the keyboard that would normally leave me feeling a sense of achievement instead only made me feel more like I should just put it all down and walk away for a whole.
And then uni reared it’s ugly head and reminded me how much I still had to do to get through the rest of the year. Not even do well, just get through. That is a brilliant feeling.
So when I stepped into my cluttered living and working space yesterday, already exhausted from a terrible night’s sleep, I looked at the piles of stuff and just stared. Then, a soft little voice, almost angry but not quite, said I should just clean up the washing and then I would feel better. So I did.
Like most things that start small, cleaning up didn’t stay confined to the parameters of ‘washing’. In fact, it escalated until somehow it was 8pm, I had cleaned and vacuumed half of room while getting two loads of washing hung up, and I had forgotten to eat dinner. But I felt so much better.
Doing something small makes the next bit possible. I am an impatient person, I often rely on critical mass to get me through whatever it is I’m doing. But sometimes critical mass doesn’t arrive when you expect or need it. Murphy’s Law and all that.
Small, achievable goals are a good way to start. Once my room is clean, and I’ve rescued my desk from the clutter that I put there until I find it a home, I’m going to come up with a list of small goals. Until then, I have my fallback list. Eat food, do a free write or two, read an article for Thesis, write in my food journal. It’s not a bad list, really. I think I might put ‘tidy up’ on there as well, keep on top of the mess monster rather than letting it build an empire in my room.

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Mysterious Mornings

I am not a morning person. Anyone who has known me during the morning will probably attest to that in different words, depending on the morning they’ve seen me on. I’ve made a habit of avoiding mornings, with their hustle and bustle and far too comfortable beds. While I was doing my undergrad, morning classes were the worst thing I could think of. That, and morning exams anyway.
Today I sat on the train, going in to a morning class I had thought was cancelled, and realised that perhaps it wasn’t mornings I had trouble with.
I have trouble starting, and doing the ‘right’ things first up. Which made me question, as the hail turned into heavy sideways rain, what it was that I was supposed to be doing in the mornings that upset me so much. There’s a pretty good list of things I ‘should’ be doing, all of which made me feel tight through the chest and anxious.
‘Should’ and I are not good friends.
Over the last few years, Should and I have discovered that our relationship is a bit damaging, and I think I might have to just step back and let Should become one of those acquaintances you nod to in the street. We’re starting with mornings.
A morning ritual is important, it helps the brain get ready for the challenges it will face. So, I’m going to put things into my morning ritual that I like. I’ll make time for the snooze button. And a cup of tea. And I’ll put things that ‘should’ go into mornings somewhere they feel more comfortable.
My writing happens best when I’m okay, rather than when I’m in some kind of emotional turmoil or excitement. And it happens even more easily if I have a routine or a pattern to doing it. Like sitting at my desk and reading over what I need to do and then getting a cup of tea to do it. So my plan is to start finding my ‘should’ writing behaviours and thoughts, and question where they come from.
A writer is someone who writes. I write. I’m a writer. Right now, I don’t need it to be making the necessary steps to turn it into ‘author’, so I’m going to keep trying to find ways to make writing easy.
After all, if it’s easy, maybe I won’t spend so much time worrying about it and more time getting things done. Things that aren’t mucking around with the ponies. Maybe.

Because ponies in hats are cute!

Because ponies in hats are cute!

Journal: That Story, 8/8/2013

Guess what? I did it! I met my Camp NaNoWriMo goal of 20k!

And then curled up in a ball and hid under the blankets until today. Not the most productive outcome to a Camp NaNoWriMo, but considering the struggle to get from under 5k to 20k in about three days, I think I did pretty well.

Needless to say, something had to happen in that mad-dash 15k, and I am happy to say that not only have we met the potential Male Romantic Lead, but Hubris has arrived as well!

Hubris, or Huey, is actually a rather large, funny looking bay Thoroughbred ex-racehorse that was going to go to dog meat, but Casey and Greg (MRL) saved along with his half sister Ivory Tower. He’s a dopey, sweet natured sort of horse, who I think will cause some interesting moments in the story to come.

Thank you Camp NaNoWriMo, I actually made it to where the story starts to get interesting! And that is pretty awesome.