Last weekend Michael and I went to the Parachute concert. I absolutely ADORE this band. I've followed them since their inception and have seen them live 3 times. And each time is always better than the last. Needless to say, we had a blast!
Lately I've been focusing on trying to relax. After ADKOU (the WIP I've been working on for the past two months) flopped, I knew I needed to do something to take the pressure off myself so I can fall in lovewith a story again. Oddly, the situation reminds me of dating. During my first break-up with a long term boyfriend, I found myself rebounding, hard. I did this because I needed a distraction from the gaping hole that was my chest. With more clarity, I realized me jumping into ADKOU was the same thing. I just wanted to write something and finish it, because I absolutely loved THE JEWELED EMPRESS. And I still love it. So it's hard going from a project you love to absolutely nothing. So I ended up jumping in too quickly just for the sake of doing something--for the sake of progress. But the thing about rebounding is that you can always learn from it, and sometimes they show you a different path, or they're a stepping stone to something better.
So a few things I learned from ADKOU:
- I can finish things. I should already know this, considering I've completed and revised two MS's before ADKOU, but it's a good reminder.
- I don't need to finish what I start. Just because I start a story, doesn't mean I necessarily need to finish. If I know the spark isn't there, why force it? It's like forcing yourself to be with someone even though deep down you know they aren't the one (sorry for all the dating references, but apparently I'm on a roll with this theme).
- I can write fast. Even though I have a full-time job and I have other obligations, I am capable of producing material in a short amount of time. But that doesn't mean I need to. Sometimes, you shouldn't rush a good thing because you may just ruin it. It's akin to wanting to take 'the next step' even though your S.O. isn't ready for it yet. Or taking out muffins from the oven when it hasn't had time to bake. That said, I know I have to trust the process and respect my creativity instead of cracking the whip at it.
A different path ADKOU showed me:
- I am more than one story and I am more than a writer. We can't have one thing defining us.
- Keeping a balanced life and living life fully are more important than using all my free time to write. Don't get me wrong. I love to write, and I love spending the whole day writing. And that's good on occasion. Six straight weeks, however, can make for a bad relationship with writing (the exception to this is if your job is to write, but if you're like me, struggling to balance writing with work, school, family, etc, it's not easy to do!) and that's what happened with ADKOU. I blocked out everything with the mantra, Write! Write! Write!, blaring in my head. It led to finishing, but it didn't make me feel accomplished like I thought it would.
A stepping stone to something better:
- Finally at peace with shelving the MS, I filled my time with things I love and enjoy: like people's company, food, sunshine, books, and TURN (currently obsessed with that show).
- Delilah's been lingering in my head. She wants her story told, so I started dabbling with the opening chapters. And I reallllly like it. I'm getting fluttery butterflies in my stomach. I'm taking it as a good sign. I sent the rough pages to my CP and she really liked it, too. I'm onto something I think. It's so awesome too because she was a character who came to me (on April 2nd) of her own accord. I didn't have to force this story out and I'm not rushing to finish it either. I am starting to grow attached to it, however, so I suspect I will finish it because I am excited to see how it turns out.
To sum up, no writing is ever wasted. Live life and enjoy it. Don't fall victim to the pressure you put on yourself. Give yourself a break once and awhile. And watch TURN so I can squee with you ;)