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Posts Tagged ‘Writing’

I feel like I write these type of posts a lot, so if you still read them, either I am not alone in the world of figuring oneself out or you are really bored.

All of you who have been around awhile or read previous posts know that I am the type to constantly push myself. I always have a goal I am reaching for and always trying to arrange my life around those goals, working towards it. I think I’ve talked a few times before about discouragement and trying to figure out precisely what I want and all that. Well, one thing I don’t think I’ve really mentioned is my constant struggle for joy. Not to say I have been unhappy – I am quite happy- but you know that settled feeling in your soul that just says you are at peace, even if you are striving toward something? I haven’t had that except once in a great while in a very long time, and I’ve been trying to figure out why.

I have, relatively speaking, a perfect life. It hasn’t always been this way, as anyone who knows my past can attest to – and some people see my life now and tell me that I deserve it after all I’ve been through – I know better than that. I deserve nothing and am therefore grateful that for some reason God has seen fit to give me such a good life right now. I am also under no misconceptions that it will last forever. Why, then, do I have such difficulty settling and enjoying this current life instead of constantly looking and striving forward as though I’m waiting for something more before I can really enjoy the life I’ve been given?

I worked between 10 and 14 hours every day Sunday – Tuesday this week on an exercise down in Florida. Consequently, I was able to take most of Wednesday to relax on the beach before working another 12 hour day on Thursday. I found myself looking out over the ocean in a contemplative mood on the very subject I mentioned above. So, I decided to go for a walk and talk it out with God. This time, however, I decided not to just concentrate on the writing aspect or the job aspect or whatever other aspect – I decided it was time to go through my life in detail with God to ferret out the reason for my inability to be joyful instead of impatient in my current status of life.

As tempting as it is, I won’t bore you with all the ins and outs of the conversation – it was very minutia oriented, which, after all, turned out to be what I needed. God and I discussed what I thought I wanted out of life vs. what God wants out of my life, and then we talked through my writing life and whether I had the right point of view on it, my current job, why I wanted to go into Counterintelligence, and if I actually wanted to go into it, or if I just wanted the glory of saying I was a CI analyst, and where I was right now in life vs. where I thought I wanted to be.

Below are what I feel the conclusions of the conversation were:

  1. God may have a different plan for my life than I think He does and my being stuck on a certain career path could inhibit what He wants to do in my life. Though it is good to have goals in life, the issue comes in when you insist on those goals remaining the same.
  2. My thinking I cannot have a writing career unless I concentrate on it full-time is a product of fear and procrastination and assumes God cannot give me the capacity for more than one task at a time.
  3. It is possible – not for sure, but possible – that God gave me the desire to go into CI precisely to get me where I am today. I love my job, my company, my coworkers, and my job location – why am I so eager to move on? What happens if I concentrate on doing the best I can with where God currently has me instead of not giving it my all because I think it won’t get me where I think I want to go? God can use me in this current capacity and if I assume this isn’t where I need to be, I may miss what else He has planned for me.

Ultimately, and it can be difficult to put into words, but ultimately: Instead of striving forward constantly, I am making a goal to be happy where I am. I still have goals, but realize that God may have different goals for me. I am going to enjoy my current life and not feel guilty every time I am spending time with my husband instead of writing or feeling guilty for not working on writing an article because I don’t feel like it or not working on something CI related because I don’t want to. I am going to strive to be the best in my current capacity (which is, after all, a Senior Analyst, which is a huge part of what I wanted out of my career) and assume that, as He always does, God will clearly open a door when it is time for me to move on to something else He has planned for me. I am going to continue writing on a regular basis, but not feel guilty when I don’t have time for it because I am taking joy in the life God has currently granted me. I am going to assume that God will allow me to be published in His perfect timing, not mine.

Implementing the pattern of thought that it is not a sin for me to not constantly be doing something educational or working toward one of my goals has already done an incredible part in putting my heart at peace. Despite being sick, I enjoyed a very relaxing weekend at home with my husband, and read two books, without any guilty thoughts on needing to write or needing to practice Russian. I healed significantly faster than usual from my cold and did not wake up today with the thought that I didn’t want to go to work.

I want to be clear that I still think it is good and healthy to have goals you strive toward. The secret I am learning, with God’s help, is being at peace and joyful where you are while you work toward them, and being flexible enough to realize that God may direct those goals elsewhere and, for God, there is no time limit. He’ll bring you there when He knows you are ready.

We so often concentrate on the trials aspect of Philippians 4 and being content. For some of us, it is in times of plenty that we get lost.

Philippians 4:6-7, 12-13

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. . .  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

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So, almost needless to say, I did not reach my goal of editing the entire book by the end of April. However, I did get done with the first part of it. Sent it off to my friend to read, as promised. And .  . . haven’t touched the book since. It is just SO MUCH WORK to edit a historical novel. I mean, how can one even possibly get that much information into one’s head to make sure it is accurate? It is super overwhelming.

I have worked on short stories a little. I even edited one and sent it to three magazines for publication. I know – the chances of it actually being published are like – nil. But – it is the first time I have ever sent anything to a REAL magazine, so it is a big step for me.

I am now trying to get over my fear of failure (as per usual) and start editing again. But part of me just wants to work on Ethrill instead because that is still being created. Do all writers struggle this much with actually finishing a product?

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Cruises and books

 

So, I am not going to use the excuse “busy” for not having written in awhile. Frankly, I simply kept forgetting and then, when I did remember, other things took priority. Which is how it should be, right? Life takes priority over internet?

We went on our (almost) annual cruise end of March and this time we took my parents with us. My parents have not been on a vacation together since their honeymoon, 32 years ago. They certainly have never been on a cruise. It was so much fun to watch their faces as we brought them around the ship and showed them all the different things they could do, see, and, especially, eat. It took my mom awhile to really realize she could order anything she wanted on the menu without paying for it. And after that, she drove the wait staff crazy. I was a little embarrassed, not going to lie, but totally worth it for her to have a dream vacation. My dad couldn’t leave the stateroom that much, due to his disability, but still said he had the best time of his life. My younger sister and her husband were with us as well, which was fun. All in all, however, it resulted in not much down time, cruise ship or not.  So I did not get nearly as much on my book done as I wished.

I have, however, gone on two work trips since, and worked steadily on editing PoP during those airplane rides. I would have gotten much further had I not decided to re-write most of the first part, which resulted in my currently only being on page 40 of about 120. The important thing, however, is that I am steadily working on it. I promised one of my friends, I would send her the edited portion on the 30th to review – I was supposed to send her the entire edited boo, but that is not going to happen. However, the promise did its job, which was to get me going on editing and now whenever I am at work, I find myself just contemplating how much I could be working on my book instead . . .

Speaking of work, I actually do have projects to get done, so will leave this update at that.

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I have very little to say by way of an update, which is why I have been putting off writing since the last time. I’m just – plodding along.

  • Editing my book, which is going far slower than I would wish it – and I am getting so many notes stacked up about the edits that have to be made, it is quite discouraging. Perhaps next time I won’t wait until the book is “done” to do actual research. But I don’t know – I seem to actually finish books when I do that. Still, I’m trying to move one piece at a time and not get too discouraged. It will be done eventually.
  • Working – not traveling as much right now, which is a nice change – I’m able to keep on my diet, do housework, and get on a schedule, more or less – and you all know how much I love schedules.
  • Dieting – as usual. Maybe this year I’ll actually lose it? My sister and I are doing weekly check-ins, which is helpful for keeping me on for the most part. I don’t like confessing I didn’t lose weight.
  • Daniel and I are not really working out this time around – we have decided instead to practice dancing and learn new dance moves by watching YouTube videos. I assume eventually we will start doing actual workouts again, but dancing is so much fun and we actually have room in our new apartment!

Anyway – that’s about it for me. Hopefully next time I’ll have more exciting things to say – like being done editing my book or something!

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Anyone who knows me knows that I am constantly writing schedules. I think that if I can find a schedule I can stick to, then I will have a more organized life and I will be able to fit in EVERYTHING that I want to do and learn (which, by the way, is a lot). I write and rewrite and rewrite schedules and lists in an attempt to organize my days in such a way that not only will I be able to write, research, read, submit items for publication, work out, do devotions, make all meals, and clean the house,  but also learn the piano, learn Russian, work on additional books and stories, learn more about writing, visit exotic locations (such as the library) AND have free time, watch movies/tv shows, play games, and spend time with my husband. You get the idea.

So – my latest attempt involves getting up between 5:00 and 5:30 in the morning to give myself an hour and a half to two hours before I have to get ready for work to fit in anything involving writing that I can free up my evening a little as well as get to bed at a reasonable time (hard for a night owl, but necessary when you have a career). This has been my goal for approximately two weeks and I’ve already rewritten my schedule accordingly about 3 times. I’ve succeeded twice. Once last week and now this morning. We’ll see what tomorrow brings.

Despite the difficulty of getting up at what I think is an ungodly time in the morning – there is still something really nice about having a completely silent house to work in – and more than that – not feeling like I SHOULD be doing something else – because I know everything else can wait until evening. It helps me actually concentrate more on all my writing stuff because I have no distractions or guilt about not doing other things. So I do hope I get up tomorrow too. After all, a writer who also has a career and ambitions outside of writing has to make sacrifices somewhere. Sleep might be one of them. I’ll let you know – or maybe just write another schedule.

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It has been so long since I have written any posts, that I am sure you all thought you were free of my ramblings. I cannot even believe it is January 2017 – I feel like it was just a couple months ago that I was writing the January 2016 post. I am too scared to even look at what my goals were over the last year, since I am certain I failed at all of them.

I did, however, finish Picture of the Past and got to a book length of Ethrill, even if I didn’t finish it, per se. I am now working on editing PoP, which I have this feeling is going to be a very long process. I can’t believe how much work has to be done on it, just reading back through it! I mean, part of me knew it, but I am struggling to not become overwhelmed now that I am actually reading through and taking notes on what has to be rewritten, what scenes are missing, huge parts that need to be taken out, and most of all, the research I need to do that I strategically skipped while I was writing it so it didn’t bog me down. I can’t decide whether that was a good strategy or not, but I guess I will figure it out as I continue writing. I didn’t get anything published last year, which is rather depressing to think about, so I am not going to dwell on that. Instead I am going to dwell on the thought that I write because I enjoy it, not to become famous or published.

I just got back from a work trip to Cocoa Beach, which was amazing. I loved being next to the ocean in January! And Daniel and I are taking a trip to Florida again next weekend, using the free tickets we got from JetBlue last year after our cancelled flights. So I am pretty delighted. I currently am assigned to exercises in Florida, Colorado, and, as of today, Washington. Oh, and an internal one that I don’t really count. So I am pretty delighted with the load so far, even if it will be busy.

Anyway, that is it for now, since I am back in the office for the first time in a week and there is actual work to be done.

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Last year I was so good about writing multiple times during NaNo. It rather kept me going, you know, feeling like people were enjoying keeping up with my progress, whether it was true or not. 🙂 This year. Well, I got a very good start, as you know. And I was actually quite good at continuing. I was ahead in my word count almost the entire time, until last Sunday. Then I was out late and woke up sick Monday morning and everything went downhill from there. A week later and I’ve not written a word. On the up side, I am finally feeling well again. Mostly, anyway. I am at my in-laws for the week, where I will now be attempting to balance teleworking with family time and writing. I was going to give up on NaNo. But two things are keeping me going:

  1. Daniel. Apparently he doesn’t think I should quit.
  2. Stubbornness. I just don’t like losing. So, I am going to keep trying.

Anyway – the short story thing seems to be going fairly well other than the previous week. It is nice to have shorter goals. To begin and end things fairly quickly. To increase my creativity by forcing myself to come up with multiple story ideas. I really feel like this will be good for me in more ways than one. Here is to hoping all of you other NaNo writers out there are doing better than I!

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