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Poppy
03-16-2005, 10:22 AM
I have had a difficult time getting motivated lately. There's just been a lot going on in my life. I'm not going to make excuses, but it can be hard to focus on writing when your mind and heart are elsewhere.

So I almost posted a "plea for help" here this morning. I was going to ask for encouragement, and for advice/suggestions on how I could get back on track again. However, for whatever reason, I decided to wait and see how the day progressed. I pondered it for a while as I went about my day and realized I already know how. Just do it. I don't have to do everything at once, just something, anything.

Anyway, while I was in town this morning I splurged on the kind of pens that I like and a new notebook. I'm pleased to report that I made one submission today, one query, and I'm working on new material, and researching a few new markets. I have a fairly detailed 'to do' list made out for tomorrow (well, it's today now). For the first time in several months, I'm feeling organized and motivated.

See, I can do it. And so can all of you. :)

Thanks for listening.

Poppy
03-16-2005, 07:38 PM
If anyone's wondering why I posted this, I did so because I was afraid I'd wake up today (unmotivated and unorganized again) and forget about yesterday.

Today is a new day. Here I go. I'm going to work. :)

Cabria
03-16-2005, 09:20 PM
That's great Poppy. Keep the pen flowing! There's a book I find really great by Natalie Goldberg - "Wild Mind - Living the Writer's Life". And one thing that has always stuck in my mind are her rules of writing practice ( I know that you're an accomplished, published writer and everything - I just find this helpful to reread and practice when I get in these "writer's slumps" myself). Her rules are simply: 1. Keep your hand moving.
2. Lose control.
3. Be specific.
4. Don't think. (I love that one!)
5. Don't worry about punctuation, spelling, grammar.
6. You are free to write the worst junk in America (or
anywhere in the universe).
7. Go for the jugular. (like that one too!)

Anyway, it's the kind of book that you get out of it what you want to get out of it but its philosopy is sort of Zen like - the type of raw writing practice helps bring you back to the natural wilderness of your mind. I find the book awesome and it really loosens up your mind and approach. After I do some of these practices, I feel refreshed yet energized. Anyway... just something I thought I'd pass your way.

Debbie :)

Poppy
03-16-2005, 10:04 PM
Thanks Debbie.

I think the main thing that has been holding me back isn't 'not writing' because I have been, but most of it has been sad, depressing stuff about my grandparents' deaths. I was wondering when something else would come out of me besides that. At the same time though, I knew I had to express all of that before I could get back to the business of writing.

Then there was the organization part. I had a good personal system going on, but when my grandparents went into the hospital and then died shortly after, all of that was disrupted. When I would sit down to write or submit something, there was always something I couldn't find (paper, pen, stamps, envelopes, etc.). Yesterday, I spent a good bit of time setting up my work station again. That makes me feel a lot better.

Anyway, thanks for your encouragement, Debbie, and for the book recommendation. I'll have to see if my library can get that one so I can read it.

Now, my lunch break is over. Back to work. :)

Cabria
03-16-2005, 11:16 PM
You're very welcome, Poppy....

Debbie :)

sthrnwriter
03-17-2005, 01:22 AM
Hey poppy,

I'm glad you were able to motivate yourself into writing. Sometimes it takes us pushing ourselves to quit making excuses to not write and just do it. If you ever need help or some inspiration, I'm here. Just feel free to ask me anytime, I don't mind.


SW

Wandering Sensei
03-17-2005, 01:54 AM
What I need help with is just getting my mind and time arranged so that I can schedule the time to write. Granted, I'm doing a lot of stuff right now that keeps pushing it aside, but that shouldn't be an excuse. I'm a writer. I need to write. And I have a WIP with a fairly complete outline, so it's not like I can't think of anything to write. I just haven't gotten things squared away so that I can get back into it and start moving forward.

Anyone one else been in this situation and successfully gotten out of it? I've written two novels so far, so it's not like I can't do it.

Poppy
03-17-2005, 04:01 AM
I haven't written any novels. My writing is 'short stuff' like poetry, greeting card verse, etc.

Are you having trouble focusing, Wandering Sensei? Because that was part of my problem. My mind was on a thousand different things, and I was having trouble getting it on writing, and most especially, keeping it there. "They" say you can do anything if you set your mind to it so I'd try figuring out how you can get your mind off other things and on just writing. Debbie gave some good examples from that book she mentioned. I'd also recommend finding a few good inspirational quotes (maybe they're related to writing, maybe they're not), and printing them out. Make it a point to sit down with the purpose of writing and only writing. Read those quotes (a few times if necessary) first to 'set' your mind. And you might want to change those quotes now and then so you don't get too bored with them.

Is your work area organized? Do you have all your supplies where you can easily reach them/find them? I know that seems obvious, but it's one of those areas where "we" often slack off, and then use an excuse.

Anyway, I'm certainly no expert, and these suggestions may not help anyone else, but I have found these things helpful in the past, and found them helpful yesterday and today. :)

Good luck. Maybe others will come along and offer some more sage advice. :)

sthrnwriter
03-17-2005, 04:45 AM
What I need help with is just getting my mind and time arranged so that I can schedule the time to write. Granted, I'm doing a lot of stuff right now that keeps pushing it aside, but that shouldn't be an excuse. I'm a writer. I need to write. And I have a WIP with a fairly complete outline, so it's not like I can't think of anything to write. I just haven't gotten things squared away so that I can get back into it and start moving forward.

Anyone one else been in this situation and successfully gotten out of it? I've written two novels so far, so it's not like I can't do it.
I don't think scheduling time to write is the best idea. What I mean by that is write when you have free time even if its just for five mins. If you go somewhere, carry a pencil and paper and jot down notes when you can. I'm sure if you need someone to help keep you motivated and check up on you to make sure you wrote something for the day, someone here will volunteer. Just a suggestion.

Melina
03-18-2005, 04:08 PM
Poppy-


Sounds like you've gone through a lot recently. You should feel really proud that you've been able to drag yourself out of the pits and get back to writing! Life isn't always kind, and you shouldn't beat yourself up about needing to take a step back, breathe deeply and regroup. We all need to do that, from time to time. You're a writer, not a machine.

Glad to hear you're doing better! Take care-

Melina

Poppy
03-18-2005, 07:38 PM
Yes, you're right, Melina. At times, I think I was too hard on myself which would make me feel even worse. I'm kind and forgiving with people, but I often forget about treating myself this way.

Thanks for the reassurance. :)

awatkins
03-18-2005, 08:00 PM
Poppy, I can relate to what you're talking about. My brother passed away in November and for quite awhile beforehand, I was one of his full-time caregivers. At the same time, I had articles to turn in, photo shoots to arrange, interviews to conduct, etc. and my heart just wasn't in my work. It was really hard to find focus, to keep my work and my personal life separate. *sigh*

Now where was I going with this? Oh, yes. Melina offered some really great advice. All I can add is a big hug and my encouragement...and my thanks to Melina (your words were helpful to me, too)! :Hug2:

jdkiggins
03-18-2005, 11:45 PM
Poppy,

Personal life can sometimes get in the way of productivity. You did a good thing by posting this as a reminder. http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/smilies/smile.gif

Keep up the good work.

Keep writing. http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/smilies/EmoteHug2.gif
Joanne

Poppy
03-19-2005, 12:50 AM
Thank you all for your support and encouragement, it means a lot.

I didn't really write anything while I was taking care of my grandmother because to be quite honest, I didn't want to 'waste time' writing when it was time I could spend with her. I could write later, but I knew I couldn't spend time with her later. Even when she was sleeping and didn't 'need' me, I would sit there and watch/listen to her breathe, and study her face. The only thing I did write was a record of what medication she took and when and things like that. I kept the notebook as a sort of memento. Anyway, point is I don't regret not writing during that time. Fortunately, I don't depend on my writing for a living, it's extra income for little luxuries so I was able to set it aside for a while.

The first thing I wrote after she died was her obituary. Nothing special, just a standard obit, but writing it gave me a weird feeling. I was proud to write it, but at the same time, I hated writing it. I also wrote a general 'thank you' that appeared in our local paper. My mom asked me to write something that would thank everyone in our community for their support because even though we sent out individual thank you notes, she was afraid of forgetting someone, and we also wanted to publicly acknowledge the hospital, the Hospice program, a couple of churches and other organizations that were of great help to us. Again, I was proud to write it, but hated to write it. I guess because these things made their deaths more real. I didn't write for a while after that. I needed the time to rest, relax, and regroup. Then I suddenly started writing a lot of poetry, diary style entries, and letters to my grandparents. Most of it will never see the outside of my notebook, and that's okay. It's just for me. After that, I started wanting to get back into the business of writing. I missed it. The research, the query letters, the submitting, the acceptances, and yes, even the rejections, I missed them all. So I guess I had to wait for my desire to write to come back before I actually could write. Right? :)

I have done some writing today, but not for any company. I wrote 3 handwritten letters to some friends of mine who were 'there' for me when I needed it most. These letters were long overdue so I wanted to go ahead and write them. I have 3 or 4 more to write. I think it's important for me to do this because if I don't, a voice in the back of my head will start to nag me and distract me from my writing. Plus, I count this as writing even though I'll never get paid (money) for it. As a greeting card writer, I think writing letters is good practice. :)

Anyway, I hope I'm not boring anyone. I just think it helps to get a lot of these feelings off my chest, or like I said, they'll become distractions. Thanks for listening (reading, I mean).

Melina
03-19-2005, 03:53 PM
Anne-


I'm glad I could be of some help to you. I remember when you were dealing with your brother's illness, and you knew the end was near. Did you end up being the guardian for his cat? How is she adjusting? I hope you've been able to find some peace. :Hug2:
Melina

awatkins
03-19-2005, 07:46 PM
We sent Tabitha (the cat) to her "grandma's" house when she started showing signs of being stressed out. There were so many people in and out of the house for awhile beforehand, and then afterwards lots of folks were coming to visit, there were floral and food deliveries, all his medical equipment had to be picked up and taken away, etc. And when Tabitha finally did get to come home, it was really tough for her--she kept looking for him, crying, wouldnt eat.

Now that it's been about four and a half months, she's better, but still searches for him! She sleeps on one of his shirts and on his side of the bed. Bless her little heart, she sometimes gets mad at us, I suppose because she thinks we took him away from her. (My sister-in-law bears the brunt of Tabitha's anger) And there's no way to explain it to her, though we've all taken turns talking to her about it. Animals really do miss their favorite humans and grieve over them when they die.

Thank you for remembering this, Melina. It's been so difficult; he was my closest family member and it feels like half of me is gone! I have good days and bad days, but I know that the good days will eventually rule. I appreciate your kind words! :Hug2:



Anne-


I'm glad I could be of some help to you. I remember when you were dealing with your brother's illness, and you knew the end was near. Did you end up being the guardian for his cat? How is she adjusting? I hope you've been able to find some peace. :Hug2:
Melina

Poppy
03-19-2005, 08:02 PM
Ooohhhh, Anne. :Hug2: Here's hoping the good days prevail.

awatkins
03-19-2005, 08:09 PM
Oh, thank you, Poppy! And I wish the very same for you. :Hug2: