Friday, April 7, 2017

I Showed Up Anyway

Believe it or not, I have had lots of times over the past seven years where I didn't feel like writing. This morning was no exception.  

As I was waking up, I continually asked myself, Why bother?  What's the point of doing this?  

I have had a very stressful week.  Something unforeseen came about in the process of selling our house.  I won't give details, except we went from looking forward to a closing day, to having to start back to square one.

In anticipation of a closing day that was to take place at the end of this month, we took all of these necessary steps to make it happen.  Consequently, I have had to put my writing time on the back burner on some days. This is not the first time that my goals are once again put on hold or on the backburner.  I knew that after everything settled down, I would be able to fully focus on writing. That would be my time to go all-out.  

All of these stresses have burned me out, worn me to a frazzle.  It's to where I don't even want to bother writing, knowing it would take a lot of my time, time I could spend doing something else. 

Hadn't I told myself that no matter how busy I will be in the moving process, I will make the time for what is important to me, to not let all of the stresses and pressures of this move control me?  Now was my time to really apply this to my life.

About two years ago, I read a small, random, yet helpful piece of advice someone had published in Writer's magazine:  Keep showing up. Yes, there have been times since then I have looked forward to having those few hours of writing time--only to be so unproductive I would wonder whether I was meant to write or not.  But I get up the next morning and make it better than the day before.  The more I do this, in spite of distractions and conflicts, the more likely something great will happen.

Here it is Friday morning.  Due to some allergy and sinus issues I am still trying to get to overcome, I chose to sleep in and not run this morning.  Though I was happy to take advantage of a later morning, I had a hard time getting up.  It wasn't so much the seasonal illness so much as it was plain utter discouragement.  Would this be another morning where I'd waste my energy resisting distractions and trying to stay focused?  Would I be able to think of anything, making progress on Professional Fans? By the way, I hope to finish the first draft soon.  Please stay tuned.

In spite of getting up later than I wanted to, I ate breakfast and wasted no time in getting to Starbucks. I had work to do.  I wanted to show up, expecting for something great to happen.  

And it happened.

Here is a little teaser from my latest development of Professional Fans:

At one point, I went inside to go to the bathroom.  After I got out, I went to the front.  Out of one of the windows, I saw Gary talking to a few people.  I went outside to see what was going on, what Gary was talking about..

"Hey, Holly!  Come hang out with us," Gary said, waving his hand in the direction of the conversation circle he was in.

I walked over there and introduced myself to the other guys.  Wow!  What a lot of hand shaking, the most I had ever done in my life!

Gary continued talking, the conversation topic was experiences from a few of his previous bands.  I loved listening to him, like I always did.  All of this was a big step for me from the first time I saw Gary.  When that happened, it never crossed my mind I would talk to him and many others before a show.

At least a dozen questions came to my mind.  Would I only listen?  Would anything I say sound foolish?  What if someone in our midst acted like they liked being around me, only to be like Lee and hate me?  As I stood next to Gary, I tried hard to not look nervous and to focus my attention on the rest of Gary’s story.  It reminded me of when I was down in his studio—sharing one story after another.  That conversation could have gone on for hours.  

It now now close to ten.  Between appreciating the atmosphere Starbucks never fails to provide for concentrating and some more great hard rock music (Whitesnake), I have had a great morning of writing.  I hope the week to come is even better than this one.

P. S.  I am now home.  Before heading out of Starbucks, I saw one of the drive-thru cashiers.  Though it has been a number of years ago, he was our neighbor at the house we lived in before the one we're living in now.  I was able to vent my frustrations to him and in so doing, use lots of the creative energy that had been building up inside me. To this day, he still considers me and my husband the best neighbors he has ever had.  Though I could have been in a hurry to get back home, I'm glad I stopped and talked to someone, knowing he would help.  Josh Phillips, if you're reading this, please know that I thoroughly enjoyed our conversation.  It certainly did help me in sorting out all of my stresses.

I am now even more proud to be the creative person God has made me to be!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

An Unusually Later Day

I don't see the need anymore to get up at 3:30am, to leave the house by 4:45 to go to the gym.  I need long workouts.  The only time I could ever do it, and be showered and at my desk at or around 8am,, is at this early morning.  I need to keep in mind that before too long, I will no longer need to be up at this very early time, to be at the gym.

While I've been doing well at getting up at 4 most mornings, I have never been able to get up a half hour earlier than that, though I have told myself it will be for only two days of the week.  As expected, I didn't get up at 3:30...

not even 4:30...

or 6:30...

I woke up at quarter after seven.  

I was feeling fatigued and congested, symptoms I have had with allergies. I wondered how today was going to go, what I was going to write...if I was going to be able to do so.  I had so many ideas rolling around in my head.  The sooner I put them on paper, the better.

They say to write at the same time every day.  My time to do that is in the morning, up until 11 or 12. Given my waking up late and getting into the day much slower than usual, I wondered if I was going to be in a presence of mind today to write.  

It gets even better:  I went for a walk.  Most days of the week, I am either running between 6 and 7 am, or at the gym pumping iron around that time.  In spite of my allergies, I went outside for a walk. 

Every writer needs the outdoors; I am no exception.
It felt great to go outside when it was daylight.  I don't know how long my walk was, but it was refreshing.  

What did I do after I ate lunch?  I sat down to write.  What time was it when I started?  12:30.  Here it is quarter to three, and I am on a roll.

My latest writing idea:  Back stories of all of the main characters in Professional Fans. Both Holly and Natasha have a deep, sincere passion for music, dating back to their high school years.  It's what makes high school memorable.  Scary Harley lead singer Gary Grayson's wouldn't be complete, or even inspiring, without mentioning his love for KISS since day one.  Lighting tech Randy Daniel's describes how he has done many things in his life, including but not limited to playing drums in a high school band, driving a truck, going to seminary and getting a license to counsel, meeting many rock stars in that time and forming lasting relationships.

I think I have my work cut out for me, regardless of what time of day it is, or how I feel.