Monday, August 29, 2011

The Biggest Obstacle to Writing

The alarms blares at 5 a.m.
Get up. Time to write.
No one is making me. I don't have to. I could get another hour of wonderful, restorative sleep. I could write on my lunch break instead...
You know how hard that is.
Get up.
I get up. Fuzzy-headed, I bless the Keurig and watch it dispense a cup of fuel. Then I turn on the laptop, let the dog outside, and sit down to write.
I can't believe I'm doing this so early...
But once I get into it, time melts away. Soon, I'm in a schoolroom in Scotland, trying to piece together a novel that makes sense. And then I realize it's nearly 6 and time to stop, get in the shower, and get on with things.

After so many years on my writing journey, I realize there are no shortcuts. I can spend hours reading about how to write. But it all comes down to actually doing it. And if I don't do it, then all it ever becomes is just a hobby I dabble with, not something that I want, some day, to be what I do. My lunch break just doesn't seem to work. The evenings are filled with other activities and time I want to spend with my husband. So that leaves 5 a.m.

I look forward to the day when it is so much a habit I don't think about it, when I don't have these internal discussions with myself about how much better I would feel with an extra hour's sleep under my belt. But until then, I wrestle with the biggest obstacle to writing of all--myself.

What about you? When do you write and how do you motivate yourself?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

An Encouraging Word

I met with a few other local writers on Thursday night. Mostly it was a getting to know you, getting to know what you're working on, and a general sharing of ideas. As usual when writers get together, we were gently shooed out when the place closed down and still had plenty to say in the parking lot.

In a move that was bolder than I usually credit myself for, I handed them the first two chapters of my Work in Progress. I'm trying to see if it still has legs, if there is still a voice to characters, and if it is still worth pouring my heart into.

The initial feedback was so encouraging and inspiring I just can't tell you how much it made my day. Yes, there are bits and pieces that need to polished and cleaned up, but overall I received just a huge encouragement to KEEP WRITING, and it meant so, so much.

We often don't realize how much influence we can wield over a person's day by a few well-chosen words. In Proverbs 3:27 it says, "Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act." I think I ran across a translation of it once that used the word "encouragement" for "good." Do not withhold encouragement...

I like that idea very much.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

One Wedding and a Move

I got married a month ago. For this 38-year-old-never-been-married single gal, planning the wedding was quite an adventure. I also moved to Alabama (the farthest south I've ever put down roots). I'm not sure at what point you are supposed to "feel" married. I do know that life with my husband feels like it was always supposed to be. Maybe all those years apart mean I don't take what I have for granted. I'm incredibly blessed and humbled by this precious gift I've been given.

I find myself, more than ever, thinking about my parents and the way they treat each other. Thinking about my mother and how she takes care of my father. Those kinds of things. At woman at the gym asked if I was Mrs. Lofland and it took me awhile to figure out that she was referring to me.

But now that the swirl of planning and moving and waking up in the morning trying to plan an event for 200+ people with a looming deadline is over, a bit of clarity is taking place. My manuscript is calling. It went pretty silent there for a while, patiently waiting. But it's getting louder and louder, and I need to get back to it.