Keep moving. Stand still. And me asking myself why? this entire post

Why do I keep tricking myself into moving away from the life I want? Why do I keep making up things to do to not write? Why do I keep pulling work towards me that’s A: not suited for the introvert that I am and B: preventing me from focusing my energy on writing.

Why? An example of how this works in real life:

Me: I need to find a job that gives me a little more freedom

*does so

Also me: I need to do this grad school thing because otherwise my job is boring

*does so

Me: I have no time after work/school/family/social life (or more honest mental energy) to write

Present me: sitting in a high school trying my best to not fall apart, because I have to speak to a gazillion teenagers this year. I just want to go home and write.

Why do I keep moving when I know in my heart I need to stand still. Stand still and hold my ground.

Maybe I’m terrified.

Back to the Future

I have always wanted to be a writer. And in a way I have been a writer since forever. When I was 10, I wrote my first fairytale about a prince on a quest to find a magical flower. I remember starting with great enthusiasm, which faded when I was around the midpoint. Then things became hard. The only thing that kept me returning to it was the fact that my classmates wanted me to enter a story contest on their behalf so we could win a trip to a theme park. I finished, and dutiful delivered it to my teacher. Thoroughly unrevised of course.

We didn’t go to the theme-park.

What I did learn was that not everyone can write a story. Not everybody can make it to the end. And even fewer trod back through the mess they created and fix it until it works.

So back to the future of today. Even though almost thirty years has passed I still follow this process.  I start with great enthusiasm, to end up slacking midway. Why did it take me 36 years to realize that if I want to be a published writer I have to write stories until I reach The End. I need to go through the hard time of letting the story suck. And getting back to it, fully armed with all the guns I can carry.

This post is for everyone doubting themselves today. For those who fear they will never belong to the club of successful writers (and this can mean anything, but for me the biggest part in being successful is actually finishing the story)

You are brave to start writing.

You are successful when you finish a story.

Because not everyone is writing a book and not everyone can write a decent story. Not everyone will reach The End. But we will. Because otherwise a 10 year old version of me will come haunt you.

 

( so Nanowrimo, I’m up for the task, maybe not the 50 k, but I will protect my writing time with a shotgun).

 

 

 

 

A Way In Versus A Way Out

Day two of campnano

I’ve plunged back into a YA story for a complete rewrite. There’s distance between the world on the page and myself. So much distance that I’ve no trouble cutting and slicing through it. Unfortunately it didn’t take long for the HOORAY FOR REWRITING-Bubble to burst. Rewriting this story is going to be hard work, it’s going to take more than 30 hours to fix/recreate it into something else. And by something else I mean a far better story. But I’m going to take it one hour at the time and remind myself that small steps can lead to great change.

When driving to work today I realized I’ve changed too. When I was a kid, I wrote to escape. Not only from my not so easy childhood into my imagination, but I also already felt that WRITER could be a job and if it would make me famous and rich I could get away form my circumstances.

As a teenager I wrote partly for the same reasons, but also to handle all the things I was feeling and thinking. But honestly I still had dreams of MAKING it BIG. When I was a famous and rich writer everything would be better.

Now I know it doesn’t work like that.  I no longer write for a way out. My life is exactly where it needs to be at this point in time, and that’s okay. I write because it’s fun and it’s as close to magic as I can get. I can magically turn old and new feelings into a world on a page.

Of course I would like to be published and reward myself with a Henry.

Of course I sometimes worry if it’s a waste of time.

Of course I worry if my writing is any good.

But I also don’t care.

I write because it’s a way inside.

 

 

 

 

 

about buying a castle & my LEGO family

It’s been terribly quiet on my blog. The IDEA of THE BLOG had shrunk to inhibit a tiny piece of my brain to slumber while I was doing LIFE things. Let me explain.

I have a LEGO family.

My partner has three kids, I have one and together we’ve been building our new family over the past six years. Block by block. Constructing/deconstructing, figuring out how to make this work. When you mix up families from previous relationships you don’t get the shiny LEGO instructions in a book. You get a box of blocks and a vision to build the most terrific building ever, and you just start. It fails a couple of times, you’ve to start over a couple of times, you browse the Internet in search of instructions more than a couple of times.

And if you persist, you eventually get to where we are now. We’ve melted into a family with our own dynamics, traditions and feel. And now it is time to move. We bought our first home together, a castle (not really a castle, but you get it).

So dear blog, that’s why I’ve abandoned you for a while, but I haven’t forgot you. You are a significant part of my identity as a writer, and I fully intend to pour words on the page and paste them to this website.

Pinky Promise.

19 for 2019

Happy Monday!

I’m a bit late to the resolution & goal making party online, but I finally made a list ( I like lists). Inspired by the Happier Podcast of Liz Craft and Gretchen Rubin I picked 19 goals/ideas for 2019 and I picked a one word theme for the year.

My one word theme for the year is: Imagine ! Inspired of course by the question of all questions: what if? Just imagine… What if this year I …..( insert thing that makes you incredibly happy)

And, as one does, I gave it a prominent place in my shiny new bullet journal:

20190114_120243.jpg

Without further ado I give you my 19 for 2019. (Note to self and everybody like me: this list is not mandatory, it is supposed to bring joy and make you happier not miserable).

  1. Teach 8 year old to confidently ride the ‘BIG’ bike. (totally do-able)
  2. Make a new friend (scary thingy this one, but friends are fun, so I should give it a try)
  3. Get both my bikes fixed (easy one, just bring the things to the person who knows how they work, they fix them up, I’ll pay them for the effort).
  4. Add 3k to savings account and do not touch it (tricky, but worth a try).
  5. Make ALL the photo-albums
  6. Up Up social media game ( think twitter, insta, pinterest and website)
  7. Form a healthier drinking habit (maybe even not drink at all, don’t know yet.. have to figure this one out)
  8. FINISH NOVEL (type The End, imagine that)
  9. QUERY NOVEL (big ones these two)
  10. Start a tiny side hustle (because it sounds like a fun thing to do, and see goal number 3..)
  11. Able to gallop a horse (I started to learn horse riding last year, but fell a couple of times. I ride without saddle, so extra scary to gallop. But I really want to learn).
  12. Be a tourist in my home town. (the city I live in, Haarlem, is stunning and I should appreciate it more.)
  13. Go on adventures with son every other Wednesday (I’d love to have a tradition/ and who needs an excuse for adventures).
  14. Try to avoid talking ‘bad’ about people (well, because it’s not nice and I should stop it.)
  15. Tap more into love of music, go dancing, to festivals, sing, create Spotify albums.
  16. Start folding 1000 paper cranes (fascinating this one, isn’t it?)
  17. Pretty nails (my nails do not look pretty and they feel sad about it).
  18. Be confident in a bikini. (this does not mean losing weight, but just put the thing on and parade and whatever. Going to the beach should be fun, not stressful).
  19. Create a new family tradition (no clue yet, but the year’s still fresh).

I’ll check in with myself in a couple of months to see how I’m doing, but am really looking forward to these things 🙂

Now I’m going to browse the internet and look at other people’s list, because that’s fun.

Ciao!

If you pick one resolution, pick this one!

Focusing on the bad stuff, or punishing yourself for not accomplishing a goal is not going to improve your overall (mental) health or boost your happiness and creativity.

If you’re thinking along the lines of these examples:

-Restricting yourself to a 1000 calorie diet (that will get your body through half the day, what about the rest of all the hours..??)

-Read gazillion books (reading is fun, can be necessary, but should not feel like a thing that can burn you out).

– Stop being depressed (a mental illness is not something you switch on and off)

-Become a millionaire (good luck..)

Then let me give you some unsolicited advice. STOP IT.

If you’re going to make a new year’s resolution let it be this one:

Try (& Repeat).

Let 2019 be the year we all give ourselves a break.

(official goal post for 2019 will follow, but I had to get this off my chest)

🙂

Eat Dessert First

I started writing my Draft That Must Not Be Named with this quote by Ernestine Ulmer in mind.

“Life’s uncertain …

eat dessert first.”

It hits the core of my story because:

  1. My MC has an uncertain life
  2. Her family has a restaurant that only serves desserts
  3. It tells me what I need to hear (over and over again)

I’ve always known I was a writer. I have been writing stories since I was four and never really stopped. I strayed away sometimes but always returned to putting words on paper.

So Irene (yes talking to myself here) why am I waiting to really pursue this goal?

To be honest: a part of me is afraid to fail. More honest: I’m trying to trick myself to not be me.

Which is stupid and crazy, but true. Maybe I’m trying to protect myself, or others, but I’ve come to the conclusion that I can’t outrun myself.

So where am I?

I’m at a point in my life where I can face myself and no longer pursue time-consuming things that prevent me from writing. I have a job I like, a job that gives me the freedom to balance my life. Writing is going well. Editing is going well, my draft is turning into a story, it’s fast paced, surprises me at times and is really NOT BAD.

I guess it’s time to stand still, examine my surroundings with a fresh eye and eat dessert.