Writing Hiatus

Last week, I posted about why I don’t meet deadlines. Specifically for this writing “contest” I entered. (Ironically, I met the goal about a week ahead of time. I felt bad, though, that I couldn’t send a completed story.)

Anyway, after I sent the scene, I decided to take a break from writing. This wasn’t a hare trigger decision. I thought about this a good few days, wrote about it in my journal. Long story short, I wasn’t enjoying the writing process. I wasn’t getting much satisfaction in writing. I felt creatively drained. Continue reading “Writing Hiatus”

Deadlines

Earlier this month, I commented on a 4am Writer post about writing something new. The piece would then be submitted and the winner earned a coaching session or a free copy of one of two writing handbooks. I signed up because I wanted a challenge. And I thought surely I could come up with something and submit it by the end of the month. Continue reading “Deadlines”

WNF: Will Not Finish

Everyone’s heard the old saying, “Don’t start what you can’t finish.” I think it’s a flawed philosophy, but one with a sliver of truth. Those who know me know I don’t like to leave anything hanging. Whether it’s in my writing, or when I’m prepping pizza dough, or when I’m activating a phone for a customer. I want to see a task all the way through, or at least reach a comfortable stopping point. But in my walk through life, I realized that finding resolution is not always possible. That you have to stop wherever you’re at and move on to something else. 

I’ve experienced these feelings with my writing over the past several months. Each of the following scenarios marked good intentions, but ultimately ended up on the shelf. 

Exhibit A: Earlier this year, I posted some goals I wanted to accomplish. One was posting a short story series. I had everything pretty much figured out. Then as I wrote them and telling others about it, I slowed down and eventually stopped. Bottom line, I wasn’t happy with how the stories turned out, so I scrapped the series. 

Exhibit B: A few weeks ago, I started writing a story that basically was a modernized version of a published work. I started typing it out, but didn’t feel right about it, but a week later, felt compelled to write a different story. So I abandoned the reboot. As it stands now, I’m trying to make time to get the new story into my laptop and into the hands of potential readers.

Exhibit C. Back in April, when a new bookstore opened, I bought Alice Walker’s “The Color Purple.” Four months later, I started reading it. A week into it, I’m thinking about selling it. It’s not as enjoyable, despite being an American Classic. It just doesn’t do it for me.

There are more examples. These are the most recent. Two concepts are prevalent in those scenarios. One, I lost the passion and enthusiasm I had for them in the beginning. The energy wasn’t there. Two, in the middle of the activities, I “found” something better. But I learned that can be a curse in that there can be so many unfinished projects that it’s hard to keep them straight. Now, this isn’t to say that I will never go back to them. Maybe they need time to marinate. Perhaps I need to look at them from a new perspective. But currently, I am making the decision to stop, move on to different projects.

In life, we all have choices to make. I decide whether to have a good day or not. I decide whether to eat healthy or not. And so on. Writing has its own set. And I have to listen to what my heart and head says what I should do with my writing. Ultimately, it’s my decision. And if that means I stop a certain project midway, so be it. 

Growing Up

There are some things that no matter how long or how much you prepare, you will never be ready. That’s the biggest takeaway I got from being a parent. This week, my daughter started public school. This is a big step for all of us. For her, it means being away from Mom and Dad for over six hours five days out of the week. For us, it means not hearing her make up stories of princesses frolicking with unicorns or giant bears. It’ll be quieter, which will be odd, even if it’s for a few hours. 

The decision to put her in school wasn’t easy. But we came to the agreement that this will be the best thing for her. She can get help with reading and math. She’ll meet new people and develop friendships that hopefully will last longer than time on the playground. There are a couple of concerns. The biggest is that she’ll be different. By that, I mean that she’s mixed–mother is Caucasian and I am African-American. Yes, it’s a cost we counted years ago when we discussed having children, but it doesn’t hit home until you see it yourself.

 

It’s one thing when your parents enroll you in school. You don’t see everything that entails. It’s a different animal altogether when you are said parent. We had to make sure her health records were up-to-date. The hundreds of dollars worth of school supplies and clothes. Deciding whether or not she’ll ride the bus, and learning what bus she’ll take and when to be at the bus stop. Budgeting for school meals. Meeting the teacher(s). Meeting the parents.

Saying that it’s overwhelming is an understatement. But those are the costs you count to ensure your child will grow into the adult you hope he or she will be. But it brings about a question. If I’m not ready for her to go to school, what other things will I not be prepared for? Driving? Boyfriends? Jobs? College? Marriage? Kids of her own? There’s a lot in which I will never be truly ready for? But I have to take it one day at a time, just like everything else.