Weekend Coffee Share: Growing and Rehashing

Hi there.

Good to see you. I’m sorry if I haven’t been as active on these posts. Sometimes, there’s not a whole lot going on in my life that’s worth talking about. But I’m glad you’re here. Today is an apple cider kind of day. I just finished doing some yard work. And man, it was cold this morning, which is what it’s supposed to feel like in the fall. So I’m going to have my apple cider while you take in whatever you want. I also have some eggnog if you want a different kind of creamer. We also have coconut creamer. That’s Colleen’s new go-to creamer. We have to buy at least two a trip because she goes through it like she goes through unsweetened tea. 

Anyway, glad to see you here. We’ve been busy with the kids, especially Jaxon. Last week, he started school. It’s kind of scary. We were so used to carrying him around with us while running errands. Now that he’s attending special education, the house just doesn’t feel the same. Even when we took him to school, there was something so surreal about it. It was only yesterday that we let the bus pick him up. We met the driver upon meeting his teacher and seeing his classroom. I felt I was going to cry for a moment. It was difficult watching someone else strap him in. And then when he left, I stood there, hoping he would be okay. I thought he would cry when I left the bus. But he sat there, quiet. I was happy, and yet, sad because he was growing. 

It’s only been a week since he started special education, so it’s really unfair to measure progress. Reading the teacher’s reports, though. I get a sense of confidence. It seems like Jaxon is adapting well to the new routine. But even then, they don’t do the same thing every day. That’s good. I guess the one thing I’m trying to learn about having an autistic child is that the definition of progress and success is much different. There are a lot of things we take for granted that are a legitimate struggle for someone like Jaxon. Like following directions (which some people still struggle with), finding ways to communicate wants and needs, using the potty (though he’scoring around). Stuff like that. It’s normal to us, but we have to work extra hard to teach him, and even then, he won’t get it right away. So we have to be patient and adapt ourselves to a different “standard.”

I try not to listen to the news very much. As important as some of these stories are, I feel like the media wants to solely focus on the negative. I don’t know if it’s a ratings thing or what. But there is a direct correlation between what’s going on now and the shape of our country today and how it affects future generations. Take the stories of sexual misconduct that seem to be piling up. Victims have been speaking out more since the Weinstein story broke loose. And with every day that passes, someone new is accused of sexually inappropriate behavior. The thing that concerns me more that I don’t think is being addressed is the lessons we’re teaching our children, especially our young men. I’m concerned about the message we’re sending to them when it comes to women. As a father of two young children, I have a responsibility to teach them respect for themselves and for other people. I also have a responsibility to teach them to defend themselves and not be afraid to speak up against any kind of abuse. 

NaNo is in full swing. It’s been ten days, and I’ve read tweets and Facebook status updates on their progress. While I’m not participating in NaNo, I made it a point to write every day to build that habit. Sad to say, I failed in that goal. And I have no one to blame but me. I’ve let myself get distracted by other things and haven’t made writing a priority. There was one day where I was so stressed, I couldn’t bring myself to continue writing a story I started. And even now, I’m thinking about scrapping it. It might have been the stress talking, or it might have been because I put too much pressure on myself to write a story by a certain time, based on advice I sought out. That never works out for me. In the end, I end up more miserable and unwilling to write anything. That’s something I’m trying to change. So for now, the story I started is on the shelf. But I started thinking of a new story in its place. But i’m taking my time because I want to make sure it’s a story I want to write. And I may incorporate elements of the last story into this one. We’ll see. 

Well, that’s it for today. I got to get dressed for work. Let me know how your week has been in the comments. Contrary to the belief, I do read them. I may not comment on the comments, but I want you to know that you are not being ignored.

So long for now. 

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4 thoughts on “Weekend Coffee Share: Growing and Rehashing

  1. Man, George, you have a lot going on.
    Don’t worry about not finishing the story. Save it for a later time and write something new, but keep trying to write every day, even if it’s just freewriting that doesn’t grow up to be anything. The Creator made you in His image. He’ll inspire You in His perfect time.

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  2. I’m sorry to hear you are struggling. If it makes you feel any better (and you may already know this) feeling like what you’ve written isn’t worth the metaphorical paper its written on is a natural part of the writing process. I have doubted every word I’ve ever written. I’ve doubted everything from the words to the concept. I’m currently working on a project I was over the moon excited to start. The idea planted itself in my brain slowly and the characters grew and I decided I would use Nano to begin to breathe life into the work, and I’ve doubted it every step of the way. One minute I’m inspired and even impressed by the story coming together and the next I think “this is worthless”. It’s what I’ve done with everything I’ve ever written. Writing is torture, it’s doubt and second thoughts and an unceasing self-beratement. But to have written, to have completed something that so many times you wanted to give up on. To see it come together, not in one draft but in multiple. To survive all the pain, I promise that’s worth it.

    We are only twelve days into this year’s competition and already I have had two days of no words, once because I was so sick I could barely move and once because I ran a half marathon followed by activities with the family and kids and fell asleep before I ever even got the chance to look at the computer, but I got to catch up. As daunting as it seemed, I stayed the course and I’m still plagued by doubt and numbness. The struggles of life balance and writing inspiration still haunt me, but I carry forward and that’s why I know you can, too. The fact that you want to means that it’s in you. You just have to let go of your fear and doubt. Let go of your judgement, the world will give you enough of it when you get something published. Just write, even if today you think it looks like trash, because you have no idea how it may look tomorrow. Best of luck!

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  3. Hey George,

    I started NaNo this year, and I am having trouble getting motivated to write the prescribed number of words each day. I’m writing, just not as much as I need to in order to get to 50,000 by Nov. 30. But I’m okay with that, because my goal wasn’t the 50,000 in 30 days anyway as much as it was to work on my novel every day. Sometimes that meant not working on the rough draft I started, but to add ideas to my Discovery notes or to research setting and add that information to my notes.

    I count all that as writing, so I’m meeting my daily writing goal regardless of how I actually attain it.

    I am one of those annoying people who insists on writing every day in order to make progress as well as to build our confidence (and identities) as writers. But I’ll be the first to admit there are days we simply cannot sit and write. I think if we can give ourselves “passes” and figure out how to make it up later, then we won’t be as down on ourselves.

    You have a full, rich life, which makes writing every day hard! I know you’ll figure out the best process for you, but in the meantime, don’t get too hung up on the non-writing days, especially if you’re hanging with the fam instead. That’s a perfect excuse to not be writing. 🙂

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  4. While you drink your cider I will dring me cinnamon herbal tea. Both are fantastic when the weather is chilly.

    I know how hard it is to let your child go, especially with the burden of autism. I wish all parents were like you and your wife. Some are so consumed by their own wants, they are actually gleeful to get rid of them for six or eight hours. I know this because my husband’s job is working with these autistic people.

    I set other goals for myself while the NaNoWriMo is going on but I already know I’m not going to reach them. Health issues have slowed me down to a crawl.

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