It’s Monday again – time for Coffee and Conversation.
When I was six, my family was driving on a highway late at night. Streaks of headlights and taillights painted the dark. For the first time, I realized that each car held people living lives as important to them as mine was to me.
I wanted to know what those lives were, and to share my own…
Hey there! Ever feel like you’ve maybe taken on a little too much, and as though you’re constantly juggling, in danger of losing track of something?
Yup, that’s where I am right now.
It wouldn’t maybe have been this way -except…
Isn’t there always an except?
Mine is that I spent more time sick during this long hard winter than I usually spend in an entire year. It slowed me down, muddled things up more often than I had hoped, had me scrambling to get back to the place where I thought I should be…
Kristen Lamb talked about this in her post today, and it struck a chord with me.
I’m scrambling, now.
In a little less than three hours, I’ll embark on two marathon writing challenges, and I’ll do another next month.
When I decided to do it, I thought it would be, if not a snap, at least doable. I could draft the A to Z posts ahead, reread the first of the WIPs I intend to complete this year, for CampNaNo -and I could get the house into a better state, and queue some blog posts so that there’d be no pressure while I explored a new project, and wrapped on one I’ve kept waiting longer than I intended.
Only, now there’s only a few hours before the challenge begins, and I’m typing this on one computer, with a novel draft on the other (my attempts to move the file having been thus far fumbling and non-productive- at one point, I even thought I lost it!). My first of 26 A to Z posts is still in revision and hundreds of words too long.
And blogging-well, I have a list of subjects to write about, but nothing written, nothing queued.
Beyond that -I have a family, and a house, and dishes, laundry, homeschooling, leaky roofs, car repairs, and all the other large and small details that make up a life…
So – am I going to give up? Or lock myself into my study, and write as though there’s nothing else in the world?
No, to both.
For one thing, my study is in a state of unlovely chaos. I began several projects designed to make it more embracing – and left them as other parts of life beckoned.
And, as I said, I have a family. I won’t be writing when someone who depends upon me needs a snuggle, a chat, or a canoodle. I won’t be letting clutter pile up three feet deep – at least, not everywhere at once!
For another – I chose these challenges because they feed something within me, and help me to focus on projects I want to explore, carry on, or wrap up. I choose them because there’s always things to learn in them, and because they feed my creative needs.
So…what’s a woman to do?
Well -I’m going to take a deep breath –
And do what I can, with the understanding that real people come before fictional ones, and that I may not get exactly where I wanted to go.
Will that make me a loser?
Because every word written, every idea explored, will be mine. It will be a commitment to my writing, and to myself. That’s something. If I don’t complete the challenges perfectly, I will still have made an effort, and I’ll have what I create – the words, and the experience of their creation.
And, in the times that I’m not writing, but engaged in a moment of living, the creation will still be happening, in the back of my mind, simmering away while I do other things. Even if the words and ideas come three months from now, they’ll be mine to develop.
And that’s why I’m doing them.
So, here we are. Less than two hours until the challenges begin. I’m finishing up this post, and working on setup, while I watch Castle.
This month of challenges will be what it will be; sometimes exhilarating, sometimes frustrating, sometimes exhausting.
Sometimes, I’ll be doing something completely different…
And, in 30 days, I’ll be on the other side, with things learned, and stories to tell…
How about you? Do you take on formal or informal challenges? Why or why not? If so, how do you approach them? Is it an all-or-nothing, pass-fail proposition? Or are you more interested in progress and growth, even if you don’t complete the challenge?
I’d love to hear what you think! I’ll see if I can find some fresh cups, and take break. Let’s chat!