I Really, Really Want It…Don’t I?

Photo: supernaturalbotanicals.com

During one of my rare moments of attempted meditation, my mind was wandering to stuff like…I need to finish the day job so I can get back to editing the WIP, read and comment on blogs, cruise Facebook friends, blah, blah, blah…oh, and infuse extra caffeine tomorrow so I can double the workload so I can take the weekend off to write…

And in the midst of the chatter, a very nondescript face emerged in my mind and my brain chatter came to a screeching halt.

All this person said was, “Are you ready for this?  Are you really ready?”

I stared at the empty face.  Blink.  Blink.

“Because it will all change.  Are you ready to let things go?”

I knew he was referring to my intended writing success.  And my answer?  Hell yeah, I’m ready!  It’s what I’ve been working towards with this WIP for the last year, isn’t it?  But damn, if it isn’t taking forever!  There are so many things that are holding me up!

Let me back up here and give you an explanation.  I work about 70 hours a week typing medical reports, raise two boys, a dog, and a hamster.  I exercise, socialize a little, and write.  I’m disciplined and have my orderly (sort of) way of structuring my days so I can get it all in.  Most of the time my days go sideways, throwing off my already loosely organized schedule, or I become bored out of my mind with the day job and start cleaning out the refrigerator or hanging out on Amazon, looking through the vast selection of ebooks.  By the time 10:00 p.m. rolls around, I’m more tempted to lay down for just a wee bit, than I am to edit.

But I’d push myself and muddle through a handful of pages, call it a night, and promise myself and my dog to do better tomorrow.  Guess what?  Yeah, same deal for the rest of the week.

Some days are better than others WIP-wise, but certainly not where I want to be.  I really want this routine to change.  There’s never enough time! I whine really, really loud.

So there I sat, after being mentally slapped upside the head by some guy whose face I can’t even see, asking me a very real, very serious question.  I had to think about that one for a minute (that minute actually lasted all day).

Was I really ready?  I mean, I can see how things in my life would change when my novel starts selling.  I can see how my tidy little routine will need to be overhauled and restructured.  I can see how certain people would have to take a back seat due to time constraints or obligations.  I can even see a change in scenery would be possible.  Can I do that?  Can I put people and places on hold if the success of my novel demanded it?  My ego screams YES!  Hey, Subconscious!  Whaddya say?

No answer…or maybe its voice is too quiet for me to hear.

Photo: flickr.com by viZZZual

Was this my block?  I began to wonder if my explanation was my excuse for not moving forward faster.  On some deeper level am I uncomfortable with success?  Am I sabotaging my efforts because subconsciously I have an issue with stepping out of my comfort zone?

Though I talk out loud about my plans for success, the energy I’m putting out there may not hold that same intensity.  So I imagined success and what it meant for me.  I envisioned finishing my novel.  I visualized it being well-received.  And then there was that familiar feeling – the one that would ball up in my throat when, as a teenager, I’d sit at the top of the roller coaster tracks, just before the cars would take the big plunge.

Photo: throughthefencebaseball.com

Anticipation?  Excitement?  Fear?  Wishing all of a sudden I wasn’t sitting so high up?  Is that where my head has been at?  Am I going through the motions of writing when my intention was never to take the plunge?

Am I using the very same situation that I so desperately want to change as my excuse for not reaching the success I crave?

Sometimes it’s hard to tell which camp we’re in when insecurities/uncertainties run deep or are camouflaged as another emotion.  I could definitely see how my teeny quirk of being a control freak would lead me to hang on to my tried and true routine, instead of free falling into uncharted waters.  It’s safe in my little world, and though I claim to be a brave, strong person, there’s a new neighborhood I have yet to explore, one whose fence has been too high to look over, but one that I’ve managed a glimpse of through the knot holes.  Perhaps on some level I am unsure of myself.

Well, if that’s the case, I’ve got a lot of work to do, and I’m not talking typing medical reports.  Well, that too, but I’m talking about this major block.  If this is what is holding me up, and I’ve got a strong suspicion that it is, I’ve got me a sledge hammer and some determination, and I’m going to bust it to pieces.  Starting now.

ROW80, here I come.

How about you?  Do you think you have any blocks in any area of your life?  What do you do to overcome them?  I’d love to hear from you!

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About Diana Murdock

California-grown, writer of contemporary and YA paranormal with enough energy to write, raise two boys, run, and dream.

Posted on September 30, 2011, in Uncategorized, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 22 Comments.

  1. Ooooh man, do I know what you mean. I’m getting closer and closer to finishing the edits on my WIP . . . and the closer I get, the scarier it gets even as it gets more exciting. This is the first manuscript I haven’t trunked after a few months of editing. This is the first one I’m taking all the way to finished. And that means . . . *gulp* . . . querying, and taking a chance on putting my work out there for the whole world to see. Equal parts terrifying and exhilarating.

    I’m terrible at meditating, but I DO use energy work to help with the blocks. I’m a reiki master and have lots of friends who do reiki, pranic healing, and other forms of energy work.

    Two stones that are helping me continue to bring my creative ideas into the physical world are Garnet and Carnelian. I keep pieces of each at my writing desk and next to my bed, and sometimes I carry pieces in my pockets while I’m working.

    I also sometimes just use the power-through method–feel rotten, work anyway. Sometimes just sitting down and working on my WIP is enough to chase away the fear of finishing. Other times I have to run away and do something else. Hence all the knitting and embroidery.

    Well, I’ve basically written a novel on your blog now, so I’ll shut up and give someone else a chance to say something! Good luck smashing through that block! You can totally do it, because YOU are smart and pretty. 🙂

  2. *SIGH* I can so relate to this. If only Netflix streaming and hulu didn’t exist, I would get so much more done. It’s THEIR fault, damn it!!

  3. First – I so love this blog it’s not even funny. Damn you’re a good writer.

    Second – I think that the day you decided to write these first words on your manuscript, you knew you were ready to change your life. For better and for worse, but mostly for better.

    Writing is an adventure and like everything else in life, it requires adaptation. But – and I stress on the word but – nobody asked you to undertake that project of writing a novel. Of sharing with the world your deepest and darkest thoughts on a blog. Of tweeting with kindred spirits who undertook the same journey as you.

    YOU decided to take a leap of faith, and stopping midway, would be the biggest mistake.

    Of course, writing a novel is hard. It takes time, effort, and with a day job to deal with, it sometimes feels like you can’t finish what you started. But you will. We all will. Because we all have the dream to drop the day job and write all the time.

    I don’t socialize that much either. I’ve become a solitary soul since I undertook that journey. But I love it. It’s what makes me feel alive.

    I can’t wait to go on Amazon and click on your name to buy your book. So you better finish it. LOL

  4. I think the fear of the unknown is what’s held me back from even getting started for years. Am I good enough? Is this what I want? Will it work out? ETC! Instead of facing those fears and finding out, I’ve just been in limbo. Until about a year ago when I started blogging as my “entry” into my writing life. I think we all face our own personal demonds that can block us if we let them. But in acknowledging them and considering them, we also take much of their power away and free ourselves to move through them. Best of luck and…from my perspective…you are MORE than ready so give em’ hell!

  5. Umm, are you me? Really? I could have written this. Except I have two girls and one boy (well two boys if you count the “grown” one).

    I want success for my novel. I dream big and put forth a gigantic amount of effort to achieve that dream. But sometimes I slow down. Panic bells go off in my head. I ask, is this really me? Can I handle this? What if I sell lots of books and it’s still not enough for me to change? Then I’ll be working a job 50 miles from home, still raising three…er four kids, and writing in my imaginary spare time. But what’s worse…is I’ll be promoting AND writing in my imaginary spare time.

    But then I think, SO WHAT?! This is what I want. This is my dream. My passion. My goal. If it takes a year…or five to get things going before I can make my change then so be it.

    Keep writing. Don’t fear. Move forward. And by all means, drink a margarita when doubt kicks in. 😉

  6. I think I have some good news for you. I’ve found that when I recognize the block, when I admit that I have one, the universe starts helping me find ways around, under and through them. Listen for the clues, they’re probably already showing up, you just haven’t wanted or weren’t ready to see them. Keep looking for positive ways to find your way to your dreams and sometimes they’ll shock the heck out of you and rise up to meet you half way. You are brave and strong. If you weren’t you wouldn’t have these insights. Let us know how it goes…

  7. Wonderful post, Diana, and Kate MacNicol’s comment speaks volumes. Writing is a journey, and I can relate to much of what everyone said. The part that stood out to me was the 70 hours a week at your day job.

    I have no doubt that my own distaste of being controlled by the publishing industry factored in my earlier dread, but the possibilities in indie publishing have made that fear disappear. In it’s place is the huge responsibility to make sure the manuscript is great, getting good reviews prior to publishing, hiring a pro for the cover, and know how to market the book. But, grin, first I have to finish the WIP. So I’m off to write. Hugs.

  8. I so agree with Kate – if you contemplate on what’s holding you back you will have a better idea how to fight it. Sometimes it’s as simple as not wanting to let go – you might subconsciously want to keep writing your WIP because it’s your baby, thus not wanting to finish it equals not saying “goodbye”. But there is always another baby, right? Good luck, dear. You can do it and you WILL do it. Despite all the time restrains and the physical and emotional exertion you will pull through. One day you will look back with a huge grin on your face at all those times when you struggled and you will say, “I did it. I really really did it.” 🙂
    Hugs.

  9. Kate and Angela’s share echo my experience too. Often it seem that awareness is half the battle, and a willingness to change is the other half.

  10. Great post, Diana. You do speak for many of us. Writing isn’t a job– to a novelist– it’s a demand and it’s a hard taskmaster. It– the manuscript(WIP) demands our attention as much as a 3 year old child.

    At some point you (me) have to give in and leave the world behind to do for itself for a while.

    When I write a first draft and the questions of block or walls fall away as I entered my own world. The marketer in me must go on vacation, because I am not at home.

    After that I can enter all the things I have let go of and start the long process of making my manuscript into a novel. This is where many writers lose out. They cut corners and overlook errors in want of a book.

    I can’t wait for your book because you have the mindset to do it right! Don’t take up a hammer, just ask the man in your thoughts to will it away.

    Best of luck and make it something readers will enjoy. This I know you can do!

  11. Jillian Dodd - Glitter, Bliss and Perfect Chaos

    Writing is definitely a journey. The book I released this past May took me almost 8 years to finish. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to finish it. It was that I was afraid that I had spent all this time on something. Time away from my family, chores, etc and then it would fail. If it weren’t for my kids and husband pushing me, it would still probably be just a story on my computer. Your WIP is your baby. You nurture it, spend time with it, grow with it. Then you have to let it go out into the world. For me, that was the scariest part. What if people didn’t like it? What if no one read it? My husband told me that I needed to do it for our kids. To show them that when you set a goal for yourself, you need to fulfill it. That if you do that is what makes you successful. Not what other people think of it. Not if it sells. And he was right. I felt such accomplishment when I finally released it. I figured even if no one read it, I had that. And now, I feel so much more confident in myself. I still cringe a little when someone tells me they are reading it, and I keep thinking gosh, I hope they liked it. But then I think of when I see a movie. Everyone has opinions on whether or not it is good. Not everyone will agree. Although I got a review the other day that had me in tears. Good tears. And that makes all the self doubt worth it. Go for it. Don’t let yourself get in your way 🙂 Good luck!

  12. That soon-to-be quill is fluttering its feathers…. WRITE!

  13. I’m a control freak, so when I visualize what I want, it’s a certain way. I think the hardest thing for me to learn recently was that what I truly want can come in different forms. There isn’t just one road, and even detours can get you where you’re going. Distinguishing between a legitimate detour and a hiding place, however, is also a challenge.

    Yay for Row80! 😀

  14. Deep thoughts. Thank you. My routine of writing “morning pages” continues to un-block my mind, coupled with meditation and yoga. And since I get paid to write on command, I have no choice but to talk out loud to myself until the ideas begin to flow. Perhaps that’s why I live alone on this peaceful farm.

    I also use poetry to help unleash, ironically so.

    BTW, your other friends who post comments are brilliant! Such insight…

    Thank you for your continued writing and provoking. Thank you indeed.

  15. GREAT post, Diana.
    Realizing that you have a block, identifying it and pushing through it is the hardest part of the battle. Sounds like you have that well in control now. Good for you.
    You CAN do this. You WILL do this. Your book WILL be well received.
    Meditation sounds like a good thing for you. I’ve had a similar situation in yoga. those moments of reflection and quiet really help focus and center my mind.
    You got this girl.

  16. You are speakin’ my language, friend. I’ve been stuck on my wip for a while, and believe it or not, fear of success has been holding me back. I’m slowly getting the hang of ignoring that fear, and last night I had a major breakthrough. Here’s to finishing our wips and finding success! (and not running from it lol)

  17. Hi, Diana. The next time you hear me whining about my busy schedule, do me a favor and send me a tweet that reads, “Hey, buddy. Remember me?” I’ll know what it means and immediately shut up.
    Wow! Writers are insane, aren’t we? What did we complain about before we took up this endeavor? We write that book. Then we build a presence on the web and on the street. We exhaust ourselves doing it. Then we write another book and do it all over again.
    Crazy, I tell you.
    But oh how we love it… 😉

    Have a great week, okay?

    -Jimmy

  18. Trish Loye Elliott

    Great post… I see similarities between us and you’ve given me a lot to think about. I’ve been editing my WIP for eight months and I’m barely through a second draft. Gah. I can’t believe I’ve been working on it for so long. I think your post has helped me realize that I’ve got an issue (read fear) that I need to work on. Thanks for this.

  19. Seeing blocks for what they really are is tricky…but we become more skillful at identifying them once you have that realization. I overextend my time commitments – in every aspect of my life, and it’s exhausting. Pulling back, learning to say “no, I cannot attend/participate/join/assist” has been hard for me to learn.

    My “day job” is a huge time suck, the mother of all energy vampires. This last year my struggle has been to avoid working seven days a week while I vacillate between ending one career and beginning another. Until I take the final plunge and sever the safety cord – I just keep telling myself I can do, I can do it, I can do it ALL. I know it isn’t true, but that’s the only way to cope through each day and still squeeze in ten minutes to write, a minute to edit, an hour for critique.

    *laughing* I’m SUCH a whiner! lol

    Just jump. That’s my motto.

  20. I so enjoy reading your blogs Diana. If you bare your soul in your fiction, like you do on your blog, I am first in line to buy your book. You rock Diana, so Rock The ROW!!!

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