I had such plans for this weekend just gone. I didn’t do them on Saturday, but that’s ok. I told myself it was my day off and moved my plans to Sunday. But I didn’t do them Sunday either.
It started off well. I ended up procrastinating, but in a good way. Instead of writing my novel, I did a little research into agents. Then I closed it all down and stared at my manuscript. Then I followed an impulse, got up, went downstairs and ate some chocolate. When I sat back in front of my laptop, I wrote 100 words and then disappeared downstairs again to annoy my husband. Back up I went, a few more words and then back down to eat a yoghurt and flick through the TV channels. Finally, after annoying my husband a bit more, I returned upstairs and wrote 600 words.
Considering my daily word count goal is 500, I did rather well. However it normally takes me 15 minutes to write 500 words. Today it took an hour. And that’s not including the time I spent researching agents instead of writing.
In the midst of it I became angry at myself, self pity followed and then depression (hence the yoghurt – it should have been cake). What’s wrong with me? It’s the last week of January. By now I should be submitting short stories, I should be querying agents, I should have my next writing project nearly ready to share with the world, and instead I’m feeling sorry for myself on the sofa.
At least I’m getting exercise walking up and down the stairs so often.
As I pestered my husband yet again, I realised that I am my own worst enemy. There is nothing to hold me back. I have the short stories (which just need a bit of editing), I have the places to submit them to, I have the ideas and the drive and the passion. I have the novels, and I have the knowledge to complete them.
Weekends are always a struggle, and it was with that realisation that the problem solver inside me stepped in:
- Maybe I shouldn’t have writing ‘to do’ lists at the weekend. Maybe from now on my weekends should be for the daily word counts, spending time with my husband and relaxing.
- It’s time to re-organise. So I’ve fallen behind on a couple of projects. What’s done is done, now I need to give myself new deadlines and try to stick to those.
- Remember that I am in control of my own destiny. That means being professional but also doing what is right for me, whether that’s getting an agent and/or self publishing, or which genre I write, or what my word count is.
- Stop being jealous of everyone. Seriously, social media is a great thing but it also sucks. It’s far too easy to become jealous just from word of mouth or by walking into a bookshop. Now we also have to face people on social media bragging over their successes. But it doesn’t mean they’re happy with what they’ve got, and it doesn’t mean that everything’s going right for them. And, anyway, I could be doing what they do. I just need to…
- Be brave! C’mon, what’s the worst that could happen? I mean, really? …I could fail at everything I do… No! That won’t happen. Because I won’t let it happen. I just need to put myself out into the world and everything will be fine. I might even be pleasantly surprised. Just that one small step.
It’s nearly February. Time to stop faffing and start living! Starting this week.
Something other than this blog post resulted from this conversation with myself, I got the brilliant My Own Worst Enemy by Lit in my head…