March 7, 2018

IWSG - when you don't meet your goals

the question for this month is: How do you celebrate when you achieve a writing goal/ finish a story?

i'm going to turn that around and ask: "How do you treat yourself when you haven't achieved your writing goals or finished a story?"

i started working on my sequel in 2009. i expected to have it published in 2011 (when i re-formatted my book in 2010, i even put a teaser prologue in the back and said, "Coming in 2011." ouch.)

9 years later and guess what? i have 5 drafts. i don't even want to count how many words that is. i've talked on this blog numerous times how i want to get it done. how i'm GOING TO GET IT DONE! i've tried to motivate myself any way i could possibly think of.

it still isn't done. i have NO IDEA when i'll finish.

i haven't handled it well.

a lot of things have come up in those 9 years. we moved Phoenix, Arizona to Montana. i was depressed for several years after i got here. i've had health problems. i had a surgery in August and it took a lot longer than expected to recover. now i'm doing physical therapy. in the midst of all this there are errands to run, appointments to get to, kids to educate, and life to live.

if any of my friends were to relate that story to me, i would have the utmost compassion for them. i would encourage them. i WOULD NOT get on their case about it. but that's what i do to myself. i've been that way for a long time.

it's time to stop. i'm not going to get the book done by acting like a drill sergeant towards myself. i need to be kind and compassionate with myself. i need to celebrate that i made it through all those difficulties and i'm still showing up to live on most days.

and maybe i need some chocolate. it's been a long time since i had chocolate.

to read more IWSG posts, click on the black and orange badge on the right-hand side of my blog, just underneath my Snoopy cartoon.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Removing that pressure just might be what you need. I've not completed a novel in several years either. But we can't beat ourselves up over it.

Cathy said...

My life has had some hefty stressors in the past few years, as well, so I'm somewhere along a similar continuum with you. I've never had anything published, yet I've written about a dozen novels over the years. The revision I'm working on now is for a book I wrote in 2008. I wrote another book after that. Both books were rejected by publishers.

I consider it a reward to simply sit down and write these days. I don't think rewards such as a piece of chocolate or a glass of wine would serve to further motivate me, or feel like a pat on the back.

It's a pat on the back to rise from my desk after a writing session and realize I actually carved out time to write that day. Finishing a day's writing is the same as finishing an important goal to me.

Natalie Aguirre said...

I can totally relate. I've had many life changes and challenges throughout the years working, raising my daughter, and taking care of my late husband. Now my mom is moving to independent living here from Florida. It never ends and it interferes with writing. I can't be stressed about it either.

Susan Kane said...

We made a huge change in the past year and half. Moving to a retirement community from our home of 27 years was a monumental experience.

Depression depended as we disposed of things that we had held onto for years. Saying good-bye to that place and moving here was exhausting.

Don't beat yourself up. Writing is still waiting and will until you are ready.

Susan Kane said...

Boy, hear the frustration! Your voice sure speaks it.

Health issues lay one low, and sounds like you have had your share.