Finding the Light

It’s been a good week, and a not-good week.

Bad news comes first, then things can start looking up. I’m not happy over the outcome of the USA presidential election. That’s all I’m going to say about that, though there are a plethora of things that could be said.

While I was VERY (extra emphasis goes here) grateful for that extra hour last weekend, the time change is killing me. Having the sun go down at 5pm is making me soooooooooooooooooo tired. I’ve been hovering around something zero-to-negative energy at night; even coming up with something besides toast for dinner makes me want to collapse on the couch. This lack of energy/motivation/creative juice leads to the following.

I’m crazy behind in my NaNoWriMo word count – like over 6500 words – and I am not enjoying my novel at all. There’s a little voice in my head that keeps telling me it’s worth saving, and I believe it, but ugh. Having that translate into time and words has been a massive struggle. This is probably the most difficult NaNo I’ve participated in since my first year (starkly contrasted by 2014 and 2015 where I finished ½ way through the month).

To top it off, I got my first rejection letter from a publisher.

But I can’t dwell on any of this, or it will drag me down into the oblivion of depression. Newton’s Third Law says, “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction”. Well, here are my opposite, if perhaps not exactly equal, reactions.

There’s nothing I can do directly about the new president of the USA (taking over the world doesn’t happen overnight, but I’m working on it), however I can speak up for the things I believe in, so they won’t be swept away completely. I can spread love, and reach out to those hurting. I can offer my spare bedroom to the refugee Americans who flee the country before the wall goes up.

As for the darkness, and lack of energy, I can watch the sunrise from my desk at work, and be thankful for the warm weather we’re having, making the transition easier. I can spend time on my deck in a t-shirt, even though we’re almost halfway through November.

There are so many amazing things about NaNoWriMo, even when you’re failing at it. There is such a supportive community online, who will give you encouragement, plot suggestions, and even a virtual hug when you need it. I’m not talking about people I actually know, but complete strangers in the forums, and in Facebook groups. I can celebrate other people’s wins, and enjoy the creativity that’s flowing, because ultimately, that’s what NaNo is about.

One rejection is not the end of the world, and let’s be honest, it’s going to happen, and probably more than once. I can let myself feel sad about it, but not let that sadness take root. I can use the feedback to improve future submissions. I can acknowledge that I’m much further ahead than I thought I would be a year ago at this time.

How will you push back?

“Sometimes you have to go through darkness to get to the light.” – Unknown

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The Other Side

I should probably start out with a lovely little introduction to myself, my goals, what I want to accomplish with this, but meh. I’m going right for the heart of why I’m doing this. This is attempt number…well, I’m not even sure what number I’m on now. In any case, this is yet another try to write my very first blog post. First it was going to be one of my new year’s resolutions, then one of my weekly writing goals, and finally part of my Camp NaNoWriMo portfolio. And every single time, it was a complete and utter fail.

Why does this matter? I love to write, I really do. I know, I know; the aforementioned desperation doesn’t really reconcile with that sentiment. I blame human nature. Or maybe it’s just my nature. Any time I start to make progress on something, my subconscious freaks out, and pulls a self-sabotaging act. “You’re excited about something, and it’s going well? That can’t continue! Something might change, and then you’d have to branch out into the unknown.” Terrifying thought really, the possibility of success. Obviously it will just fall in my lap, without any hard work, or dedication on my part. **insert eye roll here** Even now, I’m trying to avoid the temptation to jump on Facebook, or download some new music. Instead, I’m just going to keep typing away, and somehow get some words on the page. Disastrous or not, at least they’ll be there. Good things can arise from even the ugliest train wrecks.

In Paulo Cohello’s novella “The Alchemist”, the thing that hit me the hardest was the idea that when you are working towards what your heart desires, the whole universe conspires to help you. And it’s true. I’ve seen the evidence more often than not in my life. When you reach for something, that wish of your heart, momentum builds, and you get catapulted along the path you’re meant to be on. However, since we’re not all living the high life, things don’t always work out quite that simply. I can’t speak for the times where people’s lives get railroaded, just for my own. I’m like that bratty kid from when you were growing up, who lived down the street, and constantly tried to put that damn stick between your spokes every time you biked past him. Except I do it to myself as I’m biking. Because stupid. There’s no other way to explain.

I have to admit though, that I prefer writing fiction, than something like this. I suppose it goes back to the whole “fear” thing that underlies the rest of this post. It’s exposing so much of myself when I talk about what’s going on in my head. It’s hard for me to get excited about it. Terror gets in the way, making it hard to do this, creating an atmosphere that makes it damn near impossible to force myself to sit down and write. Throw in the fact that I really have no idea what I’m doing, or how to ‘properly’ write a blog just adds to the whole disaster.

By this point you’re probably asking yourself, why all the doom and gloom? If you’re really hating it so much, why persevere? The answer to that, my friend, is actually simple. How better to overcome fear than to try to face it? I’m trying to put myself out there, in that scary place we call the real world. It’s important for personal growth, platform building, reaching out to new people, and maybe, just maybe, attracting the attention of the universe.

“Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear” – George Addair