But I will make it up to you! Stan's a year old, so I'm a knowledgeable and seasoned blogger by now (right???) and have much smarts and wow words to bring to you.
I don't do monthly wrap ups (Is that a thing you guys would like me to do? If so, please shout out in the comments cause I've been pondering it.) and since I don't do them, I don't have a reason to tell you about my writing accomplishments / updates / etc.
Right now I'm nearing the end of draft 2 of The Thief's Conspiracy which ... has been quite an adventure. My word count has already gone up 30k words since the last draft which I AM NOT HAPPY ABOUT. But more edits will come, and that's okay.
Once I finish this draft (which I'm going to do this month - I AM.) I will then tackle edits on my wee little nano novel, The Dream Walkers, which I miss dearly and have not touched since November. *shudders to think what might wait for me* Right now, it sits fondly in the back of my mind, enticing me to come and flip through its pages that burst with beauty and creativity.
At least, that's what it's claiming. *squints* I'm not sure how accurate that is. Probably ... not.
Any-who. So I'm at all these stages in these two different projects, and they both hold a huge place in my heart. And it's great! I've been making so much progress lately.
But here's the thing.
I find often myself unhappy with where I am.
I'm one of those kids that grew up wanting to be older. When I was eight I distinctly remember longing to be eighteen so I could go to the moon and fly (cause, obviously, that was the first thing I would do when I became an adult). And even as I got older, I wanted to grow older still. When I was in second grade I wanted to be in third grade so I could be in the special class at church that everyone raved about. When I was in third grade, I wanted to be in fourth grade so I could go to the special summer camp everyone raved about. And in all those grades, I wanted to be in sixth grade so I could do stuff with my church's youth group. And then when I was in middle school I wanted to be in high school so I could go to the special high school age stuff and be cool and one of the "older kids" and drive.
I was never satisfied. I was never happy with where I was.
And don't get me wrong. It's not like I had a miserable childhood. It was wonderful, getting to grow and do all those things.
But looking back ... I just wished I had taken some time to slow down and appreciate where I was in life.
Cause you're only there once.
You're only nine years old for a year, and then it's gone.
You're only in middle school for three years.
You're only in high school for four.
Life goes so quickly. And each step is new and exciting and beautiful. And even now, I long for the excitement and freedom and newness of college, which is only next year *screams in excitement and horror*
How does this relate to writing?
Well, I found myself doing the exact same thing with writing. Right now, it's the beta readers that are really calling my name.
"You have to whip this book into shape so you can GIVE IT TO ALLLL DA PEOPLE." And while yes, I really want to do that, and yes it's a GREAT thing ... I need to slow down. Because right now, I'm feeling bad about myself. When you are constantly focusing on where you want to be, you forget where you are and where you've been. You forget how much you've already done, and you focus on all the things you have yet to do and experience.
And that makes for feeling like a failure.
So please, I beg you, join me in this new mindset. YES, keep striving for that next step. But remember that writing (and life) is all about growth. And it is completely unfair to mentally beat yourself up over not reaching a place in your writing before you're ready. I have not gone through multiple drafts of TC. So I do not need to beat myself up about not having sent it off to betas yet.
That will come in time.
But first, I have to finish this draft. And the next one, and probably another one.
And I am going to let go of the shame of not moving faster and enjoy doing this writing thing. I'm going to enjoy each and every step of this process, and make it all count and matter. When I go to my little nano book, I'm going to have to remember that it's a first draft and really small and little and it will need lots of work because that's just my process. Good art takes time.
Let go of the pressure, the expectations to whip out books and give them to people. Look at where you are in your writing right. now. and admire it. Find something you love about this particular step. Being in the second draft, I love how I'm making the book better, but I'm still at an early enough stage where I can let go of some problems and fix them later. I won't have that luxury as much next draft.
Enjoy every step, of writing and of life. Because who knows? We aren't guaranteed another. So why spend any of those precious steps in shame and misery?
Smile. Breathe. Relax.
Enjoy writing. Enjoy life.
Do you struggle with longing to be further than you are? (have fun working out my wordage) What are some perks to the step in writing you're in right now?