Okay, so I'm trying to see what I can do with this. In the first week, the two primary tasks are set out: the Artist's Date and Morning Pages. Okay, I kind of get these. The Artist's Date is taking a set time each week to do something that nurtures your inner artist. Trouble is, some of the things she suggests don't interest me much (and she does say this should feel more indulgent than like a duty). Other things I already do. I don't need to take my inner artist for a walk on the beach, because I've probably already taken it (along with all the rest of me) for a run on the beach. I'm thinking that my exercise obsession (especially the strong outdoor component) is keeping me more on track this way. So this one, maybe I find something that makes sense for me, maybe not. Working out or working in my garden restores me pretty well.
Morning Pages. Meant to be three pages of free-writing every morning, sort of a core-dump to get everything out and both clear the head and (I think) prime the pump for writing. Okay, this one is looking good for me. But after a little experimentation, I think it's going to be Evening Pages. See, the biggest issue I have in this area is not starting the day with too many things on my mind, but ending it that way. Then thinking about them instead of sleeping. So clearing the head, clearing the slate, getting it out (and maybe making a list for the next day) might help me sleep. And that would certainly help my creativity.
Now I look at Week One, and the big thing here is Affirmations. You know, say good things about yourself, and then listen to, the negative voices in your head--what she calls "blurts." Then crush them.
Here's where it gets really tricky. Okay, I can't really say "I am a brilliant writer," because that would be pretentious and patently untrue (I know of only a handful of writers I consider "brilliant"). But I can say that I am a darned good writer who writes some good reading. And I'm not hearing much in the way of blurts. Oh, there's the "so why aren't you selling more?" kind of thing. But the answer to that so clearly has nothing to do with me as a writing. Yeah, I suck at marketing. Lot to learn there. But writing? I'm on it. I don't mean to imply that I know everything there is to know about writing, just that I'm doing it, and learning every day.
So what the heck is wrong with me? Why am I not an insecure writer? And will it last? Don't get me wrong--I have days when I can't sit down and write, days when I look at what I have written and groan. But somewhere in the last year or two things have changed. I'm not groaning "God, I suck as a writer, why am I even trying?" I'm just groaning because editing is my least favorite part of the job and there's a lot to do. But more and more I'm looking at my stuff and saying, "yeah, I can do this. I sat down and wrote my obligatory crappy first draft [thank you Anne Lamott] and now I know how to get to work on making it good."
And more often than not, that's what I do. And that's why I probably won't go on with the program, though I'm going to read at least one more week's worth. Feels like jinxing myself when all is going well.
Please don't hate me for it.
Meanwhile, I'm looking at the usual summer impediments: the kids are or soon will be out of school (one of each), which means I lose my solitary mornings for writing. Plus, lots of vacation. Okay, I don't mind about that. But my challenge this summer is to keep working. Just that: keep writing, finish the edits on Return to Skunk Corners, and put out that short story each week, at least. At the same time as I figure out ways to get those teens out of the house (between vacation trips). If I do all that, I'll be patting myself on the back.
************A Is For Alpine is here! The paperback is now available at Amazon, or order directly from me (use the "Contact me" page) for $8, shipping to US included.