Well, I finally did it. Between the packing and insomnia and just general blahs, I’ve hurt my back. When I twist it funny, I usually turn introspective and think about what I should be, could be and want to be doing. Anything other than the pain.
But writing can be a painful experience not unlike a back ache and it makes me wonder why so many people continue if it is that painful. Sure, getting the voices out of your head and on screen or paper is the best way to come to grips with the writer in you but if it’s downright painful…nah…I don’t get it.
Yeah, I get the part that the plot needs to be just so and that the grammar Nazis might be out to get you. Yes, you want everything perfect but at what price? Yes, writing is my life but my life is rich and full and so much more than I ever expected when I was twelve and started on this journey. I’ve also learned nothing is perfect as perfection is an illusion slung by those who feel they are perfect. Pity them as they miss out on so much with their search and illusion of perfection. I repeat, nothing is perfect. Right now, the height of perfection to me is getting the words down on that screen during this chaotic period in my life. Editing will come later. Submission will come later as will publication.
So no, I don’t see these down times as bad per se but more enlightening. If I’m not writing or sitting in my chair every waking moment, I’m studying through a variety of online classes, movies and TV series. With my current back ache, I can’t stand to be in bed too long as it makes my back hurt more but I can’t walk much either. There are some times when I can’t sit up for long periods and all I can do is be in bed. I’m happy that this time I’m up more than I’m down.
The one thing I can’t control however is my wandering mind. Pain does that to me and the main thing it hurts is my focus. And in writing, focus is everything. One must focus on their story in order to get it down and as correct as possible. One must love their story and nurture it from cradle to grave and beyond. It is why writers’ write.
When focus is just beyond my reach, I don’t let my mind flounder and figure out ways to make me miserable, yes writers have that wonderful knack for doing just that. I find ways to expand my mind. And like many writers, I binge on TV series. For the last few months, whenever I’ve had insomnia, I watched NCIS from the start to the current season.
And all I can say is wow. Wow because I can’t believe I missed an awesome series all these years but watching those character arcs as well as the storylines themselves is a chance to learn about characterization. The setting is pretty much the same and there are very few episodes when it comes into play. When it does, it changes the whole schematic of the series but I digress.
Watching the characters’ grow is something I can’t always get from a writing craft book as I’m a visual person. See things on the screen and suddenly, I get some portion of character building that I didn’t get before. It helps me on so many different levels as my books are all about the characters. Sure setting and plot are there too but they all enhance the characters. Having character driven plots is brought home in a weekly series. Alas, now I have to find another series I can learn something from to watch.
I forgot my love of TV being here in Europe for the past 5 years. My husband could never understand why I liked to watch TV and while here, I got why he didn’t so even though we have cable, it’s rarely watched and just part of my internet package. However, over here, I realized that by not watching TV, I’m not as creative as I once was and that bums me out horribly. I think I’ve always known that as I love to go to the movies, have a DVR night at home with my youngest who’s an actor and all those things that stimulated me.
I’ve always said that you can find an idea anywhere and it’s so very true. I still can take a walk, come back and write down at least three to five ideas for a story. Years ago, I would have taken at least half of them to develop. Now, I’m lucky if I find one that makes me see the story when it takes me. And it’s all because I haven’t been poked and prodded through outside stimuli as before.
If nothing else, that is what I’m looking forward to…a rousing time with my writer friends, family and more…as well as being back fully on the writer’s train. Imperfections and all. And I’ll remember this year, it will be all about me and my writing. See you all next week. Until then…