Veronica Cline Barton
Get Out of the Weeds—Aim High & Give Thanks
I found myself being pulled deep into the writing weeds this week—-inspiration bipolarism, writer’s block the size of a skyscraper, criticizing attitude, and just a general sense of BLAH, YUCKO, well you get it. I was more than a bit dumbfounded as to how I got into this strangling writers weed hold—I was at the beach (loving the cool breezes). I had wonderful company (love you cousin). I ate glorious foods (coconut pie is no more). I tried reading, walking, shopping—nothing seemed to be helping me get into a writing mood. And then I remembered a quote from former first lady, Michelle Obama—“When they go low, we go high.” These words resonated with me a lot the past few days, pulling me out of the weeds of yuckism—and here’s why (I think)….
Sometimes we take on too much…
Yup, I’m guilty—I’m writing book 3, blogging, reading, Twittering, Facebooking, Instagramming, and oh by the way trying to be a good friend, reader, reviewer, citizen, and family member. When I lose my priorities, I get into a mental jam. I know this from 40+ years of working and life experience, I don’t know why I think things are different if I let myself lapse. I’m on a mission to complete my book this summer, that is a huge priority for me. I need to treat this priority with respect, and give it the attention it needs. There’s a time and place for everything, but when I take my eye off the ball and try and be all things to all, nothing gets done and I end up feeling bad and frustrated. So a schedule of events is now my friend—I don’t answer phones (leave a voicemail), I limit my social engagements, I’m limiting the TV time, and I leave social media to survive on its own when I’m writing. Schedules and routines are my new best friends.
Sometimes we go where we don’t belong…
There’s a lot of things going on in the world. Politics and social issues (I can’t even go there it’s so frustrating). Friends and family issues (I love you but sometimes you just have to let go). Gossip and backstabbing (you know who you are, I’m talking to you). No matter where you turn you can get mired down in situations and conversations where you just don’t belong. For me, I start to feel my skin crawl, and I just don’t like it. I don’t need to get into the negative drama of others, thank you. It’s not that I don’t sympathize or wish those who are suffering well, I’ve come to a time in my life where I set limits to what I get personally involved in or not. Others can think what they want or criticize me—the most important opinion I have is my opinion of myself. As long as Veronica is OK with Veronica’s actions and thoughts, I’m good.
Sometimes you just need a new approach…
Overthinking a subject often puts me to a complete standstill. I’m taking Mrs. Obama’s advise and aiming high, pulling myself out of the mental weeds that are inhibiting my writer’s mind. I’ve revised the outline and plot lines of book 3, stepping out of the previous details which had me locked in their grips, daring me to be free. Sometimes things just aren’t going to work out, and as a writer, you need to know when to let go of an idea, or ‘kill your darlings’ as Stephen King has said. I’m also trying some new writing and development techniques to help me grow and expand the world of my characters (more on this topic later). I’m in a different place than I was a year ago, before the first two books were published. I’ve learned a great deal, and for the third book, I’m going to go out on a few limbs. I’m also writing a short story that I will be sharing with you soon as a #giveaway. I’ve decided these new ideas and approaches are what give me inspiration, and keeps me fresh and having fun as a writer. When nothing goes right, turn left—trust me, it works.
And sometimes you just need to give thanks…
I am so grateful for the life I have. The family and friends, my health, my travels, my beloved cats, my new writing career. I need to pinch myself every now and then to make sure I say thank you, and how much I appreciate what I have been given. I truly believe I have been called to make a change and a good difference with what I do and say and write. A little gratitude goes a long way—and weeds hate it. Blessings to you and yours today, and watch out for those weeds 🙂 .
Crowns and Kisses,
P.S. Sometimes a little reminiscing is worth it—Paris is ALWAYS a good idea (pictures taken from the magnifique Eiffel Tower). Gemma would approve 🙂