Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Insecure Writer's Support Group- June

On my gosh- it's the first Wednesday of June already?!?  What the heck?  Well, I guess that means it's time to post our insecurities, offer support and encouragement, and generally connect with all the fine folks in this great group.  My thanks, as always, to our creator and bestest-guy-ever, Alex J. Cavanaugh and equal gratitude to this month's co-hosts C. Lee McKenzie, Tracy Jo, Melanie Schulz, and LG Keltner!

Ok, confession time:  I'm not writing.  At all.  And haven't been for a LONG time.  Such a long time, in fact, that I feel as though I shouldn't even be considering myself a member of the Insecure Writer's Support Group.  I mean, I can offer general support, but can I offer expertise?  Can I relate to writing struggles?  Can I offer concrete suggestions from my own experience?  Nope, sure can't.  And if being a writer is defined by the act of writing then I am definitely not a writer.  Whew.  It honestly does feel a tiny bit better to get that out.

To make matters worse, I'm not really reading, either.  I'm not blogging, I'm barely even keeping up with commenting on all the wonderful things you all are posting (as evidenced by the fact that most of you hear from me once in a blue moon).  It's not good, to say the least.

Now, normally I would be (and would have been, for some time now) indulging in the most devastating and just plain evil self-criticism imaginable, punishing myself mercilessly for not doing what I know I need to do.  But I'm not.  Why?  Because I'm pushing myself in other ways.

Since January I've been talking more and more about my upcoming 3rd Dan (3rd degree black belt for anyone who didn't read my A to Z posts) test- how hard I'm training for it, how desperately I want to do really well on it, how much is involved in that preparation.  And towards that end I joined a gym back in January and have been going with some frequency (read: 5 days a week) since then, ramping up on the weight poundage, pushing myself further in reps and sweating like there's no damned tomorrow.  I've never been athletic, I've never been huge on physical fitness and I've never belonged to a gym before so when I tell you that I've been training harder for this test than I have for anything else I've ever done in my entire life you know I'm not lying.

Since the training is such a large time commitment, energy sucker and takes so much effort to force myself to do I've been reserving all of my mental drill-sargent accountability for that, not for writing.  Thus why I haven't written a single thing in so long I can't remember the last time.  I'm training every single day instead of writing every single day.

And in some ways I'm ok with that- especially now with the test only 16 (AAHHHHHH!) Days away- I know I need to give it literally everything I've got and I'm ok with leaving absolutely nothing left over for writing.  But I am concerned- writers write.  I'm not doing it, so I can't be it. 

It's not that I don't intend to return, certainly not.  I'm hoping to significantly cut back on my gym activity and subsequently leave more time in the day to-God forbid- WRITE.  But you guys are SO committed to writing, and I'm sure a lot of you juggle more activities than I and still manage to do it.  And I wonder, does this mean I'm not a writer anymore- at all- period?  Is it ok to take this long of a break, completely focus on something else so exclusively, and still consider myself a part of a community like this?  Or still consider myself a writer?  I'd love to know what you guys think.  Thanks for reading.

28 comments:

  1. You're still a writer! You just wrote a blog post, didn't you?
    Focus on that belt. It's important to you.
    And good luck!!

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    1. Not surprised that you're first to comment, and not surprised to get SO MUCH support from you- thanks. It means everything to me.

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  2. Offering general support and encouragement is awesome and appreciated!

    I'm exhausted just reading about what you're doing. :)

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    1. Thank you, Madeline- you've got mine!

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  3. You're still a writer in my eyes :)
    Until recently, I hadn't written properly since last November. Sure, I did the A to Z, and I've been blogging, but I hadn't touched my NaNo novel, or anything else, in all that time. I just recently started working on it again, and it feels great. I think the break did me some good, anyway. You'll get back into it when you have a little more time :)

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    1. Thanks for believing in me, Laura!!

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  4. Sometimes life just gets in the way. This test is important to you, and honestly, I wish something else in my life could come close to my writing because I feel grossly lopsided most of the time. I do feel like we always make room for the things that are most important to us. That doesn't mean you don't like writing, of course, it's just probably more of a hobby and not as important as other things. And there is nothing wrong with that.

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    1. I guess it feels weird in such a dedicated group to admit that it's just a hobby. I mean, I guess karate is too, technically- I don't get paid for it, after all. But at the moment it's certainly my number 1, with writing at a distant 2nd. But that's not permanent, not by any means. Thanks Krystal!

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  5. Good luck! Sometimes we have to put writing on the backburner to achieve other things. I haven't been writing much lately either, but it's more for health reasons I'm in the process of figuring out.

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  6. Of course your still part of the group. If you weren't still a writer, you wouldn't care what we think. haha. You found something to focus on that's important to you, perhaps it will work help you focus better once you get back to it. Good luck.

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    1. Man, you guys are great. Seriously- I am so incredibly lucky to part of a such a supportive group!

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  7. taking a break is part of writing =) do well on your test! experiencing life is part of writing too! you're probably building up ideas!
    good luck! but i know you're prepared!

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  8. I think breaks are necessary and only you can say how long or short of a break you need. Writing will be there to go back to when you're ready. For now, concentrate on that test and good luck! Hey, you can chalk it all up to research for your writing. You're still a writer, just doing other non-writing things that are necessary for when you sit down to write. ;)

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    1. Man, is that a great way to look at it! Thanks!

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  9. When you do go back to writing, you'll be happy about it, Beverly and you'll have all sorts of ideas. You have to prioritize and do what you're comfortable with. Hope you enjoy the weekend.

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    1. I'm getting ideas right now about an amazing lady who wrote a wonderful story about a horse... ^_^ Thanks, Deanie!!

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  10. Don't stress.
    Imagine what will happen when you transfer all your martial arts experience over to your writing?
    A kick-ass heroine with a black belt? The story has endless possibilities...

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    1. Man, if I could translate it there'd be some seriously cool stories. Thanks, Michelle!!

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    1. Wow, what a great attitude- thanks Anna!!!

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  12. Writers started as 'storytellers'. In fact, I think the term came from those who *wrote down* their stories. But the stories are the important things, and as long as you are thinking of them and forming them, even in the silence of your own mind and heart, you are 'writing'. The typing (or writing longhand with a quill pen, by golly!) are useful, but the creativity is always there. ...and it will be there with you even as you give your all for that test.

    Diana Wilder

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    1. Wow, that was a gorgeous thought! Thank you, Diana!

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  13. Of course you're still a writer :)! Don't beat yourself up about taking a break - if anything, I think taking a break once in a while is good for your writing - it allows you to explore new things (both writerly and non-writerly!). Good luck with your test! You'll do great I'm sure :)

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  14. I'm totally wishing you the best on your test, but you are totally a writer. Look at this post and tell me it's not evidence. Seriously. Keep your chin up, Bev. You are rocktastic!

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Thank you for your comment! I will love it and hug it and pet it and call it George. Or, you know, just read and reply to it. But still- you rock!