Learning to Enjoy the Writing Roller Coaster

It’s confession time here at PLC again, and let’s just say August was a bit of a roller coaster month.

Up and down the track I traveled in my little roller coaster car. I won’t bore you with the details; but essentially, it was a month of good news and then bad news. Awesome writing sessions and story rejections. Uplifting times with good friends followed by damaging time spent with toxic friends. Encouragement and then feeding-frenzy critique sessions. Up and down and up and down. All month long.

The cumulative effect of the ups and downs left me reeling. I decided it was probably time to get off the roller coaster.

And I did. For a couple of days. During those days, I realized I’d been functioning and reacting from my ego. And egos are snivelous things, easily bruised.

So I went to work on myself, getting back to who I am and who I want to be. I reread The War of Art, read articles like this, and I had tea with my writing guru, Jim Sallis.

“I have an ego,” I said.

“Of course you do,” he said. “You’re a writer.”

Oh.

“You need to have an ego to do what a writer does. But you have to control it, instead of letting it control you,” he said. Then he encouraged me to release any notion that I need to be in a hurry, that I have to keep up with the writing Joneses; and he pointed out that maybe my time isn’t best spent with people who compare my progress to others or who belittle me or my writing.

Ah. Yes. OK.

So I got back in my little roller coaster car and I’ve started this new month by doing something for other writers.

This morning I published the first issue of Liminal. It features the fiction and poetry of teens aged 13 to 19, from all over the world. I hope you’ll check out the work of these talented young writers.

And if you know any teens who write or are artistic, please encourage them to send in their work. I’m reading through submissions now for the second issue.

This coming weekend is Labor Day weekend. Normally, I’d participate in the 3 Day Novel. Instead, I’m using the time to work on my current novel. I’ll be finishing up some chapters and taking a good long look at the plot structure.

The rest of the month, I’m planning to write every day, continue to send out my short stories, and figure out how to live each day from my creative self and not my ego.

I learned some good lessons last month. Lessons I hope I don’t have to review this month. But even if I do, I’ll remind myself that being on the roller coaster is part of life, and can even be what makes life interesting. Enjoyable. Like that clip from Parenthood, remember?

See ya on the tracks.

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