Last week I needed to remind myself of this each and every day.
I needed to remind myself to have patience with myself and with the pace at which I will need to work toward my goals. At the beginning of this year, like everyone, I set my goals with a different kind of world in mind. Each time we’ve moved into a new month and a new phase of life, I’m reminded of just how different life is than what I thought it would be. The world is not the same it was at the beginning of 2020. That’s OK, and it’s not OK, and it’s Ok that it’s not OK. And it’s really, REALLY important to remember that last line specifically.
I talk about process frequently because process is what moves me forward no matter how I’m feeling, what’s going on around me, or where I’m struggling. It allows me to find space and time to rest and find motivation when I am stuck somewhere along the journey. Process reminds me of where I’ve been and where I’m going. Last week, process helped me remember where we’re all at versus where we all thought we’d be and that’s it’s all in the end going to be OK. On the days that I had not much fuel for anything at the end of the day last week, I rested. And on the one day I really wanted to get some work done, I leaned into my process and did the work. On that day, I let the expectation that I would free write go and focused on finding my way out of the corner I’d written myself into in chapter four of MS:SB. My favorite process for that is to step back from the chapter and start hand-writing questions about what I’m trying to accomplish in my journal. I ask myself things like why the character is here, should this character be speaking with this other character, who should really be moving this relationship forward, or what would happen if they didn’t do this thing. My answers lead me to imagine the possibilities for the future of the scene, and that leads me to what the writing should be. That process always works, maybe not the first time, but eventually it gets me to where I need to be.
This week I really need to sit down and realign my goals. Now that we’ve been through a full week of remote learning and I know how much is needed of me to support my Kindergartener and how much pre-algebra I want to learn to support my sixth-grader (oh math, how my brain is challenged by thee) I know just what I will have left at the end of the day for the goals I want to accomplish during this phase of life. Once I do realign my goals for at least this next quarter, I’ll be able to realign how my weeks will go. After taking some time this weekend to rest, we’re all ready to jump into the week.
What helps move you along the writing process when you’re feeling stuck in a scene or a chapter? What’s been your favorite way to relax during these stressful times? In case you haven’t been told today, you’re more than enough.