Happy Friday and happy March, everyone! Now that my least favorite month is behind us, I get to look forward to my least favorite season of the year: spring, aka the sniffling, sneezing, and itchy eyes season. While others will be basking in the fresh air, I’ll be keeping my windows shut and avoiding it. This is usually my most unproductive time of year, so instead of bitching about it, I’m changing things up.
The past couple of years have been absolute dumpster fires. I was thrown off my writing game, and the struggle has been beyond real at times. Now, I’m a control freak. I need to be working and I need to be productive. I can’t just sit on my ass and do nothing. If I’m not writing or creating, it frustrates the fuck out of me. I know I’m supposed to be kind to myself, but I’m not. I still kick my own ass. So this year, I’m changing the game up and getting back to basics. What are the basics? Grab your drinks and find out.
Back to Basics
A few weeks ago, I hit the proverbial wall. I just shut down. My writing stalled, my revisions stalled, and everything came to a stop. I was completely blocked. My usual methods weren’t working, and I was falling behind. I had a serious problem and I needed to get past it so I could make my deadlines. In order to do that, I needed to confront the reason behind my block.
I didn’t want to admit it, but I had burnt out. My energy had fizzled, and my creative well was drained. I’d been pushing myself hard during this pandemic shit show and I was tired. I was tired of the constant social media drama and gatekeeping. I was tired of the real-world drama. I was tired of sitting at home. I was tired of the gray skies and endless bitter cold. I was just exhausted and drained. I had lost control and that is a control freak’s worst nightmare. I needed to regain it. No one else is in the driver’s seat, besides me. I’m the one steering this damn ship.
Now, I can’t control Mother Nature. I can’t control the outside world, and I can’t control other people. But I can control other things, like social media. That was one of the first things I cut once I realized what was going on. I took a hiatus from Twitter and it’s helped tremendously. It not only freed up my time, but it restored some of that creative energy that had gone missing.
But the hiatus on its own wasn’t enough. It was just a scratch on a much deeper surface. A social media break wasn’t going to fix everything else, including this pandemic. I needed to find a way to deal with all the external shit I couldn’t control.
So, one day while I was organizing my notebooks, I stumbled upon one of my old freewriting journals from 2017. I opened it up and wow, what a mess. It was all jumbled thoughts, ramblings, and random story ideas. But as I read it, I realized what needed to change. 2017 was one of my best years creatively and productively. And it was because I had two healthy outlets to get me through the good and bad times. Journaling and meditation.
Journaling and Meditation
Journaling is just freewriting in a notebook for me. It’s just me spilling my thoughts down onto the page. I write whatever pops into my mind. Sometimes I’ll vent and air out my grievances on paper. Sometimes, I’ll write snippets and dialogue. Other times, I’ll jot down story or blog ideas. It doesn’t matter whether the words are coherent. It doesn’t matter whether they make sense. It’s just me spilling my thoughts freely without fear of judgment.
Journaling lets me get all the gunk out that’s clogging up my brain and taking up my creative space. It allows me to focus on my stories and the tasks I need to get done without all the extra shit weighing me down. It clears the path and allows my creativity to flow. I always free write before I’m ready to work on my WIPs. Right after I’m done journaling, I’ll go ahead and meditate.
I meditate daily for about ten minutes or so. I put on some calming music and let my mind drift and focus on the things that make me happy and calm. Sometimes, I’ll channel my characters, get inside their minds, and experience the world closely through their eyes. I’ll do this when I need some extra inspiration. Meditation always helps me feel relaxed and ready to take on the day.
I don’t know why I got away from doing these two little things. But I’m glad I implemented them back into my daily routine because it’s been a game-changer. The ideas are starting to pour out of me, and the words are starting to flow once more. I’m not back to a hundred percent yet, but I’m getting there.
I’ll be continuing my social media hiatus for the time being. The break away from all that negativity has been refreshing. I’d much rather focus my energy on my stories and my characters than all that drama.
It was a lesson learned. Sometimes you just gotta go back to basics, to doing the things that worked in the past to get back to the real you.
Daniel’s interview snippet has been posted. You can find it under the Extras tab. Just click on Character Interviews and his will be the last on the page. Luke’s interview snippet will be posted by the end of this month.
Nick’s playlist has been posted. If you want to see what songs I listen to when I channel one of my favorite characters, just head under the Extras tab and click on Songs. Karina’s playlist will be posted by the end of March or the beginning of April. So, keep your eyes peeled for that.
Nick’s character blog is up, feel free to give that a read. Karina’s character blog has also been posted. I decided to change things up this time around and share their versions of the Fire and Ice Gala. Both of their blogs are loosely based off a short side story I wrote a while back. Eventually, I’ll publish their short story, which has been written in third person limited POV, and not first. I haven’t decided when or how I’ll publish it, but I might include it as a freebie in a future newsletter once I get around to it. I’ll announce it on my site per usual.
Ryan’s character blog will be posted on Friday, March 26th, while my next writing life blog will be posted on Friday, April 9th. Stay tuned to my website for further updates. I’ll announce them on my blogs for now, but there will be an Announcements page coming soon where I’ll provide brief updates as needed. That’s all I have for you today. Happy St. Patrick’s Day for all those who celebrate. Stay safe and stay healthy.