J is for Jared #AtoZChallenge

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I know what you’re thinking. “She could have picked a more writerly-centered topic for J—like anything writing-related.” You’re both right and wrong.

This post is about the people who love us, encourage us, and hold us accountable.

I love Jared more than anything. We’ve been together just over a year, and he’s been an absolute freight train of encouragement for me. When we first started dating, he stalked every possible corner and crevice of social media for what I might be like as a person, and discovered my (then intermittent) writing on Goggles & Lace.

Being creative is cool, but, let’s face it, some of us are a little less than motivated when we’re feeling inadequate. If you’re like me, the more you have to do, the less likely you are to do it, and you just sort of pill-bug into blanket burrito and binge watch something you have tepid feelings about on Netflix for 77 hours. It’s not pretty, but that’s real life. I’m all about the bloggers and creatives that are all “PRODUCTIVITY AND CONQUEST!” Hell yes. I totally agree! Productivity and conquest… hypothetically. I want to be productive, and that’s a fact. I want to be able to power through novel after novel and edit a thousand things before lunch, but you know what? Depression and inadequacy are intensely real feelings, and sometimes it’s just hard to push past them.

In my last post, I talked about investing time and love into the things and people that mean the most to you. That’s still true. I mean that with every fiber of myself. Make those people feel loved and valued, especially if they reciprocate. It’s easy to drain yourself on people who don’t give a flying monkey fart whether you fail or succeed. Hell, I even have a few friends who are like, “Oh, damn. That’s too bad,” but are definitely feeling a little victorious over my failures. Whatever. You can’t make those people your priority.

Jared came to me at a time in my life when I was considering giving up. I tried to restart Goggles & Lace and move my career forward, but I didn’t have the emotional capacity to invest that love in my work.

And you know what?

Sometimes I’m just lazy.

There. I said it. I’m sometimes just like, “I want to eat mac & cheese straight out of the pot while not wearing any pants and watch Young Justice for the fortieth time.” (Also, when I say “sometimes,” I really mean “usually.”)

We all need someone to help us combat that feeling. There are great benefits to having that one person look at your writing and call you out on things! Seriously, I encourage you to sit down and make a list of things that your person is great about when it comes to your creative ventures. Then I encourage you to give them that list in some form or other. Here’s mine, for example:

  • Jared calls me out on my bullshizzle science. Science and math are his things, so when I’m writing science fiction and something doesn’t mesh, I definitely hear about it. I can ask things like “I need a sustainable off-the-grid energy source” and he can list me options and tell me how they work. I love it. It gives me jumping off points for further research.
  • He says things like, “So, how’s Amity Dawn coming?” because he knows when I’m not writing and it shames me into getting my butt into gear.
  • Jared is a reader, not a writer, so if I ask advice, I won’t get it the way he would write it. He tells me what he’d like strictly as a reader. I love it.
  • When I get into a really great writing groove, when I’m done, he wants to hear about it. He treats me like my writing matters, and you have no idea how much that helps. Even if he’s never read it.
  • “I need a bigger space for planning,” led to him securing me a 24×36 inch whiteboard for our wall.
  • He’s BUILDING ME A COMPUTER so I can do creative things, work, and… you know… also play games. The laptop is great, but it’s not a practical work space for me anymore, and he recognized that. He’s a godsend.

The bottom line is, it’s important to have someone who understands your needs, period. As a writer or artist, those needs are just a bit more niche than they might be if you were doing something else. Praise the people who care enough about you to treat you like your work matters.

Battle on. ❤

A is for Amity Dawn #AtoZChallenge

Funny story. I’ve been crazy sick for about a week and a half now, and haven’t actually managed to get a damn spot of writing done in that time. It’s put me behind in Camp NaNoWriMo and in the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge. I’ve had little time and mental capacity to prepare for either, so here is a quick shot into Day 1 of the writing challenge.

A is for Amity Dawn.

This novel is one I’ve been working on for years now. I started it before I started going back to school and before I accepted a full-time position with OfficeMax, and, because of those life-improving hindrances, I’ve gotten a whole shitload of nothing done. Amity Dawn has been on the back burner for so long, it’s nauseating, and­­­ I’m ready to wrap it up.

This is where Camp NaNoWriMo comes in. I’ve never won a Camp event. I’ve been participating steadily since Camp began, but it just doesn’t have the competitive edge that the core NaNoWriMo event has. It feels less imperative to win. Then again, I’m probably just lacking any sort of self-discipline. I need to buckle down. I now have beta-readers on a chapter-by-chapter basis, and Boyfriend, light of my life, likes to poke at me to see that I’m meeting quota. He’s a doll.

All in all, though, with Amity Dawn as my biggest project to date, I think I could use that poking. From him, from my betas, from anyone who wants to give it. At least until I can fall into the groove of writing habitually again. I’ve come a bit off track.

This post isn’t structured. It’s not about keeping on topic or on task, but about coming back to something I love. A love that writing for a degree and writing for other people has pulled me away from. Well, not anymore.

Amity Dawn follows a strong female lead with problems that pull her off track and try to take her away from what’s important. It’s something I’m identifying with more and more. I’ve found her relationship with the double-agent and I’ve touched her emotional turmoil with the political climate. I’ve even found the good in her that she didn’t think existed anymore—or at all. I’ve found a deeper vein of humanity in my main character than I expected even existed, and now I think I’m ready.

Out of the whole mess of being sick this week and the last two years of “I’m too busy to really love anything,” I think I’ve been given what I need to complete this project in a satisfactory way. At least, in a way that I can mold into something greater.

Battle on! ❤