Tag Archives: analysis paralysis

Just Wasting Time

On a scale of 1-10, I’d have to say these last few days have been floating around 5.  I got most things done.  I’ve also been so very easily distract-able that most any effort I’ve made seems small in comparison to the amount of effort I’ve spent in redirecting myself to get the things done.

And…  despite what I thought on Sunday, it wasn’t squirrels.

Some of it has been good-old self-discovery and analysis.  Good things really, and part of why my pittance of accomplishment doesn’t bother me all that much (because I really fell down on my ROW80 goals since Sunday!).

Yesterday while writing my 750 words entry (ended up 2.5K WOOT!), I glanced at the accumulated art supplies around my office and wondered why I never use them; or if I do, it’s for a quick “try this”… which usually ends in disappointment because I’m an obsessive perfectionist.

Which brings me back to the title…  I have a ton of art supplies I never use, I have a ton of stories I don’t show anyone…  I say I don’t like to cook, but the truth is these things flow from a fear of waste.

Art supplies are—I was always told—expensive.  Don’t waste them.  Use scrap paper to practice on.  What’s wrong with a #2 pencil or a ballpoint pen?  You want markers?  Here’s a pack of 36 colors for a dollar.  Never mind that most don’t work…

Apologies to my writing friends who've seen these

Apologies to my writing friends who’ve seen these but this IS that one page

It took me three years before I felt comfortable enough to make my first drawing in a sketchbook I’ve got in my supply bag.  Three years…  I’ve since drawn in it twice in six months, both pictures on the same piece of paper.

I’ve sketched things on a napkin (ruined in my purse two days later) and the backs of a few pieces of junk mail (some where in the house!).  But a dedicated, special for me place to hold my art?  Not really.

Poster paints and craft paper and years of sun-damage

Poster paint, craft paper and years of sun-damage

I have a paint set I opened the box of, looked at all the pieces and then set aside when I have time to take an art class so I can learn how to use the correct brushes and such.  Then there are the stacks of unopened canvases…  Despite this excess, I only allowed myself to use 99 cent bottles of poster paint and a 59 cent set of dried water-colors on craft paper since my son was born.  It’s not that I don’t like painting.  I don’t feel qualified to do it based on my limited grade-school art experiences, and I know I’d be wasting real supplies.

A real indulgence--a (THE) Paint and Sip project I did as part of a fundraiser for my son's school

A real indulgence–a (THE) Paint and Sip project I did as part of a fundraiser for my son’s school

And given the years when I would cook something I knew was past its expiration date or badly freezer burnt because I couldn’t bear to toss it (both my parents are avid volunteers at their local food pantry; my son has asked for a food donation to give to one of our local pantries for every birthday party he’s had since he was four….  I could not throw away food).  I wouldn’t make anyone else eat it; I accepted my punishment for forgetting it in the back of the freezer or the cupboard.

I spent two weeks cooking various apple and crab apple recipes--and ended up tossing jars of work because I was the only one to eat it

I spent two weeks cooking various apple and crabbie recipes–and ended up tossing jars of work because I was the only one to eat it

For a long time, I felt I couldn’t write for the same reason.  But…  unlike painting, which I enjoy but even feels like dabbling, or cooking, which can feel fulfilling as a hobby, a creative game to play when I need to stretch myself, I needed to write stories.   If I didn’t write something, I curled up on the couch hugging my knees and muttered to myself.*

This doesn’t mean I felt my writing was good.  Only that I needed to do it.  And yes, I have noticed some improvement with the years of practice.  I’ve noticed some deterioration though too.  This is one of the reasons I’ve set myself a goal to typing in old notebooks.  I don’t know what happened, and I’d like to understand it.  But for all that crappy writing from the past, my newer stuff feels like it has lost something.

I’m trying to understand it, and a lot of other things about the person I keep becoming.  That’s one of the reasons I keep coming back to the ROW80; it gives me writing and self-study…  and so far it’s a lot cheaper than therapy.

So, my check-in for today is to add another “goal”.  Or maybe a permission…

Yes, I give myself permission to mess up something.** 

I give myself permission to ruin something.  I even give myself permission to toss things.  I accept that I cannot hold onto everything. I accept that not everything I make will be good. I will ruin things, I will make mistakes… I will make beautiful things and I will make absolute shit.

I will just do it.

*Really.  Ask some of my former roommates if you don’t believe me.

**(Yeesh… my whole body shivered as I typed those words, my fingers felt twitchy, almost numb).

Peeking Around Corners

theater-curtains-green-velvet-left-trompe-l-oeiltheater-curtains-green-velvet-right-trompe-l-oeilI’m not usually one to put myself forward.  At least I never thought I was, but when I look around, I keep seeing ways that I have tried to step out and experience some of the World Stage in  some other capacity than as gopher and janitor.

This past week another writing challenge that I participate, JuNoWriMo, in has held an open ‘audition’ for featured authors to spotlight on the challenge’s blog.  I demurred at entering a post.  I mean, who the heck am I?  I’m not an ‘author’; often I hesitate to call myself a writer, even though I write (profusely).  So I almost let another year pass by without stepping forward with a post.

Oh, I toyed with the idea.  Last night, during our local NaNoWriMo group’s weekly write-in, I started plotting the post, answering the questions more as an exercise to get myself into thinking about my story in an all-inclusive sense than the multitude of blogs and snippets I’d visited yesterday for the Weekend Writing Warriors bloghop.  As much fun as I have participating, I find it’s hard to come home to my story after a day of bloghopping, and sometimes the near-thoughtless act of answering stock questions about my story and my writing helps me refocus.

Peek

And…  being asked to write a synopsis of my story is always a good challenge for me, because frankly, I suck at trying to winnow down all these characters and their emotional/physical traumas into a few impact laden sentences.

But today, because of a post by Shan Jeniah, I looked a bit closer at my  choice to even start that feature…  that post that I was writing because I just wanted to practice.  Or did I?  I thought again of some of my other online activities: my participation in writing blog hops such at the Weekend Writers and the WIPpet Wednesdays, about my creation of a First Friday Photo, about even my choice to be a sponsor in the ROW80, and so many other choices I’ve made in my life where I tried to step out into the spotlights for just a moment.  And I decided to take the plunge and try entering a post.

Stepping forward in this manner shouldn’t be as hard as it is  It’s staggering however.  As much as I stepped out and made a small place in those things I listed, the things weren’t about me, no more than the JuNoWriMo is about me.  This feature piece however is about me (well, as is this one you are reading in a different way); it’s about me saying “look at me; I do this, and I’m damned proud of it”.  As Shan notes in her post, most of us aren’t taught to speak for ourselves this way.

ROW80LogocopyBios of any kind trip me up.  I usually fall back of self-effacing humor and deflection.  The one paragraph blurb on my main blog has a picture I took and mentions furniture and unpacking but no mention of what I do.  It’s not even on an “About” page.

But I’m going to try to show myself a bit more this time.

And that, is what I’ve done since last week’s ROW80 check-in in addition to maintaining steady progress on most all of my goals.  I fell behind on my push-up goal somewhat in all the desk-time.

That’s it for me  today.  What new ways are you trying to grow and more deeply become who you are?

Please step in and visit and encourage other ROW80 participants via our linky.

Down… Down down

Doo bee doo bee down

Waa, waa waaa–ah!

Yeah…  Sorry about that (kinda).  Just feeling a bit punchy this evening…

WIPpet

Stepping right in after last week’s post: Pinnacle, let me give you 8 small paragraphs (6 for the month minus 14 for the year).  We’re still in Atyr’s head here as she deals with ‘Listii and his sudden reluctance with her.

Down…

Down she fell from that pinnacle alone. Once she recovered from the landing, rough as it had been, she opened her eyes and looked at him. He’d already moved away from her and was laying at her side, touching her with gentle hands only.

In her shock she hadn’t broken the contact she’d opened. She felt his regret and apology before his gaze met hers.

“Not yet, Atyr,” he whispered, his gruff voice harsher than normal after their activity.

She wasn’t sure why he’d said that, despite the contact between their minds. He’d learned to shield himself that well. She started to ask why.

He smiled playfully and sealed her lips with a fingertip covered with her own rich musk. “Not now, Atyr. It’s late. Sleep with me, please?” Then he kissed her again, far gentler than any caress earlier, his thoughts gently pushing away her contact with added emphasis.

~Not now, Mouse. We can talk about it later.~

She fell back to her own mind thinking of how beautiful his voice could have been given that touch.

And the song for the post…  is it foreshadowing?

Not really, I just like Neil Sedaka.  His songs remind me of being a little kid and riding in the (not really a) backseat* of our FIAT Spider

K.L. Schwengel, of My Random Muse,  fearlessly leads the #WIPpet where writers post pieces of a draft (Work In Progress) that somehow relate with the date for fun and discussion. Feel free to comment and visit other #WIPpeteers here. We love company.

Dad liked odd, fun cars

* When I say “not really a backseat”, I mean the place where the convertible top was stored.  Back in those days, seatbelts in the backseat were optional.  Heck, the backseat was optional too.  I used to love laying down in a blanket back there, kind of squeezed in, listening to the new AM/FM stereo my father had added to the car.

ROW80

Been picking myself up after having fallen down recently.  Still in something of a funk, but the “barrel through”, “Fake it ’til you make it” attitude seems to be working somewhat (crosses fingers in case this post jinxes it).  I confess: I am seriously behind on all my goals.  I took most of last weekend off, just played around, watched television shows, played games…  read stories.  Oh and wrote three different drafts of my ROW80 sponsor post (that makes seven since the round started)….

I hate every one of them.  None of them feel natural or real enough to me…  Granted, Kait would probably be happy if I sent her anything at this point.  I guess I’ve got to force myself through one of them.  Do anything… even if it’s wrong.

Down, down, down into the breech I go.

A last song…  to dance, to move, to get us all moving.