Tag Archives: fear of failure

Nothing to See — a WIPpet/ROW80 post


ashram - at night

ashram – at night (Photo credit: allisoncake)

Today, inspiration and ambition seem to be … nowhere.  Most of the week since Sunday has run the same way.  I’m in a hibernating state, and working on anything beyond playtime projects seems impossible.

So here are three paragraphs from my fanfic the Was Variation.  This week’s entry comes a few pages before last week’s entry, Mirrors, as 2-5=-3.

About halfway back he sensed a change in the breeze, a wisp of earth, of must. The peepers began an erratic, warning song. Something rustled in the trees a ways up the road. He reached for his knife and extended his Sight.

Nothing. Nothing to See. But the sense something threatened deepened. Within his grip, the knife seemed to quiver, an echo of fear that he could only assume was his own unease. He Looked once more, then started to relax his talent.

Too soon. An energy too alien for his experience rushed past. His Sight recoiled, and he found himself thrown to his knees on the pavement. His knife landed on the ground in front of him with a clatter. A voice, the same one he’d heard during his talk with the queen earlier, echoed in his mind. Instead of laughter, anguish filled the touch.

ROW80 Check-in

Cat Nap

Cat Nap

No real news since Sunday.  Here’s the checklist; it’s mostly blank:

  • write every day; at the minimum, do 5 sentences  I did one day
  • finish a complete (rough) draft of Courting the Swan Song  nada
  • make twice weekly blog posts (WIPpet Wednesdays and Some Thing 4 Sundays) on a consistent schedule check
  • maintain active sponsor participation I still need to write my sponsor post, and I even called on two of my fellow sponsors for some brainstorming help; all else on track
  • energize myself with more physical activity I did make an effort to move more often; I didn’t feel like it at all
  • reclaim my writing space  Desk?  What desk?
  • go through some piece of my electronic home (desktop, laptop, server space, Dropbox, etc.) I updated both my machines for all the VIP stuff, scanned and cleared off extra install fluff
  • laugh more, hug my family more, share myself with friends more…  there have been hugs, and there have been cuddles, and the hubby and I made plans for a date at the Symphony this Saturday for Bolero and Wagner (we’re going to test the theory espoused by the Castle episode “Til Death Do Us Part”)

That’s it.  Nothing special.


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Want — a WIPpet/ROW80 post

English: W.I.P.


It’s a new month, but not a new WIP…  at least not for me.

Welcome back once more to Singer of the Swan’s Song (working title, of course) for another WIPpet.  Since it’s the tenth of July, allow me to offer you ten more sentences of Atyr’s story.

It didn’t take much beyond the woman’s tone to tell her what had happened. “You told him to do that?” She didn’t care if she’d shouted at the Master Healer. Now the fury she’d felt to her two watchkeeps, poor foolish creatures, she realized just doing what they’d been told, unable to know better.

The Master Healer nodded with clear satisfaction. “Of course I did. I haven’t spent these past few days mending all those cuts and bruises to let Lassau add another dozen or so more. You can find new ways to seek connection to the Goddess than in that woman’s twisted care.”

Atyr looked at the woman coldly. “You want me to die,” she said keeping her voice as quiet as she could.

So there it is–I hope you liked it.

wippetwednesday_zps53e803c0Maintained and promoted by K.L. Schwengel at My Random Muse, #WIPpet writers post pieces of a draft (Work In Progress) that somehow relate with the date for commentary and consideration.  Feel free to comment and visit other #WIPpeteers.   We love the company.

ROW80 Check-in

A whole new Round of Words started last Monday.  I was “in” but “not in” until this Sunday, able to use some public machines to comment on blogs, but not daring to actually post until I knew my home machine was stable enough (and not compromised any more than my legitimate software requires so that it can be updated, etc.).

It’s happier now.  I am too.  My writing is still behind.  I hadn’t realized how much I was relying in that first week of the month to get my rhythm going for this Camp NaNo, but I’m finding myself fighting the “I need to get stuff done” drive for our camping preparations as well as the “I’m so far behind now, I can’t catch up” call to give up.

It’s a recurring problem I’ve had since school.  Back then if I missed a day or (more often the case) didn’t do my homework, but realized I needed to make up the work to avoid that nasty zero in the grade books, I’d feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of everything…  and I’d give up.  I’d try to hide the bad grades from my parents; I’d act as if I didn’t care to the other kids in school, even when every tease burned.  I hated the fact that I was constantly giving up, but I didn’t know how to get to where I wanted to be.  And the resulting depression just made it harder to even maintain the status quo let alone catch up.

I wanted to start again without any backlog, and school didn’t work that way.  Which is perhaps why the concept of the ROW80 appeals so much to me.  It’s more like life, where people are constantly remaking themselves as they learn and discover what works best for their needs.

Where we can Forgive and Forget … and then move on.

Yes, the same amount of work still needs to be done, but I dictate the direction it will take and the timeframe I will work on it in.  And I can change things as life happens.  Oddly enough, that is enough to make me feel better and enough to stop me from freezing up when I find I’m falling behind.

I’m behind, but I’m still writing.  I’m still editing.  Swan Song may not be written this year.  I have not set date for the release of the series.  Sooner is, clearly, better since it allows me to share it with people while I’m able to interact well with the audience and hopefully be able to write more, but if something happens, it doesn’t set me in a funk the way it used to.

So, while I’m still behind, I’m catching up.  For this month’s CampNaNo goal of 50K, I should be at about 17K today.  Instead, I’m at about 7K (estimation given because some of the work is handwritten).  I’m not panicking though, because it only takes a few bouts of #wordmongering and #1K1hr sprints to make a 3K day.  I have time to make it up now and more time to finish things when we come back next Friday.

Camping "not quite" old-style

Camping “not quite” old-style

And my ROW80 Fitness goals will be flying after a week of rowing the boat around our bay (we’ll be at the end of Pope Bay on Saranac Lake ), sawing firewood, and meandering through the woods.  Last year we were at the far end of Boot Bay, and there was a wonderful spot for rowing there.  I’m hoping for some similar fun this year.

That, with some notebooks and pens, and a week of no internet…  I’ll be back into the “Write Mode” by  end of this break; I always am.  Changes in rhythm are refreshing and a great way to rediscover one’s focus.  I’ve always found this true for me.

What rhythms or ruts have you found yourself in?  And how did you get back on track?

To ease you all into Summertime, here’s a little Porgy & Bess, as sung by the talented Leontyne Price.  Mmm!

ROW80LogocopyThe ROW80 Writing Challenge is the brainchild of author Kait Nolan who felt that, in a world of WriMos and FastDrafts, people who want become authors  need something that promoted the daily habit of the writing life.  Feel free to visit some of our other members here.


Too Long Behind the Curtain

The secrets of the universe: Silken threads th...Of late, I’ve wondered about some things.  Then as if the Universe was speaking to me, answers to the questions I’d been asking myself keep appearing.

Of course, a lot of what the Universe tells me seems to come from blog posts.  Yeah, I need to get out more.  🙂

So what are some of these revelations?

Somewhere down the roads I’ve traveled, I made a wrongheaded choice.  I always thought so, but I didn’t know what the choice was.  I had some suspicions, but I needed proof.  It came from reading this post on Seth Godin’s blog.

I watch too much, and I participate too little.  I don’t act.  I don’t step out.

Sometimes I don’t because I really am not interested in the activity–that’s okay.  We shouldn’t all be interested in every little thing.  But in another way I make the wrong choice…  because I don’t want to look bad.  It’s silly of me, I guess (I use that word, that silly word so casually, but it’s not silly; the word is the right word, but it’s not too), but I cringe at the possibility of humiliation.

When there is a risk of being humiliated, my head and stomach roil, a ball of grade school and high school memories that I have to drag myself out from.   Alive once more come the days when I felt I had nowhere safe to be, days I would hide in my parent’s car when the bus went by, even though I knew what would happen when my parents found out I would skipped school because the thought of going there hurt so much.

I have a story of a knife-shaped letter opener, the Hudson River and my dog that I might be able to tell someday.  I’m not there yet… it’s as much because I find my failure that day nearly as humiliating and painful as the reasons that brought me to that place.

Last week I read this article from the New York Times online magazine…  Some of the research in it was eye-opening.   I thought about the people I still knew from high school, about the things they posted on their Facebook statuses, how I was afraid to even post the link to my Writer Page for fear I would draw their attention to me and who I was–who I was over 25 years ago.

Yes, it’s been that long.  It’s been that long, and it doesn’t take more than a few status messages to remind me of something:  I managed to get through high school with little more than a missing letter opener and some visits to those nice people in the clean white suits because I had a few “people who didn’t know me for me” experiences.

Being around people who didn’t know my past allowed me to be myself and didn’t laugh.  A summer camp, a chorus filled with adults who were well past the high school “fluff” (though at the time I believed they knew all my horrid secrets and were humoring me)…  I had a mostly amazing experience at NYSSSA between grades 11 and 12 (mostly, because it was also my first “real” experience with a boyfriend beyond handholding and some kisses…and it ended badly).

I’m not complaining.

In the grand scheme of things, I have a wonderful life that I never could have imagined (well, beyond childhood fantasies of being a queen who ruled the world and lived in a department store where all the jewelry and pretty clothes were there for me to enjoy…).  Yes, life is in general good.  But it’s only as good as I have allowed myself to avoid letting myself be a risk taker.

I need to take risks if I want to actually be more than just a homemaker, just a wife and a mother.  Those things are good things, but I’ve always wanted more.  I want more for me.  My husband wishes more for me.  He knows that I am not doing things that make me feel fulfilled.

So doing matters.

Baby stepsFor the moment, it’s about writing this blog post.    It’s about admitting things that scare me about myself and the future.  It’s not about waiting for someone else to say they accept me before I act.  It’s about finishing Release and publishing it.  It’s about putting my photos out there for the world to see.  And it’s about doing it…again and again and again.

I don’t actually know where the future will lead me.  I do know that my journeys in challenges such as the ROW80 and the2013 Goodreads Challenge are steps along the way.  I know that trying things like the Facebook 365 Project where I must post and take a picture a day offers another way to step out from behind the curtain.

I’ve made progress in all three of those.  Perhaps I haven’t reached all the bullet marks on my goals list…  I did plenty.  Plus I’ve taken out my drawing supplies and tried something new.  I’ve committed to joining a writing challenge… tomorrow.

More than just baby steps…

And that leads me to close with this post by Kristen Lamb about feeling overwhelmed by Social Media and how we can survive it by being honest about our limitations.  I haven’t figured out all my limitations, but I am starting to learn how to plan things better, to check before I commit, to say yes with confidence and not hope and uncertainty…   I’m even learning how to say no on occasion.

Photo credits:

  • The secrets of the universe: Silken threads that knit heaven and earth together part 2 (Photo credit: pb photoworks)
  • Myself