Saturday, November 28, 2009

Becoming a less neurotic writer AKA Creative Recovery

by Becca Simone

A while back, I set out on a journey to become a less neurotic writer in 12 weeks, using The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron as my guide. Well, I’m realizing it’ll probably take way longer than that. I have a lifetime of bad habits and neuroses to overcome. Cameron calls this journey “creative recovery.” Hmm. That has a much more positive ring to it, doesn’t it?

My personal journey involves daily journaling, meditating, yoga and nature walks. I haven’t been doing any of those things as much as I would like, but I am making progress.

I normally have the meanest, bitchiest internal editor to ever walk the face of the earth. Her name is Helga. Ugly name for an ugly being. She is downright cruel. You should hear what she says to me. It’s not even printable.

During the month of November I’ve been involved in NaNo, and I think the frantic, don’t-look-back pace of writing has helped me to avoid, or at least temporarily shut up, Helga a bit. Thank God.

Some things I’ve read in The Artist’s Way have really hit home. In Week 3 Cameron talks about how anger is at the root of much of our creative neuroses. She says that “in the recovery of a blocked artist, anger is a sign of health.” Awesome. I must be a flippin’ health guru, because I’ve been mad a lot. Recently, a couple of writer friends/acquaintances who just started writing achieved greater success (ie: big sales to major publishers) than I have in all my years of struggling. I went through the mature reactions of “It’s not fair!” and “They haven’t paid their dues!” and listened when Helga told me that I’ll never achieve similar success because I suck as a writer.

Yeah, it was a really pleasant time in the Simone household.

Cameron asks us to pinpoint what it is we’re really mad at. She says anger is our friend—it will always tell us when we have betrayed ourselves. This was an “a ha!” moment for me. I’m not really angry at these friends or even the situation. I’m angry at myself—for the opportunities I didn’t explore, the countless hours I’ve wasted not writing, the wrong turns I’ve taken. It’s all about me. Now that I realize it’s me I’m pissed at, now maybe I can redirect that feeling into my work.

Cameron also talks about synchronicity, which is another word for answered prayers. Be careful what you wish for, knock and the door will open, ask and you will receive, however you want to say it. Cameron says once we begin our creative recovery, synchronicity will pop up everywhere. It’s really true. It’s happened to me. I experienced
this just recently. I was just telling one of my CPs that I really want to do a blog under my pen name but didn’t have the time to go solo. I wished I knew of a group of erotica writers to blog with. The very next day I get an email from a fellow erotica author asking if I might be interested in joining a new group blog. Can you hear the Twilight Zone theme song here? Weird, eh? Another recent instance was as I worked on a promo plan for my next release. I wrote in my notebook to brainstorm creative places to hold a booksigning. That very day, a friend told me she’s planning a huge naughty toy party in February, right in time for Valentine’s Day, and would I be interested in selling some of my books there?

Try it for yourself. Put your wish or desire “out there” and see what happens. And keep me posted.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Holidays, Being Superwoman & Finding Time to Write

Now that Halloween is over, I can't ignore what I've been trying so hard to ignore...the holidays are looming. Don't get me wrong, I love Thanksgiving. Who doesn't love a great turkey dinner with all the trimmings and family gathered around? The feast is always at my house and now that some of my kids are grown and on their own, significant others and strays have wandered in and taken seats at our table, which I think is great. The more the merrier means fewer leftovers. Plus, we have a quaint tradition where everyone at the table has to give a reason for being thankful...last year, my brother-in-law gave thanks that his "soldiers were good swimmers" (my sister had just revealed her pregnancy to the rest of us). Okay...

Christmas is really what stresses me out. Shopping, baking, wrapping, hostessing, decorating. Okay, I'll admit it, I'm a scrooge in the decorating area, I hate to decorate and hate to put the decorations away after the holidays even worse. When we sold our artificial Christmas tree before a big move, I dragged my feet for three years before we bought another one. I didn't miss it. But my biggest gripe about the holidays is the time it takes away from my writing. While I'm being superwoman, my characters are talking to me, calling me a neglectful mommy, asking me to please start taking dictation. They get impatient. I get frustrated. I'm afraid I'll forget what they're saying or won't remember that really cool plot twist that came to me while rolling out sugar cookies. As fellow writers, you understand this crushing fear. Well, maybe not the sugar cookie part but you get my drift.

So, my New Year's resolution, six weeks early, is to take time for my WIP this holiday season. Surely I can carve out time in my day, I'm superwoman after all. Simple solution - I just won't decorate. Yeah, that's it!

Happy Holidays and don't forget to write!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A Little Bit of Everything

Fall Back Pictures, Images and Photos


Okay, so it's the day after Halloween. For the first time in thirteen years, I had a quiet, I don't have to go out, fight traffic, crowds and the fright of a little kid running out infront of my car night. Yes, the teenager went off to do his own thing, not trick or treating, all he wanted was the candy, admitted he's really not into it anymore, so I told him I'd buy a couple bags today to satisfy the candy hunger and he was happy with that, LOL. So now it's time to start having Halloween Parties. *YAY*

So not sure about the rest of you, but my butt was up at 7:23 AM (Damn turning back the clocks) :-) What did I do, well, I jumped right back into bed until 8AM, LOL.
I do feel fully refreshed and rested though.

Florida's starting to cool down a bit, *YAY* it's to be in the low 80's today with less humidity and in the upper 50's tonight!! I've waited so long!! (Hand brushing across forehead)

dell mini Pictures, Images and Photos


I'm also in the market for a mini netbook. I've played with a few here and there, messed around with a Acer and A dell mini inspiration last night at Wal-Mart and went to read several reviews. I really like the key board on the dell. The buttons are just a bit larger, and felt more comfortable.

It seems the Toshiba mini has had a lot of negative feed back about the keypad being really sensitive and the mouse jumping around. That is one thing I want to avoid big time. I can't stand that.
Anyone out there have a netbook they want to share the scoop on? I'll take the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

I need more coffee so I'm going to end here and say, Good Morning to Happy the Clock has been turned back day! You all got to sleep an extra hour and wake up earlier, LOL. :-)