Thursday, May 31, 2012

Funky Cold Medina

Today's been rough, as was yesterday. I haven't gotten much writing done and my main character that's been a constant companion for years is fading. I'm in a funk and it's pushing her away. But I'm trying to not only bring her back but let go of everything else that is blocking her and the rest of the story from coming to fruition. But that's difficult. Because that means admitting to myself and the rest of the world that I'm a failure.

The root of my current funk boils down to me being a 26 year old who has nothing (other than my amazing and supportive husband) to show for herself. I can't hold down a job. I've got no children. I don't have a completed manuscript.  Since May 2007, I've gone through job after job and I'm now on my ninth in five years. I think my average is about 9 months per job.

There has been a common theme over the last few years that would reappear every time I would leave a job: "I'm miserable here. I don't really care about X in the grand scheme of things. This is not what I want to be doing with my life. I really want to focus on writing and pursue my passion. That is what matters to me." And things would be great for a little while. But able-bodied 20 somethings aren't supposed to stay home and write all day. They're supposed to have a "real" job that will pay the bills. So I'd find another job and try to write in my spare time and the cycle repeats.

I recently came to the conclusion that I'm going to break the cycle. My husband and I are finally getting to a place where we're financially stable. He has a secure, well-paying job that he loves. And he wants me to be able to look forward to work as much as he does. He just wants me to do what makes me happy. And I finally decided not long ago that I'm going to do that. I'm done coming up with hair-brained ideas for my next career that is finally going to be a perfect fit. I'm done working for someone else. I'm going to do what I love and I'm going to write.

Things were going well. Except for the fact that I never actually left my current profession, I just stopped going. (No, I didn't just stop going to work. Well, I did. But I recently started a new profession where I am an independent contractor. So although I have an office and a manager, they don't pay me a dime. I work for myself and I make the rules. Which was cool... until it wasn't.) And the last few weeks have been great. I haven't been happier. I've been productive. It's good stuff. But because all I did was walk away, I never actually "quit" my current gig, it's still lingering over my head and comes back every now and then. And when it does, all it reminds me of is the fact that I'm yet again, walking away from something that didn't work. And when thing after thing after thing doesn't work, you tend to start to feel like the common denominator.

(That's the spirit! Source.)

But I'm not the common denominator. Well, I am, sort of, but not in a bad way. I just need to stop making excuses and stop worrying about what everyone else thinks and just do what makes me whole. And that's writing. And that's okay. I'm blessed to have a supportive family that stands behind me and I'm going to make this happen. I just need to figure out how I'm going to finally pull the plug on that other thing...

Monday, May 28, 2012

Facing My Fears, Ripping Off the Band-Aid and Finding My Muse

I know it's been a couple days since the birth of my blog and this is only my second post. But I'm okay with that. I'm trying hard not to sweat it and just let it happen organically so I don't get stressed out and give up on it. And I'm still excited and motivated to A) keep this blog going but more importantly to B) dive head-first back into my manuscript. Which is awesome. (Not so much the manuscript right now. It's not finished and it's rough but it is a good start and I'm still excited to work on it. The awesome part is the urgency to write again).

I have a love/hate relationship with writing. I love to talk about it. I love to imagine myself doing it. I love to read about it. I love to plan to do it (when, where, how...). I love it in theory. And sometimes I love it in execution. But sometimes I hate it. No, hate isn't the right word. Sometimes I dread it. Not because it makes me unhappy or that I think I'm a poor writer. But I'm insecure in my talent and I'm afraid to face it head on. I can talk about writing to my friends and family all I want. But until I actually put fingers to keyboard and produce something, there is nothing to judge and therefore nothing to fear. But to have a completed manuscript in hand, it's concrete. My talent in black and white for all the world to judge see. *shutter* (Okay, really Stephanie. This is post #2 of a blog that no other person on the planet even knows about and you still panicked and minimized the blogger window when you heard your husband coming down the hall...) Alright, so I've got some work to do. Like not being embarrassed to sit down at the computer to compose when others are home and can catch you in the act leading to questions like "whatcha doing?" and "whatcha working on?"

But despite the fear inducing panic that comes with the hope of one day living my dream of being a writer, I still can't imagine doing anything else. I still love to write. I still love to get lost in my own head and brainstorm new characters, new stories, new worlds. And I really do love sitting at the computer and letting life flow from my fingertips and getting lost in a story.  I am an insecure woman by nature, but this is my passion. Writing is in my blood. I will face my fear and put all I have into this.

Well, this post took a turn. I had set out to share how excited I am that my joy is still outweighing the fear. I wanted to share the story of how I blew WAY too much money on frivolous office supplies at Target the other day all in the name of writing and creativity.

No seriously. I blew a good $50 on pens and note cards and journals... One of my favorite indulgences is to go into Office Max/Office Depot and wander in new office supply bliss for hours. That is my Toys R Us. By the way, am I seriously the only one who thought the two companies were owned by the same parent company? Their names, their logos, everything is so similar. I always thought Office Max was more the personal office supply store and Office Depot was more commercial/big business. Apparently not... 

But more importantly, I wanted to share how many pages of said journal are filled already with various tidbits, ideas, quotes and topics for this blog. That's exciting. I've got a good 12 posts lined up already to keep this thing alive (which is far more than I could ever say for the myriad other blogs I've tried before). And best of all, I wanted to share that my muse is back. My main character and her story have been lodged in my brain all week. New ideas and story lines are percolating and I couldn't be more motivated to follow my passion despite the vulnerability that comes with that.

So there, I just did share all those things with you and set out to complete what was my original post. But I feel like I've also moved into post #3 territory which was to revolve around being brave, following through and actually sharing this with the world. But my little pep talk came earlier than expected and, I suppose, there's no time like the present. (And I may not feel this brave again the next time I sit down to write). So here goes nothing. I'm officially sharing my blog on Facebook. No more hiding behind anonymity and obscurity. I'm forcing myself into the spotlight. (Be gentle.) 

(Taken from here)

Friday, May 25, 2012

And So It Begins...

This is my new blog. I say new blog because I've had a number of different blogs that I have started in the past which very quickly petered out.

What's that? If that's the case, why on Earth would I start another blog?

Excellent question! Because I'm weird and a glutton for punishment. And because despite my many failures previously, I still feel compelled to do so. Because this blog is going to be different. (But Stephanie, you said that about all of your other blogs too). I know, I know. But I mean it this time. (Yeah, you said that before too). No seriously, I mean it. (No seriously...) Oh shut up!

Well this is off to a grand start.

But it's true. Even though I've crashed and burned in the past, I still feel like I need to do this and I really do think this is going to be the one to make it. Why? Because I'm not hiding behind pithy personas and anonymity. Because I'm not over thinking it and freaking out about needing a gimmick. Because I'm not focusing on tertiary topics that really don't mean that much to me in the first place. Because... because I said so. Take that inner critic. And this:

That's right. What do you think of that?!

So this is my new blog. This is Stephanie Zarecki. This is me and my daily(ish) musings. Mostly on writing because that's my passion and what keeps me up at night. But I'm not stressing things. I'll probably go off on goofy tangents and chronicle the occasional shenanigan -- it's cool. I'm in this. For real. 
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