Taking a Beating, I mean, a BREAK!

 I keep wanting to do this post, but even the thought of writing it puts me in a funk. I can’t even blog, it’s that bad.

After NaNoWriMo 2013, I was in a sweet spot. I had a great habit of writing every Tuesday and Wednesday. On Thursdays I met with my CritPartners and would revise on Fridays. The habit weakened through the holiday season, inevitably so. But I didn’t quit. Not in the least. I just had to cut back, but I never once stopped during the Christmas break. In January, I upped my habitual writing days and added a workout class to my life. Ambitious, I know. Now, I go every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. It took a few weeks to adjust, but both my muscles and writing thank me.

Really, they send me thank you cards. Dear Gina, Seriously! Thanks for taking care of us and making us so important in your life. We love you. You’re so great. With love, Abs, Arms, Butt, and Legs & Fingers and Brain.

BUT. As humans, we falter. Some habits we give up without a fight. It’s much easier to quit working out or writing, than to start. And since we’re being honest… I’m not writing {fantasy} at all.  But I also feel like I NEED to NOT write. {Hence why blogging is not helping at the moment.} This is because I have sent FOR THE LOVE to an independent editor, Ashley, and I am preparing for it to come back a bloody mess.

Mentally, it’s so taxing to write. Unless you do it, I don’t think you get it. You can empathize with a writer, of course, but until you have a Protag in your head barking orders around like an invisible boss, along with everything else in your life, you just DON’T. GET. IT. Even if you’re a steady blogger, with a massive following. I’m confident it’s taxing, and draining and the pressure of what to write next is very, VERY comparable. But it’s not the same.

Taking a break has emptied out the villains, the protags, the secondary characters. The scenery, the themes, the–meh–grammar. But even more importantly, the constant motivational speaker I call NAG is not around. NAG tells me all the time I’ve got to many adverbs, weak description and lousy dialogue. NAG also reminds me, all.the.time, I’m over word count. NAG doesn’t ever let me off the hook when it comes to pacing, world building or characterization. And don’t even mention the word PASSIVE around NAG.

NAG’s a full-blown, self-important monster.

But, I need NAG. Really. If NAG didn’t come around, I’d never get anything done, or polished. But silencing the inner critic is necessary {for me} to be ready for the next round.

Ready for the take down, that I’ll be up against on June 10th. That’s the date for the next ‘Meet.” The next time I’ll see FOR THE LOVE we’ll be on a new level.

I am learning the craft of writing, it’s true, but I don’t know anything about boxing.

Let is suffice that my HandsomeHusbandKyle has been reminding me for fourteen years that his grandpa used to be a boxer. Perhaps that’s why boxing leaked its way into my MS. With that said, I did watch HERE COMES THE BOOM. (Admit it, you thought I was going to say ROCKY!) And if you haven’t’ seen HERE COMES THE BOOM, I’m not sure we’re really friends. The song alone gets my blood moving. 

You can’t help but giggle as he preps with that spiked helmet, with the wiggling and fancy footwork as he get’s all pumped up. The way he takes his mouth piece from Henry Winkler–Ew! and sticks out his tongue like Michael Jordan–Oorah! And his opponent? Simply scoffs. By then, you’re gear up, too. And then you watch as Kevin James get his tush handed to him. I gasped for reals, but the crowd was scripted too. And then I laughed hard. As the show goes on, I begin to really root for him as his fighting progresses and he becomes BETTER. Until he was ready for that final fight scene to win all the money for the schools orchestra program.

But each time I think of myself and my editor, who harbors my MS right now, I picture myself as a JV cheerleader who preps in the locker room just like Kevin James, only I stretch my imagination instead of muscles and make a few motivational posters that say GO TEAM! in our school colors. And then I’ll step into the ring with Sugar Ray Robinson in the adjacent corner. I’m swallowing hard, people. Unlike Mr. James, I know I’m going down, no matter what fancy high V or Spread Eagle I throw out. It’s better if I believe that, too. Because thinking my MS is an exception would be worse, and terribly naive. My mantra when I sent it was: MY STORY HAS HOLES. IT’S FLAWED. I have to remind myself of this daily.

It’s part of PreppingMyselfForTheOnslaughtOfRedInk.

And that’s okay. Because I’m going to take the beating Ashley throws at me. Every jab, every swing, every hook. And I’ll go down. And then she’ll wipe her hands on her shorts and take off her gloves. She’ll study me for a minute, taking in my bruised body. And then she’ll bend down and reach out her hand and help me up. Because that’s her job. HER JOB is to beat my MS up, which in turn means beating me up. I have to take every hit psychologically and rise from it.

She’ll lift the MS up, which in turns means I’ll rise up too. It might take weeks for me to get back on my feet, but I’ll do it.

And that’s why I can’t write ANYTHING right now. (Ignore that simple fact I am writing this.) If I let NAG hang out with me for the few weeks I have away from FOR THE LOVE, I’ll never be able to take that beating, because NAG does that every day.

So instead, I’ve been up to lot of other thing. Slicing through that TO DO list like a champ on my ‘break’.

  • I’m reading.
  • I fixed up my website.
  • I’ve been walking with my neighbor, who is due with a baby any day.
  • I’ve been reading.
  • And socializing. Hosted a party even!
  • We’re painting the basement.
  • I’m enjoying my flower beds and kid’s year-end activities before summerfest begins.
  • And I’m reading.

And I say that three times because reading is vital to writing. But it’s also one of the hardest things for me to do while I am in writing mode. I can keep my house clean and have dinner ready while I write. But to read at the same time? SO. HARD.

In fact, when I work out, I silently chant in my head as the instructor calls out how many more lunges we have.
ME: “This is easier than editing. This is easier than writing.”
If you doubt me at all on this one, I assure you, my workout buddies can attest to my honestly. Apparently, I’m not so quiet when I am silently chanting and lifting my leg up in a kick from a squat. Add a groan in there, and you’ve got me.

2014-04-16 21.04.44

So, where does this leave me? In the hands of authors who are further ahead of me in the writing game, glue to their pages which took them years to sweat out and bleed over. It leaves me with free time to stare at clouds with my five-year old, and take a walk with a cute pregnant lady. And I haven’t been this happy in a long time. It makes me think maybe I should just be done. Not write another word. Because then NAG won’t come back.

Until NAG discovers I could be doing whatever hobby I pick up next, BETTER.

And besides, when this break is over, Sugar Ray is going to be in my corner, coaching me, the most basic, average gal walking around in these parts. And I’ll be able to do something like this to my MS.

4 thoughts on “Taking a Beating, I mean, a BREAK!

  1. I love this post! I’m happy that you are reading and taking a “break”. I wish you the best from your “beating,” I know it will only make you stronger!


  2. I think this post echoes what every single writer in the history of writing feels like on a regular basis. Good for you, Gina, for taking a break when you need it and clearing your mind before you jump into the next phase. I need to be better about that. Awesome post! I am sharing with with everyone 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ok….bunch of things that you may never listen to, but nonetheless….
    1. The videos are pretty funny, especially the last one. I would love the opportunity to do that to someone someday!!
    2. You are not your MS and you are AWESOME no matter what happens! I am glad that you are always striving to push yourself and become better at whatever you do….but no matter what, you are all I need!
    Love ya babe!!


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