Writing a Book is Hard as Hell

 

Over the past year, I’ve bought some writing how-to books claiming that writing a book can be “fun” and “easy”.

I want to believe that.

As David Duchovny’s character Special Agent Fox Mulder stated so fervently,

“I want to believe.”

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But I can’t believe writing is fun and easy when it comes to my book.

Writing a memoir which includes disturbing epochs of one’s life is dredging up some serious muckety muck.  It’s fulfilling to watch my page count increase, and to see chapters that I didn’t expect take shape, but it’s also exhausting.  

Last week I had physical maladies from writing , such as a sore upper back. (I was lucky enough to get it massaged by my seven-year-old massage therapist prodigy/daughter.  I graduated from massage school and she’s way better than I am!)  I also had a painful shoulder from unconsciously squeezing the area while typing. I think that the kitchen table I use is too high.  That’s going to change or else I’ll resemble Quasimodo

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I need to do the obvious and find a lower desk for healthier body alignment, and be more conscious of my body while I write.  I plan on taking some “shake out my arms” breaks.  

As the chilly mornings begin once again, I can make a mellow herb tea.  Sipping a cup of Organic India’s intriguing-sounding “Tulsi Rose Stress-Relieving & Magical” blend while I’m fraught with haunting memories certainly wouldn’t hurt!  I’m actually sipping it right this very moment, waiting for the magic to emerge in all its glory.

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Despite my aches and pains, I never forget how lucky I am to have these few hours of quiet in which to write.  

For so many years I hauled myself to unfulfilling, stressful jobs in the midst of my ongoing depressions.  At every position I never earned much more than ten dollars an hour, yet I worked my ass off at each job.  Living in a county filled with non-profits, several of these jobs took place at various “Friends of” organizations.

Surrounded by employees and bosses who were passionate about their work, I couldn’t get excited about the projects or the missions.  I used my acting skills to seem interested in what we worked on; I really did try my best. However, I know that it was apparent that my heart wasn’t in the majority of the work.  I am supremely glad to be free of having to pretend I like my work!

So while yes, I’m bellyaching about how challenging it is to write, I’m still profoundly happy that I have the chance to even give writing a shot.  Fingers, toes, and eyes crossed, I may actually finish my rough draft by my March 18, 2015 deadline.  (a.k.a. my 45th birthday – please feel free to send me chocolate!) 😉

Thanks for reading my blog, and have a great week!  

See you next weekend,

Dyane

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Trust Redux

This morning I sifted through the blog posts I’ve written over the past year in order to piece together some sections for my book. I came across a post titled “Trust” which was written in the early days of my blog. I decided to re-post it today since so much has happened since I published it, and I think (and hope) some of my newer readers might relate to it.

See you Monday, thanks for reading, & have a great weekend!!!

Dyane

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TRUST

Today is the first day that writing a blog post feels like a “have to” instead of a “want to” activity, in part because I know that hardly anyone (and oftentimes no one) reads these posts. I must admit that the prospect of having a chunky blog audience is alluring. Having a large readership would provide me with a powerful incentive to write even if I didn’t feel gung-ho when first creating each post. (Like exercise, I find that once I start writing, no matter how resistant I feel beforehand, I always feel better once I tap the keyboard for a measly few minutes.)

I’m barely promoting this blog. Truth be told, I’m using blogging more for a daily writing practice rather than as a lofty platform to reach hundreds of followers. Blogging is more gratifying than journaling these days; I used to keep journals for years and I got burned-out.

My blog is also a very convenient way for me to procrastinate focusing on the project of my heart: my book. So today instead of taking an hour or two to write a post, I’ll use this time to open my “Birth of a New Brain” file and read some of what I wrote over the past few years. I’ve only been able to read up to page eight, believe it or not, for it’s daunting material and it’s an intimidating task.

Oh, how I need to trust the process of writing and I want more than most anything to trust my capability as a writer.

As a voracious reader, I’ve noticed the rise of mediocre books now available complete with typos, syntax errors, crappy content, and amateur covers. (Yes, I sound like a snob, and I suppose I am one!) Virtually anyone can write a book and sell it to the public via Amazon and other internet avenues. If those books make it, why can’t mine? I must trust that my concept is valid; it’s also original, and while I won’t win awards anytime soon, my writing quality is solid. I remind myself that I didn’t buy my degree in English from the University of California; I earned it with blood, sweat, angst and a ton of writing.

Again, it all comes down to trust…self-trust. We can’t take our book accolades to the grave with us. I’ll give “Birth of a New Brain” my best shot over the next year, and if it works out, great, and if it doesn’t, I’ll know that I tried with all my heart, I trusted myself at long last, and that is what truly matters.

You’re Just Like Me: Dyane

For those of you just getting to know me, I felt inspired to share this Q&A I did for a great blog called “Bipolar, Unemployed and Lost”. Some of my answers are outdated; I stopped taking Baclofen and of course I now have my puppy/muse to help me relax and cope better with low moments. The two books I mentioned are now available. There are other contributors to this ongoing feature and if you’d like to take part, I encourage you to visit the site. As always, thanks for reading!

Dyane

Bipolar, Unemployed & Lost

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Hypergraphia

I’ve been there, done that with the exception of not having had twins…but I tandem breastfed my newborn and toddler while experiencing postpartum mania and hypergraphia! I was lucky enough to get pro bono medical advice from the brilliant Dr. Alice Weaver Flaherty, author of “The Midnight Disease” and who knew what hypergraphia was like. To this day I’m amazed that I took care of myself by tracking her down and convincing her assistant to have her call me…all while I was manic.

SuperMom Mentality

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Oh my God, please help.
I cannot stop thinking.
I cannot stop talking.
I cannot stop typing.
I cannot stop writing.
I cannot turn off my mind.
I cannot turn down the volume.
I cannot sit still.
I cannot express what I feel.
I feel so agitated.
I feel so misunderstood.
I feel SO ignored.
Will someone please, please listen? Maybe I could just calm down if someone listened to me. I’m trying to express myself. Is anyone listening?
I’m writing.
I’m writing on the computer.
I’m writing on charts.
I’m writing on stickers.
I’m writing on Facebook.
I’m writing on Mommy forums.
I’m writing on the walls.
I’m writing in my prayer journal.
I’m writing on my hand.
I’m writing on labels.
I’m writing in baby books.
I’m writing on Post-its.
I’m writing on my front door.
I’m writing on my blog.
I’m writing signs.
I’m writing on to-do…

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