Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘failure’

MB900423031[1]Here’s what I discovered in the month of November. There are limits to what I can accomplish. I am a chronic over-committer, over-achiever, over-estimator and over-just about everything else.

This past month it came to a head. Here’s what I had on my plate:

  • Full time plus job (and it’s open enrollment which means a steady parade of employees in my HR office, a plethora of paperwork, and a million questions to answer)
  • My commitment to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.
  • Thanksgiving with all the pie baking, etc.
  • My birthday with lunches and meeting friends over coffee and family stuff.
  • Weekly practices with the Christmas choir.
  • Writing of the Christmas pageant.
  • Early Christmas shopping (I did black Friday!!!)
  • All my regular scheduled meetings, bible studies and worship activities.
  • Friends in crisis.
  • And – well – the rest I can’t remember because I am too tired

I think I’m getting old. My body doesn’t hold up as well as it used to and I hate to admit this but I get tired sometimes. There is nothing that gets my dander up more than sitting down in my chair by the fire and falling asleep immediately. I need some kind of device that sends an electric shock through my body the second my head nods.

Everything on my list is something I want to do, enjoy and never want to give up. Not only that, but there are even more things that I’d like to get involved in but to do them I’d have to give up sleeping all together.  It seems the days get shorter and what used to be plenty of time seems to have become never enough time.

Looking back my great regret is that I did not finish the novel.  I did get ten chapters and 20,000 words written.  I wrote from 4:00 a.m. until 5:00 a.m. almost every morning. I squeezed a few more minutes in here and there. I jotted handwritten notes in grocery lines and on my lunch breaks to transcribe later. But I just couldn’t get there. I feel bad about it because I seldom let myself fail to do what I’ve set my mind on.

So I’m using this blog to give myself a pep talk.

  • I didn’t finish but at least I started and it’s a really good start.
  • My novel is shaping up to be a good one.
  • I discovered that I can shake the cobwebs from my brain even earlier than usual (I usually don’t get up until 4:30 a.m. and then I spend fifteen or twenty minutes sipping coffee and letting my brain coast.)
  • The world does not end when you admit that you failed.
  • Life is too short to beat yourself up.
  • When I look at my list, the novel is the only thing I did not accomplish so that in itself is a pat on the back, right?

Writing is hard work. Work is hard work. Having fun is hard work. Ministry is hard work. Anything that you are committed to doing well is hard work.

There, I feel better.

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.1 Cor 10:31

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Wow – I was hit with a huge case of writer’s block yesterday morning as I got ready to post a new blog.  I panicked.  Maybe it was the previous five days of VBS and having to be energetic and creative every day for a crowd of 3 to 12 year olds.  Maybe it was arriving at work and discovering the storm over the weekend had taken out 8 trees and flooded several areas on our campus.  Maybe it was catching my husband drinking directly from the ice tea container.  Maybe it was just the Monday blahs. 

I began to stress about it by 2:00 p.m and panic about it around 4:00 p.m.  I did rough something out but I scrapped it because it was not upbeat enough. 

When my husband suggested an evening motorcycle ride with a stop for dinner I thought, “Perfect.”  The fresh air always stimulates the brain and I was sure I’d return with a plethora of blog ideas.  I didn’t.

I am radically goal oriented and when I started my blog I made a commitment to post every Monday and every Friday.  If I couldn’t come up with something before midnight I would officially have failed.  I racked my brain, thumbed through magazines, brainstormed and prayed.  Nothing.

I woke twice in the night stressing about my failure.  I begged God to give me inspiration.  I actually had a minor panic attack about 3:00 a.m. thinking maybe my creative juices had run out forever and I’ll never have another idea or bright thought again.

I woke this morning with the blog on my mind and I still hadn’t come up with anything.  So here I am writing about not being able to write.  That’s really pulling from the bottom of the barrel.  It’s like turning on the oven when the power has gone off or singing about not being able to sing.  It’s like shopping when all the stores are closed.  Very unsatisfying and very unproductive.

Here’s what I’m doing about it so I won’t be in this position come Friday:

  • Trying not to panic
  • Thinking of other irritating things my spouse does besides drink right from the container.  (I only add this because I realize I could fill a blog with my list.)
  • Listening to every conversation wherever I go to try and net a fragment of an idea (if you are within hearing distance – watch out!)
  • Looking around everywhere I go for beauty or funny or poignant – any of which could trigger an idea
  • Giving it to God (picking it up again, giving it to God, picking it up again, etc)
  • Believing this is only a temporary lull in my otherwise cacophony filled brain
  • Reading back over past writings to remind myself I do have a gift
  • Praying
  • Repeating Matthew 6:27 (Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?) and inserting the words “or a single word to your blog”

So – if you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them.  I can honestly say I do not ever remember being hit by writer’s block before so I’m a novice at recovering.

Read Full Post »