After the whirlwind of March, April began in a turmoil of emotions. I kept hitting block after block in a great many areas of my life. One of my most persistent struggles is time management, i.e. the desire to accomplish more things than that for which I have time. I don’t know about you, but I have about a thousand hobbies but only one real, all-consuming passion: writing.
This might sound a little strange to some of you, but at the beginning of April, I felt like God had put a conviction on my heart to fast from writing. So much of my own pride and self-worth was tied into accomplishing arbitrary goals, and I was handicapping myself. My creative juices soured, my patience eroded, and dissatisfaction and selfishness had begun to crowd my brain. I couldn’t concentrate on my stories. I was filled with fear, because I had placed so many expectations on my writing and pressured myself so much to keep an impossible standard.
So I listened to the calling. For five days, I rejected any kind of writing or editing (this second because I was afraid I would be tempted to start writing if I already had the document up). During the times when I would have been writing, I instead did Bible study. The pressure disappeared, replaced instead by relief and peace. And by the end of those five days I was itching to get back to writing, but itching in a good way, a proper way, not the mad dash “to make money/be renowned/revolutionize the industry” way. I was writing for myself again, and for God, too.
Consequently, I have “broken” my two thousand words a day streak, which had been operating as an inappropriate source of my pride. But I have gained so much more. I have a more balanced approach to writing, especially as it interacts with my hobbies. A greater range of creativity and ingenuity has been evident in my work. I don’t feel so harried by my own ambition. And even though I struggle with doubts, those five days of R&R have pulled the fangs out of the high expectations I used to culture, which means those doubts can’t linger as long or dig in as deep.
Slowly and surely, I’m fleshing out Cursed as I explore more avenues and delve into characters’ biographies. Already it’s about a thousand times better than it was, and I haven’t even gotten beyond the brainstorming stage!
On another note, under no circumstances should I be given the power to wield a library card. I have a habit of going to return a book and picking up six in its place, especially with e-books. Last month I went on a library e-book binge, which worked because most of them I had to get on hold. But suddenly they’re becoming available all at once, and it’s all I can do to finish them in time!
Some April stats:
Words Written: 60,644
Minutes Spent Editing: 1223 (~20 hours)
Minutes Spent Reading: 1564 (~26 hours)