I Was Thinking of Throwing a Pity Party, But What Would I Wear?

Ever feel like the only days you have are ones where your relationship’s rocky, everyone at work takes you for granted, and no matter how you style it, the hair you’re trying to grow out is going to look like a mullet for awhile?

That’s how I’ve been feeling this month.  And I hate it.

When I started this writing journey 2 years ago, it was the hardest thing I’d done in a long time.  I hadn’t written anything in so long, writing a book seemed like climbing Mount Everest.  And the disappointing thing is…I’m still on Everest.  The reality of it is:  I’ve made bad decisions.  

image courtesy flickr CC – Mrs. Inman

The hardest piece of being a writer I’m still struggling with learning is what Writer Social Media Jedi, Kristen Lamb, describes as this rule:

Feelings lie.

If I come home exhausted from work, I don’t write.  If I planned on journaling or blogging, but my honey wants to hang out, I don’t write.  If my sides hurt because I’ve done a triple back flip, ribbon dance and glow stick original performance just to get into my “cute butt jeans,” then I may not write…because physically sitting down in those pants is painful, and they don’t allow me to eat chocolate.

What have I been doing all this time?

My biggest dream in the world and it’s the first thing I’m always giving up. 

I think I’ve officially hit my rut.  I’m four years past graduation.  The “I’m an adult” now highs of a salaried job and better clothes are starting to wear off.  When I think of my future, I see this:

image courtesty Flickr CC – Mrs. Inman

Whatcha think of this look?  Is it the right dress for my party?

Don’t get me wrong, there are things I’m thankful for everyday.  I’m thankful I have a job.  I’m thankful for my family and my honey’s family who are supportive and loving and who always make me laugh.

I am also so grateful to this blogging community who’s come along with me on this raggle-taggle journey.

You guys are amazing!  And I whole-heartedly call many, many of you dear friends!

My biggest problem is that I’m still wishing more than I’m doing.  And facing that reality is one of the worst self truths I’ve had to come to terms with.  I’m going to blame Walt Disney.  Thanks a heap, Walt, for making Ariel the only other redhead I knew! 

When I become a real writer, I’m going to wear THIS!

image courtesy flickr CC – Mrs. Inman

I wanna be where the writers are…I wanna see, wanna see ’em scribbling!

I’m taking the week off from highlighting ROWmodels in an attempt to whip my own goal list into shape.  Wish me luck, everyone!  Tell me your success stories!  What helped you transition to more writing time?

36 responses

  1. Sorry to hear you’re in a rut – the Fall Season does that to soooo many of us! Hang tough and keep writing – you’re very good at it!

    1. Dorie you’re so good to me. Candy came to work and patted my back today and said Dorie told me to tell you how much we appreciate you. Lol. Very thoughtful.

  2. I think this is something that everyone struggles with. It’s a matter of priorities, ESPECIALLY when it comes to friends and family, because we don’t want to neglect them and we are often made to feel like this writing thing is really just a hobby (be it by society or those same well-meaning friends and family). I think the tipping point is when you say “Writing is a priority” and you start arranging your life to reflect that. Not only is it a priority, but it’s worth the time and effort because YOU are. You are ALLOWED to make this important, make it a priority. And then it’s a matter of finding ways to fit it in. They may be small. And that’s okay. Because if you make it a priority to sit down and write, say, 100 words a day NO MATTER WHAT, then at the end of the week, at worst, that’s 700 words you didn’t have. And at best, that 100 words will turn into something more because you’ve unstuck the wheel. So find what that minimum level is, that test mile that you can make yourself do EVERY DAY no matter what and build your goals around that. And maybe every day isn’t a practical goal (I finally accepted after 5 years that it isn’t for me), so set yourself a goal that you’ll write 5 days out of 7 or you’ll never skip 2 days in a row or whatever. Make yourself some rules and stick to them. It might take some tweakage to find it, but you’ll get there. Also, I have no idea if you are a plotter or not, but you should totally read this book:

    1. Mair your advice is so appreciated because I know you are juggling a demanding job and friends and family too. I rely on those of you in “my same boat” so to speak to be my role models. If you can survive it then I can too. Thanks for all your tips and googlemail chats and word sprints!

  3. “My biggest dream in the world and it’s the first thing I’m always giving up.”
    Isn’t that so true? It is for me, too. Amid all the editing, networking, preparing, marketing and peripheral stuff of this dream, it’s sometimes hard to remember what the actual dream is.

    1. Yes!!!! But truly the friendships I’ve made with all you writers…wouldn’t trade em! You’re all worth it!

  4. Crikes Jess! I’m right there with you. Sometimes I wish I’d started a blog AFTER I’d finished my book. Blogging takes a lot of time and energy. It’s like a drug. It gives us the quick thrill, but not the long term fix. I want more freelance. I want a book with my name on the spine. Or available via interwebz. I’m rethinking things. Because throw a kid into the mix, and this thing is almost not possible. Unless you have a spouse with a very flexible schedule. Which I don’t. We should talk.

    1. We should. We should also plan our road trip. 😉

  5. “Feelings lie.” No life follows a perfect plan and I know you’re aware of this. The ONLY way we ever make any kind of progress in our lives is if we have some places in time where life pushes back. I haven’t been writing much because I’ve hit a huge wall, but that wall, although hit in what seemed to be slow motion, provided 2 momentous discoveries about my parents. I could not have understood their behavior were I younger, or even recognized it, until now. But I had to go through all the fits and starts and troughs and highs. This stuff happens for a reason. I am also very counter-intuitive as a writer to most of the ROW 80ers. I just pants it most of the way, but my lying pretty much doggo for the last 6 weeks, has also given me a way to maybe pull together some kind of novel for NaNoWriMo 2013. In the meantime, Jess, you are simply the Best! From one fellow redhead to another and yes, we congregate around pencils, pens, and we’re smart as whips! Anyway, Jess, you are wonderful, you’re ROW Model is great. It will be here, we’ll be here, although my boat is leaky (I just had to work that in.) But in my old-crock way, I know you’re going to be better than before, we all have to go through these kinds of “pity party” feelings; they’re the liars. Mary

    1. So…you’re saying don’t wear taffeta it’s tacky this time of year. Lol

      Mary you’re one of THE BEST cheerleaders a girl could ask for. Thank you for sharing your story and always your support.

  6. Finding the time to write is one of the hardest things. I don’t think you’ve made bad decisions; you’re just human. Quite honestly, I realized years ago that at the end of a long day I CANNOT write and do not even WANT to write. That’s why I’m lucky to have a crazy schedule that gives me some mornings to work. Any chance you can go in late one day a week, or get up earlier, or dedicate a weekend morning to the laptop and the coffee shop? On that note…thanks for reminding me what I was supposed to be doing this morning. Good luck.

    1. Yes. That’s exactly how I’m trying to get stuff done now. Coffee shops are the best. For some reason I focus well there. Now get to work Susie!

  7. Aw, Jessi-girl! So sorry you’re going through this. Kait’s right. Make it a priority. Set aside whatever time you can squeak out for writing. BUT, be prepared before you sit down to write 100 words or 30 minutes, whatever your plan. What I mean is plan what you’re going to write–a character sketch, part of your plot arc, describe your setting, draw a map of your setting. Get all the research and plotting down first, then sit down to write from that for a short time. It may not come together as fast as you’d dreamed, but it will keep moving forward.
    It takes about 3 months to develop a habit. So after 3 months of consistent effort, you may see that you’re writing more each time, or ideas flow more easily. But you have to start. So do it today! Plan what habit you’re going to develop. My new one is scheduling blocks of time for different tasks…including some play time.
    You’re my beautiful, funny and smart redheaded friend and I have all the faith in the world that you will conquer this obstacle.

    1. When in doubt a little blush fools everyone!

      You’re the best redhot gal a girl could have on her side. Thank you! I will take your advice and give it my best. You may need to keep me in line now and then.

  8. Oh gosh—ruts just suck. But you know what? It’s okay. Honestly. Do something so different that it shakes you up.

    And I so agree with Marcia, a plan is such a great tool. I have what I call a ‘hit list.’ I only try to have 6 things on it and it’s always different. Like: email so and so and tell them to pick a date to gather, hurry up and weed that last garden bed and for heaven’s sake make some bread! And maybe read a book and pour some wine and put your arm around your man and the next time you’re in front of a mirror—really see yourself.

    See the wonderful, beautiful gal that you are and let go. The words will come, they will. If you could ( and you will ) believe in yourself just a tiny bit more, everything will slide into place.

    Bottom line sister—there’s no end to what you can do. None.

    Today, is the place to begin…

    You’re such a marvel and don’t you forget it!

    1. Oh you’re just like your Madeline Island ladies! You are so kind Jay! How fun would it be to get the duck out and just forget our worries for awhile and then get some dessert at Maggie’s?! Who’s with me?

      Thank you for the pep talk. I was dangerously close to pulling a Ms. Haversham.

  9. You hang in there, Jess! I know you will achieve your dream. Sometimes we all just need to take a deep breath and sit back. Know that you will always have me in your corner!!

    1. And Tiffany…there will be a movie marathon at my pity party! 😀

  10. *hugs* us red heads are a sensitive lot- add to that the crazy of being a writer and well, we can get ourselves into dark places pretty quickly. For me it’s all about routine routine routine! No social media for me until my word count it reached- I can reach word count working on my MS, blogs, or outlining the most amazing book idea ever which I just had and is now in control of my brain!
    My best advice, forgive yourself- this is a marathon not a sprint and Everest is pretty, and on the other side of that boulder a Sherpa is making a bunch of us cocktails. 🙂

    1. How did you know I hired Sherpas for bartenders? Seriously. Who is stealing my pity party plans?! Lol

      Thanks for more great writing tips Alica! Good luck with your new idea!

  11. Oh my goodness, you could have been writing about me, too–only it’s been 20 years since I graduated, and I didn’t have a clue about community back then. It took me about 15 years to realize that I wasn’t ready to let go of my lifelong dream to write. The thing that finally transitioned me to more writing time was my amazing husband. His support was key for me to start writing regularly again. Also, I had to forgive myself for stepping away from my dream for so long.

    Cherish your dreams, no matter what life throws at you. 🙂 Hang in there!

    1. Thank you Diana for sharing your story with me. You are lucky to have a supportive husband who told you to go after your dreams. Joe was one of the reasons I started writing again too.

  12. My goodness I know how you feel! In fact, I think we’re riding in the same boat. That’s what I planned to do on Sunday’s post. Hang in there. We’re going to reach our dreams. But the approach we keep using might not be working. We just have to keep trying. And if that means trying different ways, we’ll do it.

    1. Oh yah so there Ryan. I’ve rewritten my WIP like 6 times and been a big propietier for boot camp like writing strategies. We’ll get there.

  13. Dear Jess – I’m always feeling guilty for leaving short comments or just “liking” posts because I have to get back to my *real writing*. Don’t let any of this writing life drag you down. You will get where you want to go … it just takes time. Enjoy your life. Look for the balance. Write what you can, when you can. Your universe will unfold as it should … pardon the paraphrase … And make sure you and Renée swing by Toronto on that road trip!

    1. Oh Patricia I would delight in meeting you! Your comments are always appreciated! And I love Toronto! Would gladly go back!

  14. I do not take for granted my blessed situation. My hubby works the full-time job and pays the bills, while my jobs are household manager, mother, and writer–none of which currently bring in income. Meanwhile, I am in awe of those who juggle jobs and WIPs.

    But frankly, almost everyone I know is juggling priorities. It’s really hard to ever feel like you can put 100% of yourself into anything, and all too often we feel like we’ve got about 70% into each thing and never seem to feel like it’s enough. The best advice I have is to be consistent–whether that’s writing every day or once a week. Most people do have a schedule where they can carve out some consistent time to work on a dream. It may take some finagling and boundaries with other people, but hang in there and do what you need to do.

    Pulling for you, Jess! And I think you’ll look beautiful in whatever you wear. Redheads have lots of options. 🙂

    1. Thanks Julie! I’m struggling cause I still haven’t quite found the right program for me. Writing everyday isn’t plausible right now, but I haven’t mastered leveraging the time I do have. Love and appreciate the tips from everyone! THANK YOU!

  15. Jess, you’ve gotten lots of support here. Take it in. Don’t beat yourself up. You have realized your behavior isn’t taking you where you want to go. You need to change something. Take one small step toward that change. You can do it. As someone said in your comments, it’s a marathon. And in any marathon there are runners who come out first, those who run in the middle of the pack, those who come in last BUT finish, and those who give up. And those roles change frequently during the race! You are clearly not someone who gives up. Take heart. You’ll have these types of moments off and on throughout your writing career. As long as you re-evaluate and re-prioritize, pace yourself, you’ll get to the end of the race.

    1. Good call out, Lynette! Thank you! I’m always worst at judging myself for pacing. I always feel behind, and I forget I’m still moving forward.

  16. […] I Was Thinking of Throwing A Pity Party, But What Would I Wear? by Jess Witkins. Yep, this post is as awesome as it sounds (smiles). […]

  17. Aaaah, Jess… It’s a terrible thing to feel like you’re dropping balls. All I can tell you is what made a difference with me. Randy Ingermansson (the Snowflake guy) said something very true that stuck with me:

    You can only really focus on and manage 3-4 top things every day. Family needs to always be at the top, along with taking care of your health (I suck at that part of it). You’ve got to work, sleep and eat…those are a given. But those last few slots need to be looked at very carefully.

    If writing isn’t in the top 3-4 spots, it’s not going to get done. It just won’t. Reading that had a tremendous impact on me.

    1. I can see why made an impact, Jenny. I stared at your words for awhile too. It’s exactly right. I still want to do a better job of getting writing into those 3-4 spots. But it’s going to take me some practice and remind me every day to patient!

  18. I’m not sure what to say, except to say your post resonated with me because I’m in the same spot. I know I don’t comment often, but I’m still reading. I’m juggling the job, life, and trying to get writing in and feeling like I’m not quite succeeding in any of it. I also feel like I’m dreaming more than I’m doing.

    Can I blame Disney too? (Although I love Disney!) But my favorite princess (Aurora in Sleeping Beauty) fall asleep, wakes up and all her dreams come true. Life doesn’t work like that.

    The book that Kait mentioned above, I downloaded a few days ago. It’s inspiring and I’m hoping the inspiration will help me get back on track, at least with writing.

    {{hugs}} to you, and good look.


    1. Hey Melissa! Nice to see your face around here again! Thanks for reading!

      First off, Aurora is my fave princess too – which leads me to believe that yes, we can blame Disney for our misguided efforts at dream fulfillment. LOL. You mean, hitting snooze won’t help me get there faster???

      Good luck to YOU, my dear, as we both try out some new processes! Cheers to more writing!

  19. […] I Was Thinking of Throwing a Pity Party, But What Would I Wear? […]

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