Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sometimes You Have To Stop Writing To Become A Better Writer

A few weeks ago it became painfully obvious to me that Book #2 was not going to be out in April, as I'd told some people. It wasn't even going to be out in May. I had 25% of it done and I was determined that I could force the rest out maybe by June. I'd forced the first book out when I got stuck. I could do the same here.

Then one late Friday night I finished writing a scene that takes place at our heroine's place of employment  Markison Industries. I re-read it and discovered two things to my horror:

#1  Marlene had squeaked.
#2  Alex had whined.

Ok. Marlene does not squeak. She squeals, barks, grumbles and squawks. She does not squeak. Lyssa squeaks. And Alex most certainly does not whine! The man is a dark, quiet hunk. He might humbly beg (especially for his lover) but he never, ever whines. Why was this not working this time? It'd been easy and almost effortless to write the first book and push through the brain-blockages. 

I decided I needed to stop writing. My brain was fried and my characters were suffering for it. I was miserable and frustrated. Not just with my writing, but everything. Myself, my job, my life. I didn't have those problems (not to this extreme) the first time. That was the difference. So I threw the deadline out the window and decided I would write it when I was ready.

A couple nights later I was flipping through TV channels while in bed and happened upon an infomercial for one of those psychotic workout videos. I got sucked in and before you know it I decided I would do it. Why? Because I'm fat, ugly and miserable. Why not?

I researched the various psychotic videos on the market and picked TapouT XT. It's an MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) based workout. I'd always liked kickboxing and the idea that I could kick someone's ass if I had to. Reviewers said it was similar to the others but was safer on the knees. I already have an extra 100 pounds against me here so why make it worse.

The next Saturday I decided to begin.

I won't delve into the details of the workout. I've blogged all about it. If you're interested in reading the comical trials and tribulations of a fat girl trying to do a workout that is very-much NOT designed for fat people, start here.  DAY ONE.

I'm nine days into the workout and I have to say that it's probably the smartest thing I've ever done. I feel so much better already. I have a long way to go, I know this, but it's made me happier and that's all that's important right now. It's lifted the miserableness away and made my mind more peaceful. I have at least five times more energy than I used to. I used to dread getting out of my chair. Now I don't think twice about it. Yeah, I was that lazy and unhealthy.

In a couple weeks I will probably start writing again. After the newness of my workout wears off. When the new routine becomes just a routine. When the exercising becomes a habit. When I can afford to let my focus  shift to other things without worrying about losing myself again. Then I will go back to Markison Industries and back to the amazing story that's waiting to unfold. I already know it. I just have to tell it.

Sometimes you have to stop writing to become a better writer.