Saturday, September 3, 2016

Weekly Update: 9-3-16 Summer Triumphs and Sadness

Lost summer days are
dew drops evaporated,
stolen by the heat.  

Once again, I apologize for the lack of updates. For me to blog once a week requires discipline and some semblance of a schedule, both of which sort of collapsed somewhere amidst July and August. To be fair, I wasn't just sitting around, binge-watching episodes of Community and Murder She Wrote... at least not all the time. I did accomplish the following:
  • I challenged myself to write 25,000 words (100 pages) in the first three days of July, as part of my Camp Nanowrimo goals. By doing almost nothing but writing from wake to sleep, I did this in 2 days.
  • I finished up Camp Nanowrimo with 65,000 words.
  • I read 10 books for Brea Library's Adult Summer Reading Program.
  • I finished my final draft of Three Floating Coffins, which I then sent to Beta Readers.
  • I completely re-worked my website: to make it more professional. 
But the strange thing is, although while sprinting toward a goal, I feel obsessed, possessed, can't-stop-addicted-like-a-person-watching-Netflicks-without-a-remote, once I achieve it, I feel... well, empty. Sad. As if all my energy has gone through a colander and now there's nothing left.

This feeling was especially prominent after a finished Three Floating Coffins, a 76,000 word novel I started back in 2012. When I finished, at about 11:00 AM on a Saturday, I felt a moment of elation and did a brief happy dance. And then my chest turned to stone and I started to feel more and more miserable. 

It was over. My story was no longer my own; I was releasing it into the world for judgement. I had to say goodbye to characters I'd been carrying with me for four years. I had no one to celebrate with. Simple "Congratulations!" didn't seem like enough. All the stuff I'd put off to finish story came rushing back to me. I stood alone in a hot, empty, messy house.
By 4:00 PM that same day, I was weeping.

But I talked with my friend and fellow writer Rita, and the next week, I went to my parent's house for the next week and got distracted baby-sitting my nephew. Then I slowly started looking at the writing, projects, and tasks I'd neglected. College started August 20th, so I had to prepare for that.

I think that writers--or at least, certain writers like me--can easily become obsessed with work and achievement. A little obsession can help meet goals, but goals can make you feel empty, so it's important to re-connect with people and go out and do something you enjoy. In a summer of doing stuff, I also:
  • Spent the week of 4th of July  in Oceanside with my parents, walking the eroding beach, going to farmer markets, and visiting museums and gardens in or around San Diego
  • Actually saw some movies: Zootopia, The Jungle Book, and Star Trek: Beyond. (Coincidentally, they all contain Idris Elba.)
  • Attended 4 Shakespeare plays: Richard III (Griffith Park), Othello (Shakespeare by the Sea), Cymbaline (Shakespeare by the Sea), and  The Tempest (Griffith Park). Also saw the Pirates of the Penzance (OC Shakespeare) and heard a free jazz concert by Bria Skonberg (Redlands Bowl). 
  • Baby-sat my nephew Tyson and went to a small local water park for his birthday.
  • Rediscovered my love of cooking and card-making.
And so, with a roller coaster of events, achievements, and emotions, it was hard for me to sit down and blog. But as summer gives way to fall, I hope it will be easier to recommit to a schedule once again.

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