Hi friends. I’m having a bad, hard day. One where it was a battle to even climb out of bed, and in fact, one where I didn’t climb out of bed till early afternoon. Things have been going much better with my sleep since meeting with the insomnia doctor two weeks ago, but then I have a day like today, and I feel like a failure.
I know I’m not a failure. But there’s still this weird shame for me to not be able to get out of bed. I feel like I let everyone, including myself, down. But I’m trying to show myself grace. So I decided to look through my goals for 2016 and see where I’m at. Even though I know that I have not met most of them, I still feel good about my progress.
Behind Door 1: a final manuscript of Salt Novel
I have finally gotten back in the groove of writing. I am writing every day and loving it. I feel like that hadn’t happened yet in 2016. Eight months in, I have found a rhythm. I feel good about what I’m writing. I want to write. I am sitting down every night to do the hard, fulfilling work of wrestling through a manuscript and its issues. I am solving them as I encounter them, giving myself time and grace to find solutions. I have hope that this novel might be really special.
Behind Door 2: a first draft of my next novel.
I realized I already have this. It’s called Yes Novel.
Behind Door 3: three new story ideas, just the bare bones.
I have very thin ideas for Fox Novel, Ivy Novel, and Glass Novel.
Behind Door 4: a writing retreat.
I did this, but very, very low-scale. I usually go to Duluth for around a week each summer, but it just wouldn’t work out with finances and PTO this year, so I did a long weekend in my beautiful home office, and even though it was all brainstorming and plotting and no actual writing during those four days, I ended up about a thousand miles from where I began. It was amazing.
Behind Door 5: a day of creative exploration.
Does it count that I went to a really cool restaurant the other day? I still really want to do this. Okay, I just asked on Quora for some ideas.
Behind Door 6: a pruned TBR shelf, via reading and weeding.
I started off the year STRONG. I was brutal on my TBR shelf and made several trips to Half Price Books. I was also really good at not buying new books unless I really, really, really wanted them and had a gift card. In the second half of the year, I’ve gotten bad again, buying buying buying. Though I am using the library more than I have since I was in high school, so that’s smart! Okay, I am recommitting to being smarter about my book-buying habits.
Behind Door 7: a book of poetry every month.
Not happening. No matter how bad I want it to happen. I’m just not in the right spot to make this a thing right now.
Behind Door 8: a healthier writing lifestyle.
See Door 1! I feel like I’m doing so, so, so much better. Trying to be smarter about writing in small, two-hour chunks instead of killing myself with a twelve-hour writing marathon. Just trying to move forward every day. Reading The Art of Slow Writing was so good for me.
Okay, so I’m not a failure. I’ve plodded through deep waters this year, and I haven’t drowned yet. In fact (if I set aside how low and icky today was), I am on my way toward tremendous health. My OCD is in check. I haven’t needed to see my therapist in months. I am taking real steps to solve my sleep issues and those steps are, for the most part, working. I have healthy relationships. I have a writing project that fulfills me. I have committed to staying in my role in admissions for now and have lots of ideas to improve my recruiting. I’m not a failure. Today was a setback, but those are normal. Back on the horse, Sommers. Forward.
You have accomplished so much! And you’re moving forward. I’m glad you were able to see that by looking at your goals. It’s OK to have days when you need to take it easy. It’s not a cop out. It’s being kind to yourself.
SO not a failure. You are an inspiration! I’ve been having a rough month writing-wise myself. But I’m trying to be kind to myself about it.
You’re so sweet, Alison. YES. Be kind to yourself. It will come!! You are a writing ROCKSTAR.
Back in the saddle again. Jackie Sommers Strong
You are such an inspiration for me. You can do it girl.
You’re so sweet, Céline. Thank you, dear.