This week–like this entire month, heck like this entire year–has just blurred by. Blurred. Days just *blinked* past me.
I didn’t even finish any one of my books that I’d borrowed from the library! #readerfail. I’m still planning on reading them though. I will make it a point!
A new book that popped up on my radar is The Bird and the Sword, by Amy Harmon. My friend raved about its beautiful words, and I was curious enough to eyeball Amazon and get a feel. The first page ensnared me, and I quickly sent myself a free sample and now I have to have it. Did you click over yet to experience it yourself? No? Seriously, check it out HERE and if you’re not rolling around in awe at all the delicious words, then I don’t know how we’re friends.
So, as I said, my recent life has been a blur. That’s because I have been a nonstop working machine. Just this week alone, I averaged 18-hour workdays with 4-hour breaks to sleep. (Yesterday, I worked 20 hours straight for the second day in a row, with breaks only for food. I think.) (I’m here on just right under four hours of sleep, so if I’m a little loopy, well, you know why.) If I wasn’t at the pay-the-bills job, I was writing. Website content, emails, feedback, stories, you name it, I was probably writing it.
I feel like most of the people around me think I am an obsessive workaholic. They’d be sort of right of course, but it’s in a weird, “Why are you doing this to yourself?” kind of way. Like, I’m doing something torturous or something.
Uhm, I’m in my creative cocoon where I feel untouchable and in control of my life. I “do this to myself” because I freaking love it! I told a friend just the other day: writing, ideating, creating…it energizes me. This isn’t the soul-sucking work of unfulfilled potential. Writing–the creative and business side of it–calls to me and compels me to work until my eyes give out. THIS is what people talk about when they make those clickable quotes that are splattered all over Instagram. Stuff like: “Do what you love, love what you do” or “Do what you love and never work a day in your life”…those kinds of quotes.
I get all of those quotes because I live it every day.
Speaking of clickable quotes, let me add a fave to it: “Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it.” Buddha. I like this because it doesn’t shame the word “Work.” Work to me is wholly positive because I see the redemptive power of work every day of my life. My work gives me purpose, and I love every minute of it, and won’t apologize for it or make myself smaller just because others perceive “Work” as this horrible thing.
(If your Work is horrible, choose another form of it, or gain a new perspective. Completely transformative experience for me.)
I used to sleep as much as possible because I was a vivid dreamer. I loved that in-between feeling of falling asleep, anticipating the stories in my dreams. (They usually revolved around epic, end of the world type struggles…or whatever I’d been reading at the time.) And then my alarm clock would blare and I would be so miserable thinking about the day ahead, of the long hours of uselessness and busy work. All for what? A paycheck?
Now, as soon as my alarm sounds, my eyes open, and I can’t get up fast enough. Recreating the snippets of my imagination into whole, fleshed-out stories is so much more fulfilling than the shadows I experienced while dreaming. Creating is intoxicating and satisfying and addictive all at once. AND I’M DOING IT ALL FOR FREE. (Mostly. For now. 😉 )
Of course it’s also tedious and challenging, but the reward of seeing a story come together in a meaningful way is just beautiful. ::le sigh:: Just yesterday, I was reading through my manuscript, and basically had been feeling like a beachcomber, inspecting every bit of sand under a magnifying glass. I was so tired of picking at the beach that was my manuscript with what a backscratcher, that I put down my pen, grabbed more coffee (and kept both hands on the mug), and decided to skim for a few pages.
I got so lost in the story, that as I read over one of the main turning points, I literally started tearing up. At my own words. Like, I smeared my untouchable eye makeup wiping my eyes because I was crying.
I know I was basically sleep deprived, but forgetting for a moment that I wrote this thing, and the thing made me cry in a good way, was so, so gratifying after what has seemed like a neverending suckfest of words. (And I mean “neverending suckfest” in the best way possible.) It’s like, once I stopped looking at every grain of sand and only seeing imperfections, I was able to take in the entire panorama and be in awe of all the elements of what makes a Beach so spectacular: crashing waves, sunsets, long stretches of send…this is what I think of when I think Beach; all the elements together and not just the sand. It’s a very important part, but it’s not the only part.
(If it were, I’d hate the beach. Ew. Sand is tenacious and gets everywhere. Everywhere.)
Anyway, that’s been my week (and month and year…) so far. Hopefully, I have some fun recaps for you next week after my upcoming writing workshop.