Judging, stress, writing and what will be

“Without a firm idea of himself and the purpose of his life, man cannot live, and would sooner destroy himself than remain on earth, even if he was surrounded by bread.” – Fyodor Dostoevsky

When I started writing I was very wary of critique. It was only after taking writing class with Gotham Writer’s Workshop that I began to break out of my shell. It began with the first story I turned in for the class. I only turned it into the instructor of the class. The critique was brutal on my grammar and sentence structure. Something that I have since tried to fix. The rest of the critique was geared towards my description of things. This I did very well on. The brutal attacks on my grammar I took as attacks on me personally. Now that I am wiser in my writing. I know that it was not a personal attack. It was merely the instructor telling what I had to fix. It took a few weeks from the start of the class for me to understand this. I almost quit the class and washed the money down the drain. Which would have made my wife very mad. When I realized I was being judged on my work and not who I was it made things easier. It was liberating in my writing and for the class to understand that.

The stress of trying to finish this book along with the daily stresses of life, a day job, finding time to write and figuring out when and how I am to spend time with my wife and kids with all the things I am doing. Right now I have my blog, the current novel I am writing, the books on grammar that I read, books on style and prose, among the large group of other books that I am reading. Add all that together and you have someone who barely has time to do much other than the things listed above. I wake up in the morning, get ready for work (Wed-Sun) pack all my writing materials (laptop, notes, books, pens and journals) and I take my son to school (Wed-Fri). On Saturday and Sunday I do all of this except for taking my son to school. On my off days ( Mon-Tues) I am home with my daughter. During her nap time, whenever that may take place I get out my laptop and start writing until she wakes up ( I do get up and check on her every ten minutes).

On my work days (Wed-Sun) I read while walking up a long hallway, usually with Chopin playing in my ears. If I arrive at work early enough I will sit in another room and write as long as I can until I have to be at my station. When lunch comes I eat then get out my laptop for a half-hour or so. At the end of my work day I return to whatever book I am reading and walk down that long hallway (with Chopin playing) and head home. After dinner and playing with my kids, my wife or I will read to our son and daughter. After they fall asleep I sit with my wife for an hour watch a movie or whatever is on the DVR and after that my night belongs to the story. I am usually up until 1 a.m. every night. There are nights when I know that I cannot write or I feel that if I stay up I may get a cold. A cold or the flu is my worst enemy as a writer. I do not feel like doing anything when I am sick.

There are times when I am not sick that I do not feel like writing. I choose to ignore those times and write anyways. In life there are things you know and don’t know. I know this is what I am supposed to do with my life. There is nothing other than writing that makes me feel so free. Putting the words on the page is a better high than any drug I have ever used.


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