If At First You Don’t Succeed…

…try, try again.

So, once again I will make an attempt to take up blogging again. I don’t know why I haven’t been, exactly.

Maybe because it’s been hot and humid, and I/we have to walk Quigley at night during the times I used to write my blogs. By the time we get back, it’s too late, I’m too tired, and it’s time to go to bed.

Or maybe because I’ve been doing the Flylady stuff more assiduously than before. I’ve been working on the morning and bedtime routines and sticking to them fairly well. I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve been doing it on a lesser scale than previously, or the fact that given the state I’m in, having a list of regular tasks to pursue is just what I need. They’re things that need to be done, and I don’t have to think too much.

Plus I tend to get sidetracked in the midst of them by unexpected developments, and they end up taking longer than I expected.

Or maybe it’s because I’ve just been feeling weird lately. Grieving? It doesn’t really feel like grief, though as I understand it, grief can take very strange forms.

Burnout? Possibly. Maybe even probably. I’m not sure I like the term “burnout”. Exhaustion — physical and mental — may be more accurate. Certainly once my mother’s house sold and all the immediate, deadline-type things were completed I spent a week or two doing a lot of sitting around staring out windows.  I even took a few naps.

I didn’t fuss at myself for doing it, either, because I knew that I was exhausted. And I have recovered a bit. I am doing things, after all. And don’t feel like everything is just way too hard to tackle, as I did there at the beginning.

Except for creative things. My novel under contract. My blog. Even card-making has been difficult. I made a birthday card for my sister last week and could only do tiny bits of work on it before everything went blank and it all seemed too hard. When she told me later that she’s felt the same way (she works in a rubber stamp store) I began to think it might be something other than… laziness or failure to be disciplined. Especially since I’m experiencing exactly the same thing relating to The Other Side of the Sky. I can only think about it for a teensy bit of time and then no more.

Regarding Sky, I have determined, in the small amounts of time I’ve been able to make myself get back to it, that the reason the first chapter (which is actually the second chapter, since I’m starting with a Prologue) has been so terribly hard to read, so… boring… is because it is. One of my writing books talks about how the writer often needs to use a bunch of words to tell herself the story and I suppose that is what I was doing. In any case, analysis has shown me the fact that it actually has structural problems. One of the parameters for scene construction is that you must start out with your character having a goal, which is then obstructed by some kind of problem and then conflict as the character attempts to overcome the problem and achieve her goal. Chapter One has lots of conflict and bustle and problems, but not really anything related to the viewpoint character. She has no goal. Stuff just happens and she has to deal with it. Which is why I find it boring. So I have to come up with some kind of goal for her.

And so far, I haven’t.

I have however, done a lot of decluttering around the house. In fact, I’ve been almost obsessive about it. But maybe I should save that subject for tomorrow’s post…  (Yeah, I know, I’ve said that before. Hopefully I WILL be back for tomorrow’s post. In fact… maybe I’ll go write it now…)

7 thoughts on “If At First You Don’t Succeed…

  1. knitwitt

    Karen,
    It was good to see your blog post in my e-mail this morning! I am so very sorry you have not been feeling 100%, exactly.
    Your blog post title reminds me of a kind of riddle: How do you eat an elephant? With tiny bites.
    You can not see me with the pom-poms waving them around, but I am here, cheering you on! Keep on, keeping on with “Sky”, and I just know you will get it written like you want 🙂

    Reply
  2. Lelia Rose Foreman

    Oh, and our housemate and another friend from church died last week, so I am taking things slowly again.
    When my brother died, a few days later I went to pick up our van at our daughter’s house, and when I looked at that first high step to reach the seat, it just seemed all too much, so I walked home rather than try to vault into that 15 seater.

    Reply
    1. karenhancock

      Sorry to hear you’ve had even more losses, Lelia. A housemate and a friend, both in the same week? That’s gotta be tough, but softened, I trust, by the knowledge that you’ll see them again. Thanks for sharing about the van. And the sleeping and finding things too hard. I guess it’s not as weird as it seems.

      Reply
  3. Rebecca LuElla Miller

    It’s not weird at all, Karen. When my mom died (Palm Sunday 2002), I tried to go back to teaching two months later and had to force myself every day just to show up. A friend had told me when my dad died that it would be about two years before I’d start to feel “normal” again, and he was right. So when my mom passed away, I knew what to expect.

    The best thing is to accept that you’re going to feel off, and in these circumstances that actually IS normal.

    The routine tasks do seem to be easier — the ones that don’t take a lot of emotional energy.

    Still praying.

    Becky

    Reply
    1. karenhancock

      Thanks for sharing that Becky. I appreciate the additional insight. Nice to know that I really can’t make myself do better!

      Reply

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