Tag Archives: journal entries

Dismayed, Dissatisfied and Overwhelmed

Yesterday I noted some of the things that came in to interrupt and distract me from writing daily. Today I’ll note what happened on the days that I did write — which was four days last week and three days — so far — this week.

Last monday I got into the office at 7:41am!  Hooray.  At first I hardly knew what to do. I wrote in my Morning Pages journal (from The Artist’s Way) then got down to work — for almost all day. I have stacks of notecards and papers all over the place, so I took one of the stacks which was on my main character, Talmas, and used it to update my character file on him, then threw the stack away.

Tuesday I got into the office at 7:26am, but then had to intersperse writing with other stuff. In the end I did three pages of back story on another character. I had a bunch of different notes because I’d kept changing my mind about how things were going to go, and finally pulled it together and into line with the other characters’ storylines. I waffled a good deal — is this really the relationship and sequence that makes the most sense and will be believed? I wasn’t sure. Then I realized I just flat-out liked it the best, so I went with that. It doesn’t seem like much progress, but it took most of the day.

Wednesday I thought hard about the book and got nowhere. I was all ready to rail on in my current journal about my frustration, dismay, lack of progress and sense that there’s both too much here and nothing at the same time, then discovered that I’d already done that. In my journal entry from March 1, 2007

Ahem. That’s five years ago. When I was starting The Enclave. Which was mildly alarming — the fact it’s been almost exactly five years since I started a book. Of course it doesn’t seem like I’m “starting” Sky because I’ve been picking at it for about four years now in between all the other things, and do have seven chapters written.  But since it’s been more a process of two steps forward, one step back, maybe it just seems like I should be further along because of the time, not the continuity of work.

Anyway, here’s what I wrote at the start of The Enclave, 5 years ago:

“[This morning] I was bugged, condemned and dismayed because I’d started to look through my notes and was not only dissatisfied — it’s not right, it’s not compelling , it’s not going in the right direction, I don’t like it — but overwhelmed by all the ideas and info and possibilities, and at the same time clueless as to which to choose. When I finished wrestling with it — and by then it was only noon — I was exhausted!”

Exactly how I felt with Sky. And still do most of the time. Trying to get my head around the world, which is only partially conceived, and the characters and some kind of actual plot  is both overwhelming and confusing. Yes, that event would be an okay thing to happen, and that detail of setting is cool, and this conversation would be nice, and yeah, I did have the idea that he would rescue people, and then there are the Mole People, those are cool, but I have no idea how they relate… and the ma’el– Should that be their name or should I change it? — and the Artifacts – how do they fit in? And…


So I went off to Good Reads, which I’d only just learned about and read some nice reviews about The Light of Eidon


But I did want to set down one more quote from that same journal entry in March of 2007  because it also applies to me working on Sky. I guess it’s not surprising that I would wrestle with the same personal flaws and tendencies every time, but it always seems Amazing and Startling to me when I discover that I do.

So, continuing from the March 1, 2007 entry:

“I realized I’d had unrealistic expectations (ie, “see the entire storyline in pleased and confident clarity”) and that of course it would be like this (chaos, too much to process, nothing that seems good) and I should have set some sort of specific and reasonable goal like, “look through the material and see if anything occurs to me…” rather than beat myself up for reasons that are absurd and even… well… insane…”

So that is what I’m trying to do. Just look through the material and see where God leads me. Without expecting it all to fall into place at once. Or even in a day. 🙂

Journal Entries — Part 1: The Journey Begins


Well, it’s been over a week since I last posted. I don’t know where the time goes, just that it goes much too fast. Especially when I’m wrestling with something, which lately I have been.

For awhile I’ve been waking up in a weird mood, sort of down, yucky, discouraged, blue… I struggle to describe it precisely, can’t really find a direct source for it, though I’ve been having lots of dreams where I am trying to accomplish various tasks and keep running into obstacles, distractions, roadblocks, hindrances… A lot like my actual life.

The funny thing about the yucky feeling is that once I am thoroughly awake it goes away.

I read an article on dreams once – I think it might have been in The Smithsonian – that reported the results of a dream study some institution had done. In the study, subjects’ dreams tended to fall into two categories. One was where they dreamt of trying to accomplish something over and over and never succeeded until they woke up. Subjects who’d had this sort of dream tended to feel out of sorts afterward. And often there were elements of unfinished business in their lives that the dreams seemed to be springing from

The other category of dream was where the subject might dream over and over about something they were trying to accomplish until ultimately they succeeded and woke up. They felt much better than the other group of subjects. I think they might not have had the same sort of unfinished business in their lives as the first group of subjects…

At least that’s the way I remember it.

Anyway, it did seem to me that my dreams might indeed be echoing my reality, and that perhaps that was the reason for my waking up with the out of sorts feeling.

So this is where my wrestling began, and over the last two weeks or so has led to a spiritual journey of sorts that I’ve decided to set down here in my blog as a series of posts incorporating excerpts from my journal.

Come back tomorrow for the next installment.