I’m behind in my writing.
I wish I could say that I don’t know how it happens, but I do.
While I accuse Life of sticking out its foot and tripping me so that I’ll look funny with arms flailing as I attempt to regain my balance and where other times I just fall badly, needing time to get back up and recover, it’s a lie.
Small trip-ups have been flat tires, weather issues that mess up my plans, tripping over my feet and bruising my shin and skinning my knee, bumping into furniture corners, dropping dishes of food on the floor, forgetting to pay a bill on time…
Big Booms occur when there’s a huge life-event for someone close to me such as an illness or death, where my computer is having major issues that take days to fix, or being in a multi-car accident that totals my car.
One thing I do know is that Life loves to mess up my plans. No, that’s not true either. Life has no emotions, no feelings. Life has no purpose, no goal, no intention.
Life just is.
A rabbit hole where our time escapes us in a reality of unrealism.
During the last six weeks, I’ve been dealing with an illness of my own creation, the worst kind of rabbit hole. Because of allergies, I’m no longer able to eat dairy foods. Of. Any. Kind.
Goodbye pizza, my beloved. Goodbye favorite comfort foods of lasagna, spaghetti, macaroni & cheese.
Ice cream!? NO! You can’t leave! How will I survive without you?
It was that love of ice cream that got me in trouble. I didn’t just eat it once. I ate it five days in a row! Feeling no consequences, I was safe, right?
After much consultation, blood tests, and journaling what I ate and reactions, my rabbit hole unreality now consists of avoiding foods that are processed; all foods that I’m allergic to (tomatoes, garlic, vanilla, pork, hazelnut, raspberries, blueberries, casein, cow’s milk, pineapple, cauliflower, coffee, cashew, lemon, salmon, pear, orange, peas, green pepper, kidney bean, paprika, cod, flounder, cola nut, peanut, pecan, and sesame); all sugar except raw honey and pure maple syrup; and all grains, first because of the gluten that I have to avoid, and because I believe our grains are saturated with poisons that have been eliminated in every other country except ours.
To sum it up, I have a leaky gut and six months ago, my body’s inflammation level was at 20%. Today, my inflammation is down to just over 4%. I suspect most of that inflammation was in my gut. And, I was feeling great.
Well, at least I did until I consumed that daily week-long ice cream agenda.
So, how did these past six weeks become a rabbit hole because I ate ice cream? Quite simply, my body reacted, culminating from an allergic reaction to what I thought was bronchitis. Even the doctor thought so when I went in after four weeks trying to control an uncontrollable cough. The prescription was steroids.
Two weeks later, I went to my regular doctor and discovered it wasn’t bronchitis at all. It was an infected sinus that required an antibiotic, not steroids.
For that six weeks, day after day I lay there, a couch potato with no energy, not even for reading, just thinking about my writing, or rather the lack of it as I felt as if I had become a professional procrastinator.
No one could help me. Only I had the power to climb out of this rabbit hole.
Life isn’t going to rest on its laurels and leave me without trip-ups and big booms.
At the end of my rabbit-hole journey, I’ve learned two things:
First, good health can’t be taken for granted. If I choose to eat stupidly in the future, I will have a stupid outcome. There’s no more thinking that this will be a test. Maybe there’s a chance… No! The results are in; the food is forbidden.
Second, my writing can’t be taken for granted either. That if I want to write, I have to choose to write. During those major rabbit-hole BOOMS!, I will consider what I learned during my rabbit-hole summer, which I originally posted last fall.
Overall, however, there is no white knight, er white rabbit that I can follow.
It’s all on me.
My Rabbit Hole Summer – originally published October 2, 2018, Only for the Brave blog
Where did the summer go?
Here it is, the beginning of October, solidly into fall, and as I look back at this past year, I feel that I have nothing to show for it. What did I do all that time?
More accurately, I know what I didn’t do. Writing.
I thought about writing a lot. I talked about it even more. And, I took a number of classes to learn how to become a better writer. So, I guess, there is that. I did learn a lot through the various classes. Rebecca (Becca) Syme’s class, Writing Better Faster was just what I needed to get me out of my slump.
In her class, I discovered the big reason why I wasn’t writing. I’ve learned that major life-events shut down my creative process. While I can edit, polish, and get a manuscript formatted, it’s impossible for me to create new words on a new project, meaning getting a first draft done is extremely difficult.
When I think back over other life-events when I wasn’t writing, I remember my sister dying while I was writing my dissertation, which was technical, non-fiction writing, not creative by any means. Because the writing was non-creative and I had a deadline, I was able to bury myself into the task. At the time, I felt like she was always with me, looking over my shoulder as I worked because it as the type of writing she would have done, which were non-fiction journalism pieces. She was really good at it.
Becca’s class was a month-long class and included taking three psychological-type personality tests, which I had done two previously at work and the last through another recent class. Using those results and meeting with Becca one-on-one through Skype, I discovered there was a logical reason for my so-called writing silence over the summer, in fact for the past year. Where I was activity driven to clean out files, both electronic and paper, clean out and reorganize my bookshelves, go through the stacks of magazines and read piles of articles I’d saved, and other such activities. Another life-event had occurred.
What made Becca’s class special is that she took these test results, which in business was used to see how I fit in with my peers, and she attached them toward my writing. She was able to tell me what my best writing styles and techniques were and how I should use them to become a better writer and/or a faster writer!
For someone who likes to know the why behind anything, I was hoping for some aha moments and I got them. Several in fact. The biggest aha moment was the one I shared above. When I learned that, I stopped beating myself up, and stopped thinking I had been lazy.
Now, I’m better able to plan my schedule based on my new-realized strengths and can easily deal with the other tasks that received major procrastination. I now know how to deal with them.
Are you interested in finding out how you can become a better and/or faster writer? Becca gives classes every other month.
To join the class, go here: https://www.margielawson.com/product/oct-2018-write-better-faster
If you’d rather be notified about an upcoming class, here’s that link: https://forms.aweber.com/form/54/2064782054.htm
Here’s the link to sign up for her newsletter: https://forms.aweber.com/form/83/26292183.htm
As to my writing: I’m happy to report that over the weekend I finished the first draft of Burning Desire, the second of my Laurel Ridge novellas. And I’m now developing the characters for Arrested Pleasures, the third story in the series.
March 30, 2019 Update: Arrested Pleasure‘s first draft is written, and the characters and plots for the remaining four novellas in the series have been developed.
Looks like I might not be as behind as I thought. 🙂