...with a dayjob, during COVID. In only 18,000 grueling steps
I love, love, love the honesty here! Thank you to Kelly for this part -- "I hate when people say that, because then you picture someone that’s so disciplined. I go in spurts where I do that for two weeks and then I get really exhausted because I’m getting up too early and I’m not going to bed early enough. Then I have a meltdown, and then I sleep in for three days, and then I’m mad at myself. It’s never a smooth process, but I keep hacking away at it." -- b/c it helps me feel NORMAL! Also, the part about the 3 day writing weekend but then maybe sleeping most of it b/c you're so exhausted but maybe writing some on day 3. I have been struggling to write my own book thru pandemic, work, parenting, depression, elderly snowbird parents w health issues and it has not been going well, at least in terms of how I *think it should go. So I beat myself up and blame myself b/c if only I was more disciplined, a better writer, a better person...and of course that doesn't actually help; it only makes it worse. Thank you both for this very real slice of the writing life! (Any tips on separating yourself from the work, though? I mean, esp. when the work is, oh, what you're pouring your life into?)
"I give up exercise. I’m getting up early to work on this when I could be working out. I give up doing other things on the weekends that I could be doing with friends. But then of course, during the pandemic, we couldn’t do any of that stuff anyway, so maybe it didn’t feel like as big of a sacrifice. You have to give up the idea that you’re going to write this perfect book. I think a lot of people that want to write are kind of addicted to that. That’s what stops them actually, is they don’t want to start or they don’t want to finish the thing because they know it’s going to fall short of what they hope. If they never finish it, then they never have to face that."
This was such an incredibly helpful post and made me feel very seen AND mentored -- thank you, Claire, for lifting it up, and thank you, Kelly, for sharing your thoughts and insights!