Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Telling the truth Tuesday - Writing is Damned Hard

Writing is freakin' hard. Damn it. Why can’t I ever choose anything easy? Trying to sing three-part harmony before I’d ever tried two part was just plain ridiculous. Writing a memoir when I’d never written anything more than an article or essay, well, let’s just say it wasn’t a piece of cake. And I had to go back to school to finally finish it. But that was part of the journey, wasn’t it? So what is this journey going to look like? I haven’t a %^&* clue. Why am I cursing? Am I angry? If so, what am I angry at? I'm angry at myself for not wanting to exercise—ever. Singing is fun. I do love it when it comes together, but I don’t love it when it isn’t working. So in order for me to love something, it has to be working right? Does that mean if a friend isn’t working right, I won’t love them? No, of course not. So I need to love my wips even if they are not coming together. Or even working on any level at this point.

Of the two  pieces: a book on aging,  and the novel about the wishing steps, is there one that is calling to me right now? Both seem to have equal “needing to be written” rights. The wishing steps is the one that is going to be the hardest in terms of spiritual journey into the unknown. The voice which came to me in Scotland asking me to tell its story hasn't made an appearance lately. And in order to write the aging book, I need to do interviews and research. I have no energy right now. All I seem to have energy for is walking and singing and minimal chores like shopping and cooking easy things. Since I can’t change that, how about accepting that due to all the various issues I'm dealing with right now, my own as well as others, I am exhausted, spiritually, emotionally and physically. It’s legitimate. This is where I am super hard on myself. Thinking that I shouldn’t feel what I’m feeling, especially when anyone who experiences what I do just might be tired also.

Why don’t I think about intention? I am setting intention to:

• Be good to myself on a moment to moment, daily basis

• Exercise every day, if possible

• Practice singing each day

• Write the books: 1) Intention for aging book: to offer a guide to aging boomers about aging and caring for aging parents; 2)  Intention for The Wishing Steps: to follow inner guidance and let this story unfold

What might you set your intentions towards?


Jules said...

Oh,I have that same exercise intention and I haven't made it yet either. :( I need to learn that being good to yourself one and as for singing? Let's just say even the dogs run :)

Would be glad to be an aging subject at 52 I'm on that road. Maybe you could do an on-line survey.

Hang in there (Hugs)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Vicki Rocho said...

Writing is hard, but it's also very rewarding when you get the words to play nice and line up just so....

Take a step back and see what comes to you. If you push too hard, all ideas will elude you.

Stephanie Faris said...

I think I read a blog not so long ago that summed it up perfectly. Anyone can write...and many people have a natural talent...but it's a love for writing that has us doing it every day, whereas other people might focus that energy on other things, things they love. Yes, it's hard, but when we conquer it, there's no better feeling!

KarenG said...

It is so very hard but so are a lot of things in life that still are worth doing. I like the book idea about intentions/ wishing steps. That one sounds intriguing. But essentially it has to be a book you want to write, otherwise it won't happen.

Mason Canyon said...

Every day I intend to be more organized and get more done. So far that's not working out, but every day I try again. LOL Best of luck. Your writing muse will come to you.

Thoughts in Progress

Joanne said...

I'm a walker, and walk wherever and whenever I can. I find that it really helps give me energy afterward to handle all the other stuff. And I love your book concepts. Maybe just work on the nf book proposal, which will really help structure your ideas and the format first?

Karen Walker said...

Thanks Jules, that's a brilliant idea. Hadn't thought about interviewing folks I've met on line.
Vicki, you are so right. Thank you.
Stephanie, sorry if my rant made it seem like I don't love writing. I do. It's just not an easy path.
Karen, both these books have been calling to me for quite some time, so I'm pretty sure I'm meant to write both of them. Life just seems to get in the way sometimes.
Mason, I so understand. Just keep setting the intention. One of these days...
Joanne, thanks. That's a good idea about writing the nf proposal first. Hadn't thought of that.

Helen Ginger said...

I'm trying to exercise more. It's been hard when my trainer is out in the garage and it's 100+ degrees here. But it's getting cooler, so I'm getting better at it. My main intention is to write more. I have so many other things that need doing that I've neglected writing for way too long.

I recommend you start with small steps, Karen. Not that you intend to write two books, but that you intend to write an outline for one book and give yourself two weeks (or more) to do that. Maybe set a goal for each day of however long you give yourself.

Sharon Lippincott said...

OMG, Karen, consider yourself hugged and take a nap. Or a walk. You are a Walker, right?

When I get into these states (don't we all?) I'm beginning to remember to break the trance, look around and see that Right This Minute, the earth is still spinning on its axis, I'm still breathing, and what else matters? Everything right this minute is okay. Why worry about later?

This usually does help. Even in the middle of the night. When I remember.

arlee bird said...

I think we need to do what we need to do within reason. Rest, relaxation, and doing the things you enjoy are important to pursue to keep your sanity and vitality.
Life can be like a party. You may find some guests boring and have to gracefully step away to chat with another more interesting guest for awhile. You might need to step out on the balcony for some fresh air other times. Then, maybe later when that boring guest suddenly seems intriguing, you can go back and strike up another conversation and find that they're a little more interesting this time. Go where life's party takes you.

Tossing It Out

KK Brees said...

That writing-exercise connection is so true. When I'm away from either one it gets easier and easier to let each slide. Then I get back in the groove and it feels so good, I wonder why I am so friggin' weak. Sigh.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

My intentions are to finish my next novel but not stress right now while there's so much to do before my first one comes out.

Anonymous said...

Love your wips? What's a wip? I think what you are doing now is research for your aging book. Just take notes for now, and when your friend stabilizes, then you can concentrate on putting it into a book. Just my two cents.

Karen Walker said...

Helen, when it's 100+ degrees, sipping iced tea in an air-conditioned room is what's called for.
Sharon, ah yes.
Karen, good luck!
Alex, wishing you so much luck with your soon-to-be released novel. Enjoy every moment.
Simona, a wip is a work in progress. Thanks for your two cents.

Clarissa Draper said...

I would love to finish my novels. I just need some time to think. It's been a tough few months for my writing and I'm glad I'm getting it together...slowly.


Ann said...

I would love to finish just one project totally and completely. Just one!

Patricia Stoltey said...

I can only recommend you let yourself rest when your mind and body say rest. We sometimes are our own worst enemies.

That said, I have two wips I want to finish and start submitting to agents, and I'm setting big blocks of time aside for new writing starting October 1st. That's my intention.


Ann Best said...

Walk, Karen. Keep walking. And singing. Writing IS difficult. Your ideas sound wonderful. But (repeat) writing is very, very difficult, time-consuming, emotionally draining. As Pat says, we are sometimes our own worst enemies. Rest when you need to. If you don't, you won't be able to write anything. My advice is to relax and ponder your ideas for awhile. I'm trying very hard right now in my life not to fall apart if my plans (for writing or whatever) go awry. I'm trying to do what Helen Ginger suggests: take small steps. Write an outline. Write scenes.

Thanks for stopping by my blog. You asked me who is publishing my book. WiDo is publishing it.

Take care. Be kind to yourself.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Don't worry...it's hard for all of us. I've had a real stinker of a writing week and I've got a deadline coming up really quickly. I'm just trying to open up my mind to the possibilities of the story and letting the words come to me at odd times. When I force it, it does make things worse.

Maybe just think about your story as you're taking a relaxing walk...tell yourself there's no pressure to write...and just see what happens.

Tabitha Bird said...

This is a hard one Karen. I have a much bigger respect for myself and my own limits. If I push them I know where I'll end up and that place is not ever a place I want to be again. SO I try not to set myself up for failure. I have a writing time each and everyday. An no matter what I feel like I sit down and write. It doesn't have to be work on my memoir. It can be anything. Sometimes I sit there and write about why I don't want to write. the point is to get the juices flowing. Sometimes, lots of times, I sit and just write whatever comes into my head. Those usually end up as blog posts. So I have set times for things, but not set amounts to accomplish. I write more without a word count than I ever have by setting one.

Hugs to you as you be gentle with yourself. Tired is always something to listen to. I am glad you are listening :)

Glynis said...

Swimming will give way to walking shortly. I try, is my motto.
Writing is hard, and like you, Karen, I never choose easy things to keeep me sane. :)