I know that writing has started properly now because I am getting headaches. They are specific writing related headaches and there is no mistaking where they come from. These aren’t the type of headaches I reach to the aspirin bottle for, they are all to do with the internal struggle I am feeling day to day about the progress with my writing.
To explain; there are always things on my to-do list that are related to writing but not in the creation of the story itself, things like marketing, advertising and social media. Mostly it consists of me learning about better initiatives and processes to develop the company I set up in order to self publish. It is interesting stuff and extremely important in the long run (I’m talking about years here! What I am putting effort into now I expect to help me over the course of several years, there is nothing short term about it) but of course you must have a balance, you cannot focus all of your energy on long term goals because you will never achieve any new content, and you cannot concentrate fully on the content because you will then have a huge gap in your communication ability. However, in the past year or even slightly more, because I knew that I had so much to do on the social media front the balance was tipped in its favour. Therefore when I would review what I had achieved during the week or the month I would not beat myself up too much had I not spent much time writing. It really felt to me like I needed the security of a good foundation to spring off from, a secure set of prepared forums (such as a website, Facebook page and the like) to feel like I had a presence, I’m not saying that was right or wrong, it is just what I felt I needed for me. How things have now changed!
I must try and force myself to focus on writing now and have that take up the larger percentage of my time for this year. I have committed myself to do so already and there is not much that can possibly get in my way. That is where the headaches come in. They are a signal…they are my mind telling me that I am not spending time on the things I have spent time on over the last two years. Why am I not contacting people on Facebook and Pinterest today? Why have I not developed the author affiliate programs? Why have I not spent time looking at the US tax code issue that I have constantly put off? On it goes, my mind keeps nagging me to get on with the multiple things involved in running the business, and that’s not a bad thing, I’m glad I somehow have the internal motivation process occurring naturally! But I can’t switch it off!
The simple response to my brain is that if I don’t spend time, or rather decent quality time, writing then it’s all to waste! It is quite obvious; it is an anxiety and stress related headache. It is my subconscious automated warning system. I wonder if anyone reading this who enjoys writing feels this? If you have set yourself targets, and it may not necessarily be written targets, goals that you have said out loud, but internally you just know, you just feel you should achieve…when you don't make them, even if you have worked extremely hard on other important work, more vitally important work, do you feel ill? It is a physical manifestation of disappointment I suppose.
I have actually started writing so the headaches have also been related to progress, if I write a thousand words why not two, four thousand why not five and so on. If I go for a walk before I get ten minutes away from home my mind is telling me to turn around and go back to writing. If I start writing emails or my blog or put the bloody kettle on to make a cup of tea (well, coffee really) I feel pressured to hurry up and get back to a story. I think I am scaring myself, I am putting doubts in my mind such as, am I rushing through my writing just for the sake of making progress and not doing a good enough job, am I getting up too late in the morning when another hour could give me more writing time, am I doing too much of this and too much of that or too little of this and too little of that...
The thing is though, I’m not unhappy with progress. As I wrote previously, I’m excited by it all and looking forward to this year, so I wish my brain would just let me have some time off! Having a glass of wine helps but I don’t like the idea of feeling like I have to drink a bottle of wine a night to enable me to relax…
Can you hear the sound of the cork popping?
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