So here I am writing to you from Myrtle Beach. The waves look pretty fierce today and it’s overcast but I’m loving the sounds of the waves against the shore and kids playing down below. It’s so nice just to be here and since no one else is here just yet, it’s also quiet. I really should’ve used more of my time for writing but I used it for reading instead. Sometimes a girl just needs a fix I guess… if that girl is me and her drug of choice is reading. I love writing, I love working on stories, sometimes I even love editing, but I am honest-to-God addicted to reading. No way could I ever give it up. Physical books, ebooks, audiobooks, comic books, fanfiction, articles, backs of cereal boxes… That reminds me, I was supposed to be keeping tracking of the pages I’ve read outside of just my books this year. I did a good job for maybe a month or two but now I’ve totally slacked off. I guess I could start back up now, but I’m not sure I will. I have so many other things going on right now that I just don’t think there’s one more thing I can put on my list.
I have about a month before I have to go back to work, assuming I don’t get hired sooner by another company. I know that’s actually a good chunk of time. I know that. And I’ll certainly be glad to make the money I make when I’m working as opposed to being on unemployment, it’s just that I’m lazy and I like being off and sleeping in and staying up late and I’d love to do that forever. I also need to make more time for writing than I have been. It’s weird I know I want to write and then I sit down to write and I put it off to do something else. I think writing itself scares me sometimes even though I totally love it. I guess because I care so much. Because even when you’re not talking about yourself there’s still so much of yourself in writing that it feels like people don’t like you if they don’t like what you’ve written. Criticism, for all it’s about your story, ends up feeling like it’s about you.
I read the Four Agreements earlier this year and my favorite was “don’t take anything personally.” It’s never about you. It’s always about the other person and how they perceive the world and themselves. What I’ve read about Buddhism has something similar about how those things that you find frustrating or annoying in others is really because you’re seeing something of yourself in that person - something that you don’t like about yourself. And I think, for the most part, that’s really true too.
Here’s the thing though, it’s a hard balance to walk because just because the critic isn’t personal that doesn’t mean the critic isn’t wrong. You have to find a way to sort through criticism for the helpful advice without letting the suggestions for improvement - or the praise for that matter - get to you too much. Praise can be just as difficult as criticism to overcome. Sometimes because it makes you believe you don’t need the criticism but I think sometimes it’s because you’re trying too hard to replicate what went right in the good parts to let yourself write the crap you sometimes need to write to get to the good stuff. The more crap you write the more gold you’ll find. Which makes sense. I always thought the more you wrote the better you got at it, which in some sense is true but I think also it’s just about statistics. The more cards you have in your hands, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to put a good hand together. Poker may have limits on how many cards you can hold in your hands and how many times you can draw and put back, but writing doesn’t. The only limits writing has are the ones you put on it. And by “you” in all this, I do mean me. Obviously.
I’d like to get some more written on my hopefully one day novel. I’d written a version of what may be chapter five but after re-reading it, I’ve found I don’t like it. Well, not so much “don’t like it” as it isn’t quite working. There are pieces of it that do but on a whole there needs to be more action and less contemplation. I think the wrong character is being introduced too or rather the wrong conversation is happening. I’m not entirely sure how I know that or why I feel that way, but I’m deciding to trust my instincts on it and rewrite it. I’ve already written a little bit of it and I like the re-written part better so far. Granted, we’re talking about 100 words of the second draft as compared to the 1200 word first draft but still. It’s working better.
I’m also working on the second draft of my Magical Girls story. I need a better title and to fix up the grammar. I can’t use “Grammarly” on my iPad which makes me wish I’d carted my laptop down here a little bit but I think there’s an public access computer in this hotel somewhere that I can probably use in the next couple of days so that I can get it fixed up and posted to the Lit Mag Love group. I think I really only absolutely have to have the first page ready. I have no idea if I’ll make all the work in time but I am going to try.
I’m thankful for the time we spent hanging out and watching Killjoys while we were in Raleigh because it allowed me the time I needed to my job applications for my unemployment status for the week. Having those done is such a weight off my shoulders. Especially for yesterday when I was making lunch with my dad and then driving to the beach. It’s about a 3 hour trip which isn’t much at all but with getting out of the hotel, getting to hug everyone one more time at the mall, then driving over to where dad was working so we could get food and then head over to his hotel, then make some lunch and spend some time with him, AND then drive three hours only to have to drag in two weeks worth of luggage plus a couple of things my dad gave me to bring here for him, I didn't get settled in the condo until around 8:30 or 9 and I still needed to have dinner and I wanted to write so having to think about whether or not to do job applications would’ve been a nightmare.
I’ve had soda today instead of Mio energy and the sugar has me jittery. I don’t often have a lot of soda anymore and I think that Code Red Mountain Dew has a special mixture of sugar and caffeine that creates a special brand of hyper. It doesn't help that I haven’t had real food yet either. So far today I’ve had a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Meaning in order to chill out I’m probably going to have to go for a run or something. It’s starting to look like it might storm soon outside. I suppose I could’ve gone swimming earlier but I wanted to write and I wanted to stay in this nice, quiet condo for as long as it would be nice and quiet. I really needed a bit of quiet and time to myself. I know that mom and dad - though traveling separately and coming from different places will be here soon.
Speaking of, I’ll probably have to help them bring in their luggage etcetera so I’d better go put on some shorts and a t-shirt instead of this sleep shirt and my yoga pants. I don’t want to get crud on my sleep pants after all and it looks like the rain might start soon.