Monday, March 9, 2015

A Birthday Reflection List

Today is my birthday. A day of cake, time spent with close family, and jumping on the bed pretending I'm a wizard. Okay, I'm probably getting too old for the jumping on the bed part but a woman can dream. I have wants and needs!

Looking back a year ago to my last birthday, I never thought I'd be this far in my life; let alone this far with my writing. While I've kept most of it to myself, huddled over a screen like a madman and trying to clock in as many hours of being a masochist to characters I've devised to jump through my hurdles of doom, I've also learned a lot about my limits as a person. So, I'm going to write a small list of the things I've learned this past year. Not only to remind myself that sometimes I need a swift karate chop to the laziness but so I can also look back at this post in the future and say: Wow, you're weird, keep it up.

1. It takes time to create something.

A problem I used to have was not learning to pace myself and truly mull over my thoughts and ideas. It's a large pitfall that can actually deter the creative process for me. Not taking time to learn what a world I create is like, down to the details I love, actually hinders my creativity. Taking things in stride and not being afraid to change them is a large part of it.

2. Not everything has to be right from the beginning.

I'm a perfectionist in a lot of ways. Even down to counting how many rotations I do while brushing my teeth. Okay, I lied. I don't actually do that, but I do have a set of habits that I've had to break in order to actually learn something. One of the biggest problems I had was worrying too much about whether or not my writing sounded perfect from the beginning. This. Is. An. Utter. Impossibility. Puking out words happens, I have to just let it happen.

3. Don't forget to bathe.

If I get too caught up in something I will forget to pay attention to my surroundings. I can get lost in a world and characters if I don't stop and remember that eating and sleeping are a fundamental need to survive. It helps to have a better half to remind me of this fact. You should get one if you don't have one.

4. Free time will give you ideas.

Learning to let go and spend a day rejuvenating by either playing video games or watching some movies is okay. I used to think that spending time doing these things would hinder my writing and kill my creativity. In fact, it's quite the opposite. Cutting off creeper heads in Minecraft or sleeping with hookers in The Witcher is actually very therapeutic and can give one many ideas for the creative process.

5. Love can conquer all.

If you can, get a massage from your significant other. Your friend. Your mother. Your dog. Doesn't matter. When it feels like all the chips are down and you want to stab yourself in the eye with a shiv because nothing seems to be coming to you, relax and cry it out with someone close to you. Then go back to the writing board after you've had a feeling fest. Support really helps.

That's all for me today. I hope you've enjoyed my little list. Now I head off to enjoy the party and try not to drink too much champagne or wine. Note to self for future me: never give up, you insane woman. You'll get where you want to be, eventually. 

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