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Thursday, December 14, 2006

Cathartic blog

I woke up at 4-ish this morning (becaus of Noah in bed with us), and couldn't go back to sleep for a while, thinking about my story (more on that in a minute) and my possible college application. As I lay in bed, I started composing this blog post, but by the time I thought, "I should get up and blog", I was actually getting tired enough to fall asleep, and, after all, sleep is what I REALLY want to do at 4 in the morning, not blog.

So, first, the story. I had made up my mind to finish it last week, and that didn't happen. Then I decided to finish it this week, and that's not going to happen. But the problem isn't (really, it isn't) procrastination. This is new for me. Usually everything in my life that doesn't get finished or done is a victim of my legendary procrastination. But this time it really is different. The past couple of weeks, any time I sit down to write, I'm dreading it. I feel drained, like I'm forcing this thing out of my weary brain. During (most of) November, I was having a blast. I really enjoyed the process of writing my story, and the creative outlet it provided me. Now I'm just not having fun at all with it, and I feel lots of pressure from myself to get it out there for my faithful readers. My original plan was to finish the story, take a few weeks off, then start editing it. I think I may have to give myself permission to just let it go until January or even February. My creative juices are so juiced out, and I think maybe I need the time to let them recharge. Let me say, however, that I am VERY committed to finishing this story. I've wanted to write a book ever since I was, like, 5, and I haven't accomplished that goal yet. I won NaNoWriMo, and that's huge! But my story isn't done. I want to finish it, I really do. But I think I'm going to wait. I desperately need some time away so that this is fun again. Because, if it's not fun, why do it? There are lots of noble answers to that (the betterment of society through literary genius--ha!), but really, I want to have fun with it. I promise I will post the next part of what I have of the story in a few days.

So, the next thing. I'm having second thoughts about my application to UIS's Online English Program. One of the reasons for this is my story. If I'm spending a lot of time next year revising, rewriting, and expanding my story, will I have time to do school work? Or will school work (such as an option to take a fiction writing course) help me with that? Also, I will be watching an additional child come August, as Abbey's mom is due in May. That means I will probably not have as much free time during the day, because who knows how New Baby's nap schedule will work out. But then, it may work out great, and maybe I will have just as much time as I have now. But will I have enough time to do school work and work on my story? Will I lose my mind trying to do it all? Should I put off the story so I can finish school? Should I put off school so I can finish my story (I mean, really finish it)?I really don't want to put college off if now is the right time for this. The problem is, I just don't know if now is the right time. The other problem is, I have to have my application in by January 15th. I could just send in the app, and then turn it down if I decide later that I don't want to/can't do it. But there's also a $50 app. fee, and I really don't want to waste that money. It's not like it's $500, but $50 is $50. I wouldn't mind spending the next month thinking and praying about this, but I really want to know the answer. They only accept 25 students every year, and, as we already discovered, they don't accept students mid-year, so if I'm going to apply, I'd like to do it ASAP.

So that's what I was thinking about at 4:00 this morning--what I've been thinking about for the past couple of weeks, in fact. I need your input. I've spent several hours with the Lord on the college thing, and I just don't have a clear answer. I also need your understanding on the story delay, but I need you to keep me on it come mid-January or February. I REALLY want to finish, and I'll need motivation when the time comes.

That's all.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Send the $50 and just do it! Some things can't wait but some can. This will give you the break you need & you can make notes of ideas you think of for the novel durring this time. Don't make a mountain out of a mole hill! You have a trait fimilar with a lot of NFL quaterbacks...* you perform best under pressure* . No doubt you can do it, all. And now you want to make your novel not only fun but a work of art too, and that takes time, so take time. And God gives us all strength when we ask for it. So quit thinking about it and just do it, all... :)

Speaking as a fan, I can wait & I will be one of the first to buy your book when you publish.

hoesayfina said...

i will admit that any advice i might have for you might be of the selfish variety. my self interest is to know how this story unfolds and ends. Of course, i don't want it to end for the sake of ending, so quality is vitally important. (annie just jumped into my lap, so i don't know if i will be able to say much further).

i will say that i am a loyal fan, so even though i want you to focus and complete your story for me, i will respect and patiently await the ending (kind of like we do with television drama from season to season).

Father,
What are your plans for Amy? What should she do concerning finishing college? the story? Give us your words to encourage and speak to Amy what you have for her. Amen.

For now i will say that He has been speaking to me since 3:30 this morning about choosing Him, trusting Him, and needing only Him. I am not suggesting that what he has been speaking to me about since the wee hours is for you, just wanted to let you know that i have experienced the Living Lord and Savior this morning He was firm yet gentle, he taught me some about surrender, yet he also showed me his mercy.

He is Good! I cannot believe this, but thinking about this makes me want to listen to Graham Cooke's the Nature of God......

love you!
-m

angela said...

I understand on the story. I don't feel like editing mine, any time soon at this point.

But as for college, that's a difficult one. The thing is that if you do it, you really have to commit to it, like we did for NaNo, but obviously on a longer term.
However, I think you should do it, because things like other babies, stories, etc. will always pop up. That's life.

mary said...

Amy, sorry it's taken so long for me to chime in on this. I have a coupla thoughts, which aren't gonna be new to you but are what I think. (wow, what a sentence--did I mention I just woke up a little bit ago?)

First, some background: my year off of school last year gave me a little perspective on your situation (a very little, admittedly). I was working, and reading, and writing (yeah, writing), and getting over mono, and trying to apply to grad school. There were definitely times when I wasn't sure it was worth it anymore, or the right time, or if I even wanted to do it. And the five or so application fees I ended up paying (ranging from $35-75 each) were definitely entering into my mind. Still, and even though I got into the last school and program I'd hoped for (I mean, Baylor's great and all, but I'd already spent four years there), I think it was all worth it. Now, my thoughts...

1) What do you WANT? Do you want a degree? Do you like this program? Then go for it! Apply, at least, and see what happens. The fee should be the last thing keeping you from something this big (that's not to denegrate the real chunk of money it represents or anything)--it's an investment.

2) What do you WANT??? Not to be repetitive, but seriously--I think this has to be the ultimate determining factor here. Everything else, all the logistics, CAN and WILL be worked out.

3) Finally, and this is related to the others: Fifty (or five) years from now, what will you regret NOT having done?

Whatever you end up doing, you have my total support (and I'm just one of many Amy Fans). Good luck working through this! Love you!

P.S. About finishing the story: no hurry. Stories take time to GROW, and having written as much as you did in just a month is remarkable. But, it's above all and always supposed to be something you enjoy. If you're not having fun writing, then there's little chance anyone else will have much fun reading. I'll hold off my impatience as long as possible...before I start climbing the walls and such. ;)