Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Inspiring Joy - ROW80 GOALS Round 1 2015

Inspiring Joy
The box is the second one I got for myself on Saturday.
The peacock watercolor was done by my mom when in college.

Last year I lost my joy.  Double entendre fully intended for it was both my happiness and my self that eluded me.

The cause seems irrelevant at this point.  Whether it was the first anniversary of the last hug goodbye Ed and I exchanged the previous May 11: the illness and death of our furbaby, Merlin in late spring; the ongoing stresses of the January 2013 lifequake aftershocks; the loss of my counselor in September; the disappoint as realization sank in that my husband and I would be spending second holiday season apart--missing both our birthdays, our anniversary, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years; or it was merely the latest wave front of the mood disorder I've weathered with various levels of gracelessness since my tween years--it hardly seems to matter.  At this point it is just a given.

Two incidents turned a nasty, blustering situation into a perfect storm: the one I related in my Round 3 wrap-up last September and the intake appointment with the mental health clinic at which a potential bi-polar diagnosis was revisited just a year after my med nurse at the family clinic had ruled it out, taking my hope that continuing the campaign of  healthy choices of the last two years would lead to my ultimate goal of getting off all the meds.

At some point writing stopped invoking passion and bliss and became duty, lists, goals, charts, measures, chores.  I found myself spending more time with the activities of keeping track and analyzing and writing posts about it than actually writing the creative works.

I can't go back to that.  Which creates a conundrum: How do I participate in ROW80 without getting lost in those minutia when the very purpose is to set measurable goals?

This is why I unintentionally dropped out for round four: I couldn't solve it.  Thus I couldn't write my intentions post.  There was also an element of not wanting to set expectations in order to protect myself from the inevitable failure.
I was drowning in failure already.

But I miss the community--the encouragement, the sense of belonging, the sharing, the inspiration.

Tho I stopped blogging,  I didn't stop writing altogether until after NaNo.  I completed my 11th NaNo but for the first time I didn't enjoy it.

On January 1st I joined One Word 365 choosing the word 'joy' as my focus for 2015.  This is a new social network for those seeking an alternative to New Year's resolutions.  The idea is to focus on one word that sets a theme for your year, looking for ways to meaningfully incorporate it into every day.  Nearly every post this week has given a nod to 'joy'.

In the spirit of One Word 365 I'm making regaining the joy writing has nearly always held for me my ultimate goal for ROW80 2015.  Tho one might say that is measurable in the sense that you either have it or you don't it isn't really in the spirit of a ROW80 goal since it doesn't entail actionable tasks.

So let me put it this way: I'm aiming for a return of the joy of writing.  At the end of each round and the end of the year I'll be judging success by the level of its presence instead of word-count.  The actionable tasks that I believe will prepare the soil for the blooming of joy/Joy are as before all time investment:

  • Storydreaming 15min Daily (I never lost this one since instating it in my first round in 2012.  A ROW80 win!)
  • Read/Study Craft 15min Daily
  • Move/Breathe/Meditate 15min Daily
  • Personal Journaling 15min Daily
  • Read Fiction 30min Daily
  • Social network activities 30min Daily (writing Joystory posts doesn't count only social reaching out like reading/commenting on other blogs, guest posts and posting to fb, twitter, pinterest etc)
That last was one of the first things I let fall by the way when the lifequake overwhelmed me in early 2013 and I now suspect it played a part in losing the joy associated with blogging and being a part of NaNo, JuNoWriMo, ROW80, IMWAYR? and other networks and support groups.  I sank into isolation and took more than I gave. 

I'm feeling quite emotionally fragile this week so I'm not going to set any expectations regarding creative writing files--fiction, poetry, essay--yet.  I'm hoping to be able to revise for that before the end of this round.

I fully intend (and am even looking forward to) returning to work on the structural rewrite of Blow Me a Candy Kiss but it would be setting myself up for failure to make a specific commitment at this time.  Sometime in the next two weeks I will make a commitment for the following week to open the file and reread the story and familiarize myself with what I was doing with it before I set it aside for NaNo. 

3 tell me a story:

Beverley Baird 1/09/2015 4:34 AM  

May JOY fill you this year. When I chose that word a couple of years ago, I began making joy cards (on my husband's old busines cards), filled with quotes about joy. I have alot still! send me your address and I will send you some. Having the word around was a constant reminder.
Love the idea of storydreaming.

alberta ross 1/09/2015 1:30 PM  

'tis a good word - sending all best wishes for this coming year- take care:)

Beth Camp 1/10/2015 7:13 AM  

I hope the new year does bring you much joy. For me, writing is an important anchor that gives me strength for all those 'life shocks', so may your 'storydreaming' nurture you. Consider yourself virtually hugged!

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