Two lessons I took to heart from my parents: never do anything halfway and never give up. As a result, I'm an "all-or-nothing" and "never-give-up" kind of gal. Normally, this works for me. But, I have to admit, it almost killed the writer in me.
If you don't already know, I struggle to make chair time. I believe there is always an opportunity to write, but my expectations regarding how much I could get done during an opportunity have been unrealistic, to say the least. When I didn't meet these expectations, the "all-or-nothing" part of me began to question whether I was really committed to writing. Because, in my mind, if I really wanted it, I'd make those unrealistic expectations (let's say completing a book in three or four months) a reality.
I was bummed when I didn't make it a reality and wondered if I was on the right track. I went long stretches without writing a word, which, of course, only made me question my committment more and made me feel guilty because it felt like I was giving up on something I truly loved. I rode this ride for longer than I care to admit.
Then, last month I read Ken Scholes's post on genreality.net: Expectations Versus Reality, Part Deux. In it, he discussed the fact that his expectations of work product were not realistic to the reality of his life. It made me realize that neither were mine.
Like so many, my life is full. And I have finally accepted that my day-to-day life only has so much room in it. If I manage ten pages a week, it really has been a productive writing week (for me). Finally, I've shaken the cycle and hopefully I will actually accomplish my goal to finish a book (this calendar year) - guilt free.