So, two weeks ago I posted the video about clicking. Last week I promised an update and here it is!
So, that first week I couldn’t find my clicker, but I decided I would do some mental clicking. I made a conscious effort to think happy thoughts. It was fantastic, but it made me sore. This is because when I was out running one of those days I thought, “Whoof, I’m tired.” But then I’d think, “What a lovely day!” and I’d get a little extra spring in my step. I’d think, “Ugh, another hill,” and then I’d think, “I love this song on my iPod. Gosh, I’m glad I have an iPod. And hey, I even remembered to charge it! Go Me!” (drop of awesome! For the win!) And I’d sprint right on up that hill. Then, I thought, “I haven’t run for awhile. I probably shouldn’t go too far,” which was quickly defeated by, “Whatever! You’re out now! You’re awesome! You just keep going, girl! Run like the wind!” And I did. Run, run, run.
Did you know that if you haven’t run for awhile and then you go out and practically sprint two miles it makes you just a bit sore and stiff? True story.
Anyway, the times that I remembered my “mental clicking” it was great. Mostly, I just remembered to be grateful. And then the next week, I found my clicker in the junk drawer! For the win!
So here’s how that went: I was wearing a dress that day so I didn’t have pockets to put it in. So I just kept it near me and clicked it whenever I remembered. Good. Then my kids got home from school.
Kid #1: “Mom, what’s this?”
Me: “It’s my clicker. When I push this lever, the number on it goes up by one.”
Kid #1: “Can I push it?”
Me: "Well, I’m pushing it every time I think a happy thought. I guess if you want to, you can push it for your happy thoughts too. Why not?”
Kid #1: “I had a good day at school!” *click* “Look! It’s at 83!"
Me: “Great!” [second child notices]
Kid #2: “Mom, can I click it too?”
Me: “Sure, go ahead."
Kid #2: “Umm...I got to go to Art today!” *click* “84! It’s at 84, Mom!"
Me: “Awesome! Happy thoughts are great, aren’t they?”
Kid #3: “What’s this?” [picks up clicker and starts clicking it repeatedly because she’s three and thinks it’s fun]
Kid: #1: MOOOM!!!!! She’s MESSING UP THE CLICKER!!!!!!
Me: “Guys, it doesn’t matter. It’s not like a competition or anything.”
Kid #2: “BUT NOW THE NUMBERS ARE ALL MESSED UP!!! AND SHE DIDN’T HAVE ANY HAPPY THOUGHTS!!!” [grabs clicker from unsuspecting 3-year-old who starts screaming]
Me: “Don’t just grab it from her! Give it to me! Sheesh, you guys are ruining my happy thoughts with your fighting!”
So...yeah. Clicker works better if I can keep it hidden.
Anyway, this past week I had the awesome opportunity to attend a writer’s group hosted/taught by author Lana Krumwiede who is super duper nice and awesome and knows her stuff. As I’ve posted on here, I’ve been in the trenches of freelancing over the past couple of months, trying to earn a little extra money, so I haven’t been doing a lot of nurturing of my creative side. In our little writer’s group, however, following our discussion on setting and our critique of another member’s work, the group zeroed in on me and said that next month it would be my turn to share my work for a critique.
Suddenly I was like, What? What am I going to submit? The only stuff I’ve been working on for the last four months are articles on couponing, Jennifer Lopez, hydrangeas, and birthday quotes. Uhh....
Then it dawned on me. I am tired of writing articles on couponing, Jennifer Lopez, hydrangeas, and birthday quotes. And if I spent as much time each week working on my book as I was writing these ridiculous articles, I could have it finished by now. And I could be submitting to agents and editors and have MY name on the work and be LOVING what I’m doing, rather than filling in templates and getting paid meager wages for several hours of research, note taking, and, well, let’s be honest here, brilliant writing.
So I quit.
But one important thing I realized from that experience is that one of the main reasons I got so much accomplished during that time was that each week I had to commit, in writing, to the articles I would complete for the client. So I have enlisted my mom to be my new client. Each week, I will commit, in writing, to a word count that will be due to her by Saturday at midnight. It is my hope that that will keep me accountable. We’ll see how it goes! (Did I ever mention that my mom is a writer too? She’s completely awesome. I’ll introduce her to you in another post. :-))
In the meantime, I am happy to have my characters chattering away in my head again, happy to be jumping out of the shower dripping wet and scrambling for a pen and an old receipt to scratch down some urgent story notes, and smiling to think, as I while away my time typing on my computer on a Saturday afternoon, that one day someone will be curled up with this same story whiling away their time on a Saturday afternoon.
Happy thought! *click*