So, I started a new project this weekend. I only have 3,000 words, but that's a lot for me. I'm loving it. I decided to save up my energy for that big war scene. I might tackle that next week. With all the junk in my head, I've been having a hard time sleeping. Not to mention my kids don't sleep, that well. One's five and one's 2 1/2. If one sleeps the other one is up and vice versa. My son also thinks it's hysterical to wake up at 5 am. The kids not sleeping, I'm used to, me not sleeping because I can't shut my brain off is another thing. Here's the issue. When I finally do sleep, I sleep super deep, super fast, which results in some wicked real nightmares. It started when my kids were infants and I was up every 2 hours.
The majority of these nightmares usually involves my kids. Not pleasant and extremely unsettling. One re-occuring one is my daughter being ripped from an airplane. Yeah, the roof flies off and she goes with it. It's horrible and disturbing, but feels extremely real. Now, I also chalk this up to being a parent. You can't help,but think of some of the horrible things that can happen to your kids.
Another theme of these realistic nightmares is my writing. Okay not as horrific, but still unsettling. I keep having nightmares of failure, people laughing at me, telling me I'm a joke and they were just being nice when they critiqued my stuff. It bothers me a lot. Maybe it's that doubt and insecurity that lurks in the shadows, ready to pounce on your weakest moment, sucking any optimism you have from your soul. It's part of the process and maybe it's because I started of a new project. I think I work hard. I think I'm somewhat accepted. Do I have what it takes? I don't know, but the feeling is real and it stinks. I really don't like waking up feeling that way. Not a good way to start the day.
One thing that keeps going through my head is "The porch test." A speaker at a recent SCBWI conference spoke about this. The speaker told us to imagine ourselves in our 80s sitting on a porch, reminiscing about our life. I don't like to think of myself in my 80s (I fear getting old), but I played along.
The first visual is you got that agent, got that publishing deal, and became famous. You are probably extremely satisfied and happy.
The second visual is you went for your dream, wrote all the stories you wanted to write, but never got published. You're satisfied because you tried. No regrets.
The third visual is you never tried. You're miserable and grumpy. Regrets galore.
I thought it was a pretty good exercise. Uplifting. I know I don't want number 3 and I know if I keep traveling on number 2, well, I guess I would be fine with that. It stills doesn't help with doubt, though.
Now, I know my goal. I know what I want. Can I get it? Time will tell. I just want to sleep and get away from these stupid nightmares that push me down. Maybe I should try dreaming of my characters, they talk in my head all day. Maybe they go to sleep at night. At least someone is sleeping.
How do you get rid of nightmares?
How was your weekend?
My goals this week: Trying to write the new story. It's so much fun. The soundtrack is developing too. Lots of Blink-182 and punk rock.
Have a great day!