Got to Have Help
Especially with Streaks…
It is flat impossible to not have help with long streaks, either writing, exercising, or blogging as I talked about last night.
For example, I help Kris with her streak of steps by asking at times, especially on days when she is tired or distracted, if she has her steps. Not nagging, just being a support.
Tonight, because she knows I am still off-the-charts exhausted, she reminded me three different times about doing this blog. Not nagging, just helping out. And it means a great deal to me.
I know a couple writers who had weekly story streaks going that had family asking if the story was done and was willing to sacrifice doing something if the story wasn’t finished.
All of us who have this kind of help with streaks are lucky. Damned lucky. We know that what we are doing is important to those around us and I can’t begin to stress how much that means.
Support comes in all sizes and shapes. And those of you in one of the challenges should be clear to those around you what you are trying to do. But the communication has to come from the person with the streak first. You have to be clear how important what you are doing is, and then not change that. In other words, be consistent, which is part of a streak.
So if those around you are not supportive, maybe you haven’t been clear on your goals and desires and why a streak isn’t silly.
And if they are supportive, treasure it and honor it and thank them.
Thanks, Kris. Got it done. (grin)
Michael Warren Lucas
Family and supporters are so often overlooked!
I just released a book on business for creative sorts. The parts that got the most reaction from readers were the bits on how to talk to your family about the business of your art. Thanking your family, and supporting them as they support you, is so incredibly vital.
A few years ago, I wrote a very short story about a streak, although I didn’t really think of it like that when I was writing it. It was half-parody (poking a little fun at lit fic writers who take 5 years to finish a book) about a man who wrote one sentence each day to write a book, while living his life, finding the perfect next sentence each day.
I can feel you shudder already at the idea of writing one and only one sentence each day, but it was interesting for my story.
But after reading today’s blog entry, I realized that my character had to fight to keep his streak going. All he wanted was 15 minutes each day and his family and coworkers and friends kept trying to get him to stop and do what they wanted instead. He persevered, found a way to keep his streak going, and kept writing.
I haven’t quite got my character’s perseverance, but I’m working on it. I need to get a streak going and then keep it.
You are 100% correct. Dedication, determination, drive can get you so far. Sometimes what you really need is that little voice in your ear telling, reminding you, of why you do it. Because we all know, especially in today’s current events, it’s easy to get lost in what is going on around us and forget our lives start at where we make the first step.
But your words are golden here. Be the first to tell people what you are doing. Help them believe you are proud of what you do and that is why you are doing it. I know it’s one of my failures. Just fell off a streak of my own, not because those around me didn’t realize I was doing it, but because I didn’t help them believe that it was important to me.
Lessons learned. I’ll start right back up, but this time I’ll be sure to include those around me. No reason to do all or anything alone.
My husband had been quite helpful with the story challenge, even to the point of not prying to find out what I was going to write about, which was *very* hard for him. He loves to discuss things… often to death. I had to explain that if I talk about the story, I’ll lose interest in it and never will write it. However, I’d share stories with him once they were written, especially when I thought they were “his cup.” I had to read two of them, because it was before his cataract surgery (his vision is better than mine now, hooray!).
The publishing challenge is a lot harder, because one month gives me enough time to procrastinate. A week is such an ingrained period of time, we are all aware of our weekends even now with our schedules upside down. The Time of Great Forgetting came early this year, and will leave late. But one week is still trackable. One month is so much harder, especially for the cheerleaders, and especially with every one of us 4, husband and kids included, going through our individual and unrelated life rolls.
Still, I’m on it and if I manage not to blow this month, I’ll still be in!