I’m not a whiner. I mean, every now and then I’ll feel a little down, but I generally don’t talk about it, at least on social media. I’d rather set a goal, make a plan, and get on with it.

Whatever it is.

But I’m stuck. All the things I should be doing (taxes/writing/housekeeping/bills/gardening/savingtheworld/etcetcetc) are circling me like a damned bunch of alligators. Instead of picking one thing to focus on, I’m curled up in a metaphysical ball, hoping they’ll all go away.

A couple months ago I wrote a post about New Years resolutions that was kind of obnoxious in its enthusiasm. “I’ma do This and This and This and it’s gonna be fun!”

I just….haven’t done much. Instead of using those resolutions to motivate myself, they’ve been closer to a chain of weights around my neck, dragging me down.

For example, one of my goals was to write something my agent can send out on submission. Toward that end, I came up with an idea for a mystery series set in Victorian London, and I’ve put together a decent stack of books for research.

It’s gonna be cool. A brother and sister team – he’s a physician, she’s an apothecary – solve crimes at the edge of Whitechapel.

However – there’s always a however – rather than doing that research, I’ve spent days to weeks telling myself I’ll never be able to create a believable Victorian setting.

Because that’s a much more productive use of my time. (#sarcasm)

A publisher I’m interested in has a call for holiday novellas, with a deadline of May 1st. I have an idea, I played around with character sheets, and knocked out the skeleton of a plot. I’ve even written the first 1500 or so words.

And…they suck. Well, maybe suck is too strong a word. They’re just…not very good. To borrow a phrase from Marie Kondo, they do not spark joy.

But I really can’t blame the words for my current mood. It’s a combination of things: the current political shitstorm (like, Michael Cohen must have titanium gonads), lack of sleep, worry that writers I consider my peers are leaving me in the dust, stress related to putting 2 kids through college.

You know, the usual grind.

Also, lack of sleep.

Like I said at the beginning of this post, I’m not usually a public crybaby, so to wrap things up, I’m going to list a few things that are going right.

— Irene and I are working on a new novel!
— My agent saw an editor looking for stories set in either WW1 or WW2, so she queried my Paris story and the editor requested it!
— The damned sun is shining – which might not sound like much, but this is Seattle in February, so…

…spring can’t be too far away, can it?

6 thoughts on “Stuck

  1. *hugs* I hear you. I really think this never-ending winter has a lot to do with the malaise a lot of people (including me) are feeling. It lifts a little every time the temperature tops 40 here in St. Louis. I keep telling myself its just my body wanting to hibernate, just like I want to lay around like a lizard when it’s over 100 in July and August. I’m with you praying for spring to come soon and I’m confident it will bring refreshing energy to us all. Much love.

  2. Oh, I HOPE spring is just around the corner. My hands and feet get colder in winter than most people’s. (No really, they do. I’m part zombie, apparently, in a world of full-blooded humans.)

    I hear ya on the New Year’s resolutions! I sneak around the daunting aspect of N.Y. resolutions by doing quarterly goals instead. The WORST thing that can happen is I screw off for a whole quarter, but then the next quarter is new and fresh and exciting and all that.

    Good post!

    1. LivRancourt says:

      Quarterly goals? That’s brilliant! I might have to re-set my agenda. Also, I hear you on the cold hands & feet. I go to bed with a heating pad wrapped around my feet sometimes, or else they’ll never get warm. Thanks for the comment, and happy spring!!

  3. Shauna Granger says:

    Oh, babes, I am right there with you on every count. I’ve literally had to force myself and make deals with myself to get things done lately, especially this month.

    Now, if you do manage to write that Victorian novel, please, please, please email me for some beta reading because it sounds awesome!

    1. LivRancourt says:

      Absolutely! It’ll happen…at some point. I just did some rosebush wrestling….teasing myself that spring might actually get here. Hope your self-motivation strategies are rewarding…. ❤

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