Looking for Advice…

Has anyone out there ever written a book? (Or taken on a huge project with a definite start and finish?)  Did you ever get to a point where it became very hard wrap it up and bring it to conclusion? Most of you know that I’ve been working on writing a book sharing all I know about off-loom rya rug making. It’s been in progress for over a year now.  I wrote more than half of it in the first two months, now I am just “stuck” and re-editing previously written chapters.  Most of it I am really excited about.  But other parts I want to rewrite.

I’m having a self-discipline problem.  I do all the other studio jobs and tasks before I open my “book file.”   I go to the refrigerator and eat when I’m not hungry.  I’m turning down social invitations because I want to get my book done, then I do everything but write.   I know I have it in me to complete this awesome book, but perhaps I have fear of completion?  Any suggestions?  Any amateur psychiatrist willing to give free advice?  I will be so happy when it is complete.  Lots of you folks are anxiously awaiting its publication.  Sorry to make you wait so long.  I’m going to kick into high gear this fall….just thought among you all, there might be just the words I need to hear for the shot of adrenaline to keep me dashing to the finish-line!  If you comment below, it won’t appear instantly, but go ahead and comment and your dialog may be the magic for me.  Thanks in advance for your HELP!.

Melinda

16 thoughts on “Looking for Advice…

  1. I suggest you read some of Stephen King’s articles on writing. He said…just a short version here (you should read it yourself)…that he considers it his job, and he sits down and does his job. He can inspire you to just do your job. If that means taking time away from the shop…do it.

    I’m one that is just waiting for you to finish your job. I’m patient. Don’t rush it, either. But there can always be 2nd Edition. ha…

    Best of luck,

    Teri

    • Wow, Teri, that was helpful advice on two levels. I have heard wonderful things about how Stephen King writes…thanks for reminding me. But most helpful is hearing you say that you are one of the people waiting for me to finish my job. Thanks. I will take my “job” more seriously for you and the others. Great advice. … Melinda

  2. Melinda, I know that feeling so well! But as Teri and King say approaching it as a job really works – Set your mind and workspace for 4-8 hours of writing/ day, eliminate all distractions and start – which is the hardest part but when you get through it, the writing will bring you along and you’ll find yourself really enjoying it. 🙂 Waiting here very excitedly too to read your book – I’m sure it’s a great read! xx

    • Hi, Heli,
      Thanks for the encouragement. Eliminating the distractions will be a trick. I’m a sucker for checking my iPhone for messages and emails, doing all the little jobs that will only take an hour-or-so, and playing with my dog every time she is frisky. I guess I can still do a little of that as long as I start focusing now with determination! Seeing that you and others are anxiously waiting, I feel more motivation than I have in a long time. Thanks, Heli.

  3. Hi Melinda,
    I don’t remember the animal, but its the old story about it running in a circle to eat its tail. You know the one I mean? That’s kinda what you’re doing. It never works.

    I think the way you are doing other things things first, especially avoiding social occasions, that might be turning you into a different Melinda than the one that started the book.

    Both myself and a close friend have found ourselves in a similar situation. The object we were working for, separately – not the the same project, seemed to be getting out of our reach.

    Stop avoiding, ignore the book’s responsibility for a little bit.
    Just completely quit putting all that pressure on Melinda.

    Accept those social invites! Get your head clear. And go back to that happy, healthy, carefree, reinvigorated Melinda and you’ll find the Spark again.

    I know you will. Blessings & Best Wishes!
    Sherri

    • Thank you, Sherri. There is a lot of wisdom there. I will reward myself for a good week on the book by having crazy fun with my friends. 😉 A clear head would be nice…it’s been a while. lol… Great advice. I should be paying you guys! (Does anyone know the animal chasing its tail story? sounds like an Aesop… I appreciate your sharing very much. Melinda

  4. I think Sherri M’s advice is excellent. I am one of the people who is eagerly awaiting the benefit of your experience and ideas on making off-loom rya’s. If it wasn’t for your restarting of your grandparent’s rya rug making business, I would probably still be thinking…I wish I could make a rya rug like the ones I used to admire when I lived in Germany 45 years ago! Thanks to your help, I have my rug 25% knotted. I imagine your finishing the book is even more overwhelming than my feeling of just deciding on a design and ordering the yarn. Just think of us rya rug lovers all over the world and sit down and talk to us!

    • Thanks, Judy. You just put a big silly grin on my face that I can’t shake. Yes, you and many others have just totally reminded me of why I’m doing what I’m doing. Thanks!
      Melinda

  5. Melinda. Like Judy, I would still be looking for information and yarns, etc. to make a Rya had I not found you. Like many of us out here, we anxiously await the completion of your book which very well may be the last of its kind to explain what seemingly has become a lost art. You are making a very valuable contribution! Cheer up and buck up! What you are doing is extremely valuable to all of us who love the real Rya.

    Bill

    P.S. Put me down for two copies of the book please.

    • Well, Bill, when you put it that way, I can feel my incentive growing. I know you (and the others) are right. Now I’m feeling silly for doubting myself. I have to get through this “show week”, then I promise to buck up and gitterdone! Really! You get the first two books, Bill.

      PS For the rest of you reading this, Bill is the one who had me design the Monet’s Bridge wall-hanging which is documented step by step in blogs posted a month or so ago. You can enjoy those blogs until the book comes out. 😉

  6. Borrowing one of my favorite pieces of advise from a cross stitching magazine article, regarding “must. force. yourself. to. completely. finish. one. project. before. you. can. start. the. next. one.” vs “but I started something huge. What about these cute mini patterns, and J’s birthday gift, and all the other ways I’m pulled?” discussion …

    Her suggestion was to sequentially number some post it notes. Rotate your blocks of creativity time between the projects, focusing *only* on project one, then two, then three, etc during each time window block. That way each project gets attention (and finished eventually) without you losing steam mid-stream …

    (hope that makes sense) Good luck.

    • Oh. Interesting, Jean. I can really relate to that. I use a similar system when I clean the house or the studio and to trying to do the whole thing at once is overwhelming. A specific task/challenge for a specific amount of time makes it happen. Like commit to two hours on writing on a specific subject, then when the two hours are up, stop, and work on “J’s birthday gift” for one hour… then another two hours writing on a different topic (assuming I finished the first) … Do you think that is what the article was saying?

  7. Well, I procrastinate also
    Have been trying to prioritize which helps sometimes
    Notice for me it helps to use a timer, Like start for just 5+ minutes to sorting desk.stuff on floor, boxes of?…
    Sometimes asking myself why not starting the project- could be need more perameters or break into more steps or
    Sometimes it just takes huge amounts of energy dont have , so reward self, like if do so much of a certain thing after can watch a movie or …
    One time when told my children to clean up their room, came to check and nothing done. This expression of desolation of older childs face reminds me of how I feel when trying to get some stuff done. So said to put away all the blue items, they came back 2 minutes later all excited for another color. Found it helps me also, just start with sock or pencils or a color…. Just break into steps if needed.
    Sometimes I just need to go for a 2 house walk or jog in place to get things moving. or fresh air.
    Also look at what you did already do .
    and Simplfy,simplfy
    Ask us to give comments on what you wrote

    • Hi, Lynn,
      I’m just getting back to “work” after a long three day (all-day) show of my hand-printed shirts and I am reading your comment very carefully. Yes, I can relate to the philosophy of just taking small bites of a project and reveling in the success of a bite completed. Now — after your comments and all the other great ones I received–I am read to jump in with both feet and WRITE THE BOOK. At the show I got 50+ shirt printing orders, so must get my blank shirts ordered, then I’ll have a full week before they arrive to make some headway in the book . Thank you for caring and sharing.

      Melinda

  8. Do you have an editor or someone acting as an editor? Sometimes it is helpful to have someone else to report into, that’s why weight watchers weighs you in. You need someone tor read it who wants to know how to do it but isn’t familiar with it. That’s my guess. Please finish soon. I’d like to have it before I start a rug.

    • Hi, Stacy,
      That is a really good point. I do have a photographer/editor friend who has just suggested the same thing. I also have a few writer friends who have offered to read it from various perspectives to make sure it is understandable from the novice’s point of view. The Christmas rush is over! My greatest priority now is to keep writing until it is all together…then put the whole thing together with photos and illustrations, and turn it over to my “editor” /book layout designer.
      It’s coming, really!!! But it has been a challenge to find the time. I’m going to plan better in 2015. Yes, I’m working on resolutions!

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