Where Ladybugs Roar

Confessions and Passions of a Compulsive Writer

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Motivating Factors--Warning Deep Waters

This post is not light-hearted or amusing. You've been warned.

Some days, I stray into deep areas of thought and get swamped there. I don't know if it's the nature of OCD, the soul of a writer, or just my spiritual side creeping out, but I woke up with a feeling of intensity and grim anticipation. It's entirely possible that my bad memory is giving me this weird feeling of unreality because I can't remember nearly anything from yesterday. (OCD meds kill my memory and I'd only had two hours of sleep yesterday.)

Anyway, so this morning, I started off with prayer. I'd like to say as a devout Mormon I pray every day and all day, but I've been a spiritual slacker lately. The feeling of depression and disassociation had me attempting to refill my spiritual needs. Why? Usually when I get the feeling that I woke up with... something exceptionally bad happens that day. So, after I was praying, I was thinking about how much I do each day based on three motivating factors:

Superstition: I'd love to say I'm not superstitious. The reality is that anyone who thinks things are lucky... is superstitious. In the writing industry, I find myself thinking, "With any luck, my query will land on their desk at the right time." Luck. Luck. Luck. I've read books recently that absolutely stunk. How were they published? My mind answers: The author was lucky. No matter how much I try to find the Hand of God in all things... I'm forced to admit that in my mind there is still a strong belief in luck. Also, I believe in unlucky things to a small degree. I knock on wood, don't walk under ladders, and don't say stuff out loud for fear of "jinxing" it. I'd be surprised if most artisans don't believe in luck on some level of their psyche. The creative mind needs avenues of existence that seem open to good fortune. A small optimist inside of us says "maybe" to possibilities that are rational mind won't admit to.

Tradition: I have a strong family, and I don't mean the kids and my husband (though I'm not discounting them.) From the family I grew up in come traditions. Some are the accepted strictures of morality that are easier to call tradition or accepted rules. Some are just things I do and ways I do them because I have always done them that way. There are small things. Last night, I had a grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup. I always have tomato soup when I have grilled cheese sandwiches. I won't eat grilled cheese sandwiches with it. There are big things. I am far too over-weight to be happy. My mom was obsessed with her own weight. I remember 138 lbs being significant because if she weighed more than that... she was disgusted. My mom has NEVER brought up my weight. She's never mentioned I weigh too much. In my mind, this correlation has formed based on the way I was raised to believe. A million therapists, talk-show hosts, books can try to tell me differently, but in my mind my weight can equal happiness. (Also, food equals happiness, so it's a vicious cycle really.)

Religion: Not everyone practices their religion to its full extent and not every religion is as all-encompassing as Mormonism. My religion and faith in it seep into every portion of my life. There is not any significant decision I make that isn't influenced by religion. However, religion is a touchy subject and not one I really need to illustrate how it affects me.

My feeling of desperate gloom this morning might be because of so many variables both real and imagined. My response was affected by fewer factors.

So, as I finished praying this morning, I considered what factors had brought me to my knees. First, my religion has taught me that God is a concerned Father who can help me. My faith in my religion has led to believe that all things are possible if it's His will. Second, traditionally, I know that if anything does happen... my mom can be counted on to ask, "Did you pray about it?" Traditionally, praying has brought me peace of mind. In the traditions of my family, my experience, and my religion... it was the right course of action. With some embarrassment, I'll admit, superstition played a role too. I've had that feeling of gloom in the past on days where something has gone wrong. My superstitious mind thinks, "Maybe nothing will happen, but maybe it will... you might as well cover your bases, Wendy." (Yes, using the phrase "cover your bases" in relation to prayer is very tacky. My soul is tack and that's what it said.)

I'm not sure why I wanted to write about this, but I did. I started a new WIP yesterday. I'm excited by the idea of it, but it's terrifying to me. It's not light-hearted or funny. It's not a fantasy. There are no vampires, ghosts, or gargoyles. There is a main character... at odds with herself. The conflict is internal... no one will die or be in danger of death. It's very, very different from what I normally write. It's turning out to be very, very difficult to write and not the escape that writing normally is for me.

So, that's where I am today. The kids are back in school after Spring Break. T is very moody today, but he went to school. B is similarly moody. Perhaps they're feeding off my frustrated energy, but I'm not sure. I need to do laundry and clean. Next weekend is my yearly "girl's time out" trip to Disneyland. It's coming on fast.

Have a good Tuesday, everyone.


  1. I'm sorry today is one of those days when everything is gloomy. I hope prayer brings you peace of mind and nothing actually goes wrong today.

    So it sounds like your new book is a drama. Is there romance too or just drama? Normally I would tell you that I don't read dramas...but it's you! and I don't think you could write a bad book if you tried!

    (Did you just picture Barney from How I met your Mother staring off into the distance saying "Challenge accepted" too?)

    I look forward to reading it. Good luck with writing!

  2. I didn't know you were LDS too. I really enjoyed this post, because I think we all struggle with the same things at different times. My faith is the underlying factor that holds everything together, even when it feels like it is all falling apart.

    Keeping you in my thoughts ;) Hang in there, and this new book may turn out to be your best. you know what they say about those hard things that don't kill you.

  3. I'm glad to find another blogger with strong rligious ties who's not afraid to shares those beliefs in Blogland. Being LDS myself, I found this post inspiring and strengthening. Thank you and I hope your day straightens itself out.

    Praying for you,