On Writing · Publishing

Damn plate. My thoughts on over-filling while living the dream.

You’d think I’d make the mind-body connection about filling up and extend that into my creative life. You’d think. (Well, that’s you. BAH.)

I’m sitting at my dining room table feeling full. Stuffed, really. It’s because I ate a slice of re-heated pizza that wasn’t very good, then downed a glass of Diet Coke that wasn’t much better but it was cold and refreshing in the way soda pop is…and now, all of it sits like an unmoving lake of yuck in my tummy. It’s causing a filled up feeling that a) I know won’t last, b) isn’t actually full-filling at all, and c) will be short-lived and so I’ll attempt to re-fill my belly again in the not-to-distant future.

I’m a Gemini. I think that this may have something to do with my inability to stop stuffing myself full. (Ok, get yer mind out of the gutters, yo. This ain’t erotica…that’ll come later. Oh…and double entendres…) With my inability to say ‘no’. With  my inability to recognize the DISTINCT difference between ENOUGH and TOO FULL.

What I’m trying (and maybe failing) to say is this:

My proverbial plate is over-flowing.

If you’d like an image that reflects my proverbial plate, here’s one:

(FYI. This image is aptly named garbage plate.)

image: http://www.thatsnerdalicious.com

I do this. I take my life and I fill it up. Just like I take my space, and I fill it up. (Just ask the hubby. He says, ‘if there’s a place to put something in the house, my wife will find it and fill it.) (Also, please note, I FILL his heart and life with LOVE. Just sayin’.) Just like when I eat, I eat too much.

My writing life does not look and feel how I want it to look and feel.

I want it to look and feel like this:

image: http://www.dailyfun4u.org

This plate is simple, creative and looks completely satisfying.

Remember the current plate:

(Okay. I won’t show it again.)

I finished the first draft of my novel going on two (full) weeks ago. While I have made it through chapters 1-4 in a paper edit, I have not made any changes to the actual file. I’ve gone so far as to make a new file for editing. That’s it.

In the meantime, I’m continuing to do the following:

1) Mentor other writers

2) Edit – for friends/for an upcoming anthology that I’m also kinda doing all the prep for (see 3 days in august on Facebook)

3) Blogging – here and for The Windsor Star

4) Being a freelance writer-for-hire (I’ve been hired.)

5) Writing and/or submitting to writing contests

6) Reading

7) Being a guest jury member for a poetry contest

8) Sending my book out in a meagre attempt to get on a show of any kind

9) Planning an Erotica writing workshop for the fall

See how my plate gets filled up?

Look – I LOVE doing all the things I’ve just listed. LIKE, SERIOUSLY LOVE IT.

But sometimes…and I truly believe I’ve been handling this overage of piling very well…I get to this point. The point where the writing doesn’t feel so good.

I say yes because I want to do these things. My heart wants to do everything. Then my mind steps in for some organization whoop ass. It seems as though my mind hasn’t been doing her job very well though. Is it the heat? The abundance of sweet sunshine that warms me and makes me feel invincible…until I realize that I really just have heat stroke?

I don’t think I’m alone in my tendency to over fill. But I have to take responsibility for my actions. I have to take responsibility for the fact that I eat poorly sometimes. I have to take responsibility for the fact that I take too much on sometimes. And that’s what I’m doing here.

Okay, I’ll write it out…

I take responsibility for eating too much crappy food.

Wait, that’s not right…well, fully…

I take responsibility for not focusing intently on finishing my YA novel. 

That there’s the bottom line. Yikes.

Every single blog post, book about writing, agent article, etc. that I read says TO FINISH.

So what happens to me that I get to these pretty amazing points (ie. finishing the first draft. HUMUNGOID!) then do everything I can to do everything BUT finish the novel?

Does my conscious/subconscious/body need a physical and emotional break from it?


Am I really just terrified at finishing it all…because then I have to send it out to agents and maybe no one will want it…and therefore, not want….me?


But I’m so used to REJECTION. You’ve seen my binder…

I am no slouch in the rejection bed.


I think I’m tired. I’m overwhelmed. I’m hot (temperature). I am in the MIDDLE of a lot of big things. In the middle of THE DREAM. No one ever talks about what it’s like to be in the middle of it.

I’m telling you…it’s challenging. It’s amazing, but it’s challenging. Living the dream, if you’re really being honest about it, means living in check. With yourself. With your commitments. With your words. With the writing.

So when you’re avoiding, procrastinating or just plain scared about something, you’re gonna feel it.

I feel it here:


And here:

(Yes, that’s my belly. And that thing in the top right corner – that’s my shnoz.)

One has to have a good threesome mesh: head, heart, and belly when one is living her dream. Right?

What about my soul, you ask? My dear, that’s easy. My soul exists in all three. And more. She exists on the pages too. Bless her.

Okay. Must start clearing the plate. Step out of this standing-room only restaurant, and head home. Get back to the novel. Don’t fear the editing process or what will follow. I can do this. This is what I signed up for. This is my DREAM.

I feel better now.

Thanks for listening.

What does the middle of your dream feel like?



3 thoughts on “Damn plate. My thoughts on over-filling while living the dream.

  1. Vanessa, you just listen to yer ole Auntie Penny-Anne, kay? I love you to bits, I truly do, so it hurts me to see what you’re doing to yourself. You have so much energy going out right now, of course you feel the need to draw in as much as you can. And if it were good energy, I’d shut my mouth and go about my business. But reheated pizza and Diet Coke will NEVER qualify as good energy, and that “garbage plate” – well, it makes me want to cry, girl! And I ain’t talkin’ metaphorical!
    You’re reaching for the easy instead of the good. Stop it! Now! You deserve the good. You deserve THE BEST! You would never dream of serving up junk to your friends or the people who hire you, so why do you give it to yourself? Why so little kindness to your body? And how long before that gorgeous, pure energy you’re giving out becomes tainted by the negative energy you’re taking in?
    Enough! Turn the page. Throw out all the crap in the fridge, and get yourself some good food (you know the stuff). Take a break from writing for a few days – two or three anyway. Give yourself a little retreat. Take “I deserve the best!” as your self-affirmation and repeat it during the day, especially when you’re tempted to reach for the easy. Play with your kids. Take pictures. Read wonderful books. Watch TV that makes you laugh. Sleep whenever you can.
    Be good to yourself. Or sister, you’ll answer to me!


  2. Penny-Anne, so not only would be perfect as my agent, but as my personal trainer/chef too! I know. You’re right about the food. And, really, I don’t eat that poorly. I was in a rut – mind and body – and I took the pizza road instead of the avocado road. I’ve since done groceries and enjoyed such lovely food as avocado, cucumber, coos coos, olives, fresh bread and more yummy things. Lots of water. No coffee. Lots of tea. I’m doing my best. Since this post, I’ve also cleared off A LOT on my plate. I feel much better. Thank you for caring and sharing and whoopin’ my writing ass internet style. You’re the best! Boo Boo.


    1. Ah much better l’il sister! Your body thanks you! The spirits thank you! I thank you! I’ve seen too many wonderfully talented people, I mean touched by the gods they were, self-destruct. It drains me to witness such loss, such waste. If it is ever in my power to prevent it, I will butt right in and I make no apologies. You are too precious to lose.


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