Choosing How I Respond to Adversity
How do you look at the world? Do you see it as a good place, a bad one, or something with both elements? How do you react to adversity?
pessimist – a person who tends to see the worst aspect of things or believe that the worst will happen.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently. Because it matters, a lot, and I’ve also seen how it affects my writing and the message I am sending behind the stories I produce.
optimist – a person who tends to be hopeful and confident about the future or the success of something.
I find that I tend to avoid pessimists. It is really, and I do mean really hard for me to be around them. I usually call them Eeyore, after that perpetually mournful donkey in Winnie the Pooh.
realist – a person who accepts a situation as it is and is prepared to deal with it accordingly
Perhaps it is my Taurean, down-to-Earth birth sign, but I find myself hovering between optimist and realist. When life is good, and the sun is shining, I am an optimist. When the proverbial poop hits the fan, I slip into realist mode.
Sure, just like anyone else, there are moments when I cannot find the wherewithal to smile and be happy. Life happens, awful, depressing things hit and you can’t help but feel surrounded by it. Thankfully, I find those moments fade faster and faster as I have matured. When I was young and insecure, it often felt like life was out to get me, but now?
Life doesn’t particularly care. It is neither good nor bad, it simply IS. That means that it is up to me to decide how I wish to respond. I have found that choosing a more positive outlook helps me immensely. It helps not just with how I view the world, but also gives me a strong drive to continue to improve and become better. A better writer, a better human being, and a better wife and mother with each day that passes.
The Writing, the Writing!
I just want to share my joy with you. You don’t mind, do you?
Since I began assigning myself basic goals – from 500 words a day to my current 1,200 word count weekdays – I’ve met or exceeded expectations. And since the huge kerfluffle of my dad falling and breaking his arm and getting moved to a nursing home, much of my focus has turned towards establishing a regular pattern of production.
With that regular pattern has come a level of depth, of description, that has surprised and excited me. I love words, the images that they conjure in my mind, and the way they have flowed, (not always easily, but it is getting better) onto the page.
Today, watching my total word count inch up from 700 to 1,500, to nearly 3,400, I’ve found myself practically giddy. It is, in a sense, becoming easier. I still am distracted and distractable – I still have to get stern with myself and remind myself that surfing Facebook isn’t going to get me where I want to go – but slowly the tide is turning.
When I sit down and concentrate, the words flow. And that is a beautiful thing.
Pantser or Plotter?
In the writing biz, you’ll hear that term a lot. Are you a pantser or a plotter? And while I have a basic idea of where a story is going, I definitely consider myself a pantser – writing the stories and images in my brain as I go, developing twists as it makes sense to in the moment, i.e. writing by the seat of my pants.
It’s a joy as well. My characters talk to me. They are opinionated, full of foibles, dreams, and fuck-ups. I love them. I want to sit down and talk with them, argue, try to fix them and eventually just learn to tolerate their shortcomings along with those who have qualities I wish I had.
In other words? This writer is a happy one. For now, until things get crazy or under pressure or spring comes and I have to add gardening into the mix. And painting, and decorating and getting the Airbnb ready for action. The push and pull of a life fully lived. And thank goodness for that. I wouldn’t have it any other way.