Overcompensating From Fear of Loss

For the Conscious Writer

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Impending loss has an aura of grief around it. It stalks the ones closest to it and it has not one ounce of sympathy for our very fragile emotions. -Saschia Johnson

When writing a character who feels like they are losing the one they love, they should overcompensate. They might think that going above and beyond will help them keep what they love. This isn’t just in romantic relationships. This is parenting, friendship, and loss, maybe even a job someone is passionate about.

We hang tight to the things we love, it’s natural for us. Some think it’s even romantic. Whatever it is, if your character is losing the one they love, it’d feel right and believable to have them overcompensating in some way.

All you need is one safe anchor to keep you grounded when the rest of your life spins out of control. -KATIE KACVINSKY

In what ways can our characters overcompensate as human beings?

They can become overly controlling.

When we feel like we are losing control of the things we love, we tend to try and control everything around us. It makes this illusion of having more control over the loss.

Some things in life cannot be fixed. They can only be carried. –MEGAN DEVINE

They can become overly generous

They give. They bake and clean. They do other people’s work with a smile and an oppressed heart. They justify the oppression with the idea that this is better than losing the person or the job. They’d give the shirt off their back if that meant they’d be together for just a tad longer.

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They don’t hold their love accountable

In fear of losing what they love, they allow things to slide. Over time this snowballs. They mention here and there that something isn’t right or that things need to change but there is no action behind it. Their boundaries become gray. Then they become doormats.

They can become overly critical and judgy

This is the opposite of the last one. Instead of being walked over, they become overly rigid. They don’t allow anyone else to replace their love. They don’t allow themselves to feel weak about losing their love which in turn makes them critical about others who show weakness. They turn their noses up in disgust at the mere suggestion that they may be weak to the situation.

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They flee

Instead of facing a smooth ending. Instead of allowing things to end civilly, they run away from having to face an ending at all.

These behaviors can happen to any person. Even mature individuals who are dealing with losing what they love are changed by that loss. I say that because it would be a good idea to use loss in your story as a way to show your character’s growth from not being themselves for a time.

The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one; you’ll learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same nor would you want to.

-ELISABETH KUBLER-ROSS

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A little bit about For the Conscious Writer

There’s different types of writers out there. I prefer to speak to the writers on an inward journey. I prefer to speak to writers who write to become better human beings and who write to survive this insanely beautiful and chaotic world.

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Just Show Up

For the Conscious Writer

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How do they do it? Writers, actors, painters? How do they create so many works of art? They show up. There are days when they are inside out and upside down but they show up. Not 100 percent bright eyed and bushy tailed. Not with motivation.

They show up for their dreams, they show with their discipline, and they show up keeping that commitment they made with themselves. That’s how they do it.

I’m sure quitting crosses their minds from time to time. I’m sure some of them even walk away for a moment and in that very moment maybe they do quit but the truth is, they don’t. Successful writers come back to the page and finish what they started.

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There’s always a million other things to do.

There’s always time for a nap or cleaning or even an extra hour at the gym. If there is anything I’ve learned it’s that there is never enough time to write. It’s not just the clock, it’s the amount of energy, the amount of focus and mental stamina. It’s ok to spend time taking care of your priorities but when it’s time to write, it’s important to show up.

There’s not a huge expectation here. It’s just show up and write everyday. You don’t have to want to. You just have to do it. One more scene. One more detail about your character, one more juicy tidbit about your world. There’s no need to be enthusiastic or energetic. The page could care less about your mood or your energy. The characters just need you to be there, giving them a reason to come to life.

A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.”

— Richard Bach

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Rest Rest Rest

For the Conscious Writer

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The work is always going to be there, you will not. It’s so easy in today’s world to get caught up in the over ambitious lifestyle. Work work work till you drop. I think discipline and hard work are both important things but not to the point that they become oppressive. Writing should add to your growth. It can bring you tears. It can bring you frustration especially when you’re dealing with internal conflict, but it shouldn’t oppress you.

In this world oppression is normal and being a slave to our thoughts and feelings is normal. As conscious writers, we are gifted the luxury of standing up for ourselves and confronting our true thoughts and feelings rather than ignoring them.

There are forms of oppression and domination which become invisible — the new normal. -Michel Foucault

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When writing becomes the bad guy, it’s time to step back and change your mindset. Remember why you write. Find another way to write. Find another way to tackle the problem. Just don’t let the act of conscious writing become your villain.

You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it.
That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence.
― 
Octavia E. Butler

Writing can feel daunting. I have been feeling the weight of editing this past week. There were some tears and frustration. I wasn’t ready to quit, but I was beginning to doubt myself as a writer. There’s no room for doubt in writing. I reminded myself, I am where I am from hard work and determination. I had that mindset before I started writing, and I’ll have it till I die because it’s in my blood. Knowing this gave me no other option than to look for another way to tackle the problem. But that meant, I had to wait it out. I had to wait and trust my inner writer and let me tell you, that wasn’t easy. For me, waiting at a red light is fine. I don’t even mind bad traffic as long as I’ll still be on time, but waiting on my inner writer while I have bills to pay, that is tough stuff. I still tackled the novel. I still edited and reread the story to stay connected. Then I walked around the house, talked to myself, and finally realized half of my work had to be deleted. Which is good. Now I have solid ground to build from.

So, what does all this mean? You have to trust that your story will find a place in this world. Allow these moments of waiting to be moments of rest. Drink your go-to beverage and enjoy the journey. This writing job is the place where you should not be turned into a robot. Writing is a place where you let it all hang out in its own natural and restful glory.

Stay strong writers. We’re going to finish these stories.

Every person needs to take one day away. A day in which one consciously separates the past from the future. Jobs, family, employers, and friends can exist one day without any one of us, and if our egos permit us to confess, they could exist eternally in our absence. Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for. Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us.”
― 
Maya Angelou, Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now

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For the Conscious Writer

A Collection of Thoughts for Writers on a Journey

This will be a collection of lessons I’ve learned on the way. They were initially written for my past self but I need to hear them now too. The point of these writings are for encouragement and guidance to those who write for the purpose of internal growth and understanding with the intention of unconditional love.

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As Conscious writers we intentionally feel everything in a world where feelings are considered inappropriate. This act isn’t sunshine and cupcakes, but as conscious writers we know that taking the time to feel is better than the numbness that comes from flight. We dig. We listen. We rise.

We know that we may seem different and soft in a world where normal and tough is what’s expected. We aren’t your typical writer, and yet in so many ways we are just the same. There’s a place for us on this journey where our differences are exactly what we need to finish our story. We grow to accept that we won’t always be accepted.

Acceptance looks like a passive state, but in reality it brings something entirely new into this world. That peace, a subtle energy vibration, is consciousness.

Eckhart Tolle

We are shunned from certain circles when we question authority. It’s not always the authority figure that shuns us. Often times, the authority figure is excited to finally have someone aware enough to engage. It’s usually others in the group that shun the question asker, as if questioning behavior is uncouth. We question anyways, with or without fear because we need those answers to write the truth in our stories. We peek our nose where it doesn’t belong and question the things everyone else is too busy or too ashamed to question. We are the curious cats stubborn against conformity.

The worst curse to befall anyone is stagnation, a banal existence, the quiet desperation that comes out of a need for conformity.
— 
Deepak Chopra

We are taught to keep our heads down and be like everybody else, but that’s where conscious writers are different. We write to capture all of ourselves. All the intricacies and inner workings. We will watch this story unfold with our head up and our eyes wide open until the very end.

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We are on a journey and our writing is proof we’re still alive. In poetic terms, each page is an exhale.

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Pace Yourself

For the Conscious Writer

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I must admit, pacing myself is my weakness. I like face paced. I like writing the way I think so often times my writing is jagged. I skip over important details and jump right in. Pacing your story and yourself in real life is important. It’s not all about balance like they say, it’s about knowing when to speed up and when to slow down.

Those who sprint might travel quicker, but we’ll all end up in the same place at the end.
― 
Fennel Hudson, A Writer’s Year — Fennel’s Journal — №3

Knowing where your story is going helps pace your writing. I always have to remember my characters are not rushing to a finish line, they are living. They need to know where they are, what they’re thinking, what time it is, and who they’re currently not in love with. The reader doesn’t need to know these things and certainly not all at once like an info dump. These are the things that go in a journal or jotted down in the margin.

Keeping note of all your ideas also helps to stay focused on details so that you can find different ways to play with the pace. I use google docs and I also handwrite my notes to try and stay on track. (It’s too easy to get off track. Our brains are unreliable so write it down).

And as a writer, one of the things that I’ve always been interested in doing is actually invading your comfort space. Because that’s what we’re supposed to do. Get under your skin, and make you react. Stephen King
Read more at 
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I tend to rush through intense scenes. I just want to get it over with so the anxiety I’m feeling can go away. It’s hard for me to enjoy writing intense situations, so I don’t write them or even deal with them if I don’t have to in real life. I avoid them whenever I can. I know I haven’t always been like this, but I’m not sure when I changed. Guess I should get my journal out.

My plan is to hack away at the story in layers and small doses. I’m taking the story apart scene by scene and really diving in.

Wish me luck.

As you can see, I’m still learning this; I’ll have to come back with an updated post on pacing myself and how I solved that problem. How do you pace yourself?

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Signs You’ve Matured During the Pandemic

For the Conscious Writer

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First, regardless of how you feel, I want you to accept that you are at the peak of your mountain right now. Sit down and enjoy the view. In other words, appreciate the fruits of your labor. As a conscious writer, you are not just writing but also changing who you are for the better.

You appreciate your lover within.

You’ve taken this year to learn and accept the parts of you that have either been hidden or unloved. You can look in the mirror now and adore so much more of you. You can hold more of yourself as worthy and loved. After years of being shown how small you are, after years of listening to how unlovable you are, you’ve decided to let those negativities fall away. Those negativities were parts of you that you held close, those are parts of you that you called love and you have learned to let go of them.

You know you are both successful and still growing simultaneously.

Growth is a lifetime adventure. There are things you have mastered at one point in your life that you may need to relearn while in a different season. There are things you have yet to master. Some people mastered things you may have never had trouble with accepting. Some people can do things you have yet to understand.

You’re not like others while being exactly like others.

The paradox of being the same but different. In some ways, we are like those around us and in other ways, our choices and values make us different.

You’ve found ways to enjoy doing the things you dislike doing.

For example, getting out of bed and writing even when you’re tired. Resting when you think you should be working harder. Cleaning when you’ve been up all-night writing. Taking time to make a healthy meal when you’re so exhausted because you know your writing is better when you’re healthy. These are just a few things and they can be vastly different for everyone.

You’ve learned to have healthy attachments.

This one is so strange in today’s world for some reason codependency is admired and cultivated. Especially for moms. We are taught that mothering should come at the sacrifice of our dreams but that just isn’t true. Friendships are expected to be ride or die and show up even when you have nothing left to give. These ideas create very unhealthy attachments. It’s important to keep dreaming as a mom and it’s important to be able to say when you just don’t have it in you support someone. The same is true that it’s important to learn to ask for and accept whatever answer you’re given.

You allow yourself to rest.

In this world we are pushed and pushed and pushed until we are so tired, we become robotic and inhuman. Our conscience dies. Our dreams die. Our creativity turns to rage, impatience, intolerance, and animalistic impulses. We forget who we are. In this world, it is a rebellious act to rest. It’s offensive to take mental health days but we’ve learned to stand and say, “I need to rest and that’s ok.”

You’ve learned to let go and embrace uncertainty.

No matter how much planning, you know things may not go how you want them to. The more you try to control things the more you have realized you’re not in control.

Look at how far you’ve come with keeping your commitments, self-discipline, and acceptance for yourself and those around you. These are amazing things to appreciate. Many other people don’t have the awareness to appreciate the value of these accomplishments. You, however, have worked to be able to see these things. You should be proud of yourself.

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Encouragement for the Lost

For the Conscious Writer

One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star. -Friedrich Nietzsche

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There are going to be times of feeling completely lost. Like you’re in a room without even a sliver of light. Or that moment when the lights go dim and our eyes are still adjusting. It doesn’t feel good at all. These moments lack certainty. In these moments of complete darkness, our only option is to first surrender to it. You could fight but it would be a waste of energy to react hastily or it could cause more problems than need be.

Remember why you’re writing. Why did you take the path of being a conscious writer? Then write. Doesn’t matter what it’s about, just write something. This moment of separation from your larger vision is precisely that, a moment. It will pass.

Ride on discipline or the intention of developing your discipline. These moments in the fog, motivation falls into the background. Being tired and overwhelmed can make this journey feel impossible or too big for us to handle but those are just feelings. You are strong and you are capable.

Remember that this is bigger than us. This entire thing doesn’t rest on your shoulders. There are many of us taking a similar path. There are many of us shouldering the weight of honesty. The point of saying this it to remind you that you are not alone. It’s important to be aware that your story is unique. Your contribution is imperative and since your work is this important, we need you to work in a way that will keep you moving forward and keep your head in the game.

Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten. -Disney’s Lilo and Stitch

There has been a need for conscious writers throughout history. Storytellers hold the keys of history, culture, evolution, wisdom, universal ideas, and finding joy in times of distress. You are on the right path. You are exactly where you’re supposed to be. There is no story too big for you to grasp. Keep carving.

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Meditation, Protection, Transformation

For the conscious writer

3 things you need in your daily writing ritual

Meditation, Protection, and Transformation are the three things you need in your locker as a conscious writer. Without these things, you can still move forward but not efficiently and there will be more setbacks than need be. Here’s some reasons why:

A.Without meditation, you can’t quiet your busy mind. There are to-do lists and things you want and need and there are a million things and people tugging at your heart. It gets messy

B.Without protection you spread yourself so thin you can’t think and the chatter gets so pushy it becomes the boss of you. You lose sleep, you lose focus and you fall away from your purpose faster than you can say Scarab Beetle.

C.Without Transformation, there’s no growth. You sit around like a stagnant worm inching around the same things over and over again without positive results. Life loses its meaning. You miss out on opportunities and your mind becomes rigid and stuck on ideas that no longer serve you or those around you.

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When it comes to being a conscious writer, these are all things that will hold you back from forward movement. We want great stories to hand down and pass around the world. A way clasp hands with those willing to listen. We want to move forward so we can be closer to our purpose and our life goals. So toss these three things in your daily writing rituals and you’ll be sure to see forward movement.

Meditation

Let’s start with Meditation. I spoke on mediation before. This is such a helpful tool and it’s the in thing these days. There are tons of resources to help you learn to meditate. Once you find one that suits you it will engage your imagination, give you solitude, and it quiets the chatter. Those are just a few reasons meditation will benefit your writing.

When you meditate, you let go of all your thoughts and you allow new ones to flow in and out. The new thoughts can be keys to what’s missing in your story. They could also bring new story ideas or help you let go of an idea in your story that you’ve been clinging on to. And what’s better than a moment of peace in this busy world.

I meditate in the bath. I close my eyes and sink right under the water. I haven’t always meditated that way but recently that has been the most helpful way. I don’t really like getting my hair wet before bed, but I do like having a good writing session before bed, so it’s worth the sacrifice for me.

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Protection

Protect your space. As conscious writers, we come with a boatload of empathy which means we know when someone needs our help but we have to say no sometimes. When it comes to your commitment to writing at a certain time or a certain season you have to protect your space. It is absolutely mind-numbing how quickly my writing space disappears when I don’t respect and protect it. And it’s so so easy for me to just slip up one day and let it snowball into shorter and shorter writing sessions. This writing thing is a commitment. It’s ok to take shift your routine or have emergencies but remember that this space is absolutely worthy of your protection.

Protecting this space doesn’t only mean protect the time you write but also protect your ability to put forth your best effort. If you can’t figure out how to use the distraction to improve your writing it has got to go. People, things, movies, blogs, whatever. If it isn’t improving you or your writing, it doesn’t belong in this space.

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Transformation

Now, this is something we must allow to happen to us. It’s not exactly something you chase. It’s something you allow to happen to you when you work daily toward a goal. You can’t time it. You can’t plan it. You can’t predict anything about it. It happens and you just gotta let it happen.

You allow yourself to transform by allowing yourself to not like the same things anymore. To allow yourself to be wrong or better yet to realize how long you’ve actually been right. You step up more. You shut up more. There are so many internal shifts that connect to so many different things. Let yourself transform by letting go and accepting the person you are becoming, even if that person isn’t someone you ever thought you were going to be.

And there you have it, three things you need in your daily writing ritual. Do you already apply these things? Why? How are they working for you?

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Stepping Out of Your Story and Embracing the Powerlessness of Someone Else’s

For the Conscious Writer

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The great thing about writing you’re own stories is that we have a good idea about what is going to happen. What can be interesting is when we have to leave our stories and gain that sense of powerlessness when we enter into someone else’s story

There’s two aspects to this, one is when we actually engage in someone else’s art. We give our sense of control over to the creator. It’s a mutual agreement between creator and viewer. This aspect provides more of an escape. It’s letting someone else take the wheel of perspective for a moment. It’s liberating and entertaining.

Then the other aspect is in reality when we have to accept that others might make choices we don’t agree with. This isn’t always a mutual agreement. Sometimes the repercussion for some else’s actions are thrust upon you, and there’s nothing you can do about them. The thing you can control is your own thoughts and actions.

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We can’t ever be completely powerless while we are alive and conscious. We can think. We can strategize. We can chose to stay completely unaffected or lash out. We could even think up entirely new situations in our heads and prefer to engage with those ones over reality. We have options. Some choices are better than others but we have them.

The great thing about learning to accept powerlessness as a conscious writer is you get to see things from a different perspective than your own. You can use these moments as tools to understand why someone would do something you can’t imagine yourself doing. Good and bad situations. It’s great practice for character building

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Which leads to, the next thought. Learning to take note of how you feel in moments of powerlessness. Try to stay aware of how you’re feeling when someone’s consequences are thrust on you. This can be a profound experience when you listen and question the thoughts racing through your mind. This is where the great characters live.

Honesty is not found in revealing the truth, but in understanding how deeply afraid of it we are. To become honest is in effect to become fully and robustly incarnated into powerlessness.

David Whyte

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Right Now is Important

For the Conscious Writer

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“The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness.” — Abraham Maslow

We get wrapped up. At least I do. The story eats away at me. I forget what it feels like to just be in reality for a few hours. I obsess my characters and the words and the genre. I could spend hours editing my book and not even notice I’m still editing when I put my computer away.

They say stay drunk on writing, and that’s a fabulous idea when you have the lifestyle to do so. So I have to make time when I’m present in my house in all aspects, not just in body. I need to have my mind right here next to me, in the present.

“Always hold fast to the present. Every situation, indeed every moment, is of infinite value, for it is the representative of a whole eternity.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I am overwhelmed from editing. I am frustrated with my lack of solitude, right now. So I spent a couple hours today being present. Not being focused on my book. Not planning things to do for it or my writing. I just floated around the house laughing with my family, playing on my phone, and thinking about Hannibal. I even took one of those long showers. Yup, my skin’s silky smooth right now. (Stay at home mama’s you know what I’m talking about).

So, as Conscious writers I think it’s important to be intentional about being present outside of your writing. It’s great to jot down ideas when they come but enjoy your life. I read something saying that we write to live not the other way around. Your writing should accentuate your life, not drag it down. Enjoy your family. Enjoy other creative’s works. It’s ok

We get the guilt. Like, if we’re not writing or thinking about writing, we’re not working hard enough. I think the “you should be writing” memes are funny. I laugh and I share them because we do get haunted by our work. We do get overwhelmed by our need to finish. A little anxiety to get a job done is important, but it shouldn’t deprive you from being fully present when you’re not writing. At least not to the point of guilt and shame.

If you are writing and/or editing everyday you are investing. If you’re writing when the house is asleep, that’s huge. Seriously. Allow yourself the freedom to be fully immersed in your day so you can come back to your writing with fresh eyes and a full heart.

“Be happy in the moment, that’s enough. Each moment is all we need, not more.” — Mother Teresa