Wednesday Whine: Getting One’s Finger Out of One’s Butt

The first part of this week’s Wednesday Whine is a love letter to all of my followers: you are wonderful and I treasure each of you. It may not seem that way based on my spotty response lately to those of you kind enough to consistently ‘like’ or comment on my blog posts. Still, I assure you that your support means the world to me. In fact, here’s a kiss from me to you.

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Don’t I bear a remarkable resemblance to Marilyn Monroe? In case you’re wondering, Mr. Loveton looks a lot like George Clooney. And our overweight, miniature dachshunds look very much like killer German Shepherds. And if you believe any of this, I also have a bridge I’d like to sell you.

But I digress…

untitled (11)I’m not certain how much of my life I’ve shared with you. Those of you who have listened to me whine (something I tend to do a lot of) realize I have a very busy job working for the General Counsel of a large global company. I like my work; I find it interesting and rewarding. I also find that it takes away much of my available time for writing.  At the end of a typical work day, I tend to fall into bed, exhausted from having helped put out ‘fires’ that flared up during the course of the day. I’m not griping. I’m blessed to have a wonderful job and colleagues who bring a smile to my face. And then there’s the paycheck… which also brings a smile to my face.

Even so, the past several months were very hectic as we prepared for our annual shareholders’ and board meetings. The months leading up to them were fast-paced and busy, involving a lot of pre-meeting work. It was a pretty demanding time for me.

Here's Kate's Writing Room... Where is Kate??

Here’s Kate’s Writing Room… Where is Kate??

While all this was going on, I was often too tired at the end of a day to do more than read a few chapters of a book before bedtime – or watch a Netflix episode of my latest guilty pleasure, the now-canceled science fiction show, Fringe. I hate to admit it, but my laptop stayed shut most evenings while my writing magazines gathered dust in what used to be loosely termed Kate’s Writing Room.

Malaise? I had it big time.

I became a walking and talking encyclopedia of whiny self-justifications for why I wasn’t writing. I blamed it on exhaustion; on the dismal, wintry weather we were experiencing; on a schedule that left me little time for anything other than work, chores and complaints.

Then I was taken in hand by a member of the Stiff Upper Lip Club.

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During one of our SKYPE sessions, I mentioned (not for the first time) to Heather B. Costa that I was too tired to do much of anything. I’d stopped writing flash fiction on my blog and felt too mentally challenged to even draft a blog piece. All I wanted to do was eat cookies and watch old sci-fi shows. Oh, woe is me!

"Get your finger out of your butt and just start writing!"

“Get your finger out of your butt and just start writing!”

Dear friend Heather, staunch Brit that she is, gave me her best ‘Queen Elizabeth look’ and shook her head reprovingly. In a stern voice that would have made Winston Churchill weep, she looked me in the eye and said, “Maybe you need to get your finger out of your butt and just start writing.”

Actually, she put it a bit more colorfully than that, but you get the general idea.

Wow. Slap me again, girlfriend – ’cause I really needed to hear that message! As they used to say in my granny’s Baptist church, “Preach it, Sistah!”

Lord have mercy!

And you know what? Heather was right. (Just don’t tell her I said so… it may go to her head.)

But the truth is that sometimes, in spite of how you’re feeling and the circumstances surrounding you, you just gotta take your finger out of your butt and get back into the game.

The British understand this: after all, these are the people who once amassed an empire so great that the sun never set on it. They are also the people who stood up to Hitler when much of the world sat around twiddling their thumbs. So when Heather, staunch Brit and Stiff Upper Lipper that she is, offers me her best Sir Winston impersonation, saying, “Nevah give up, nevah, nevah, nevah,” I tend to pay attention.

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So, finger out of butt, here I am, finally regaining my mojo. I’ve started posting flash fiction again on my blog. I’m trying to catch up with my book reviews. I’m setting aside time to work on stories that I hope to submit to publications.  I even have a few projects planned with my favorite Brit.

Best of all, I finally wiped the dust off my writing magazines and I’ve found my way back to Kate’s Writing Room.

I’m feeling pretty darned good about it, too. So remember, when you experience a writing funk, you gotta pull your finger out of your butt and just keep on writing.

And nevah, nevah, nevah give up.

About Kate Loveton

Aspiring novelist. Avid reader of fiction. Reviewer of books. By day, my undercover identity is that of meek, mild-mannered legal assistant, Kate Loveton, working in the confines of a stuffy corporate law office; by night, however, I'm a super hero: Kate Loveton, Aspiring Novelist and Spinner of Tales. My favorite words are 'Once upon a time... ' Won't you join me on my journey as I attempt to turn a hobby into something more?
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69 Responses to Wednesday Whine: Getting One’s Finger Out of One’s Butt

  1. Pingback: Wednesday Whine: Potpourri | Odyssey of a Novice Writer

  2. You ah evah evah the delight, my Kate. The finger and butt were a bit too graphic for me but I’m glad the injunction got you going again. Although…I think there’s something to be said for listening to your body and not beating yourself up when there are just so many hrs in the day and your poor body’s crying for sleep.

    Xxx

    • Kate Loveton says:

      Hi Diana! Well, you are a delight as well, my friend. ❤

      You are right about there only being so many hours in a day. It's easy to run out of time for everything – which is one reason I am always so horribly late in responding to blog comments. (And also a reason I'm a bit behind in reading your
      current blog posts, which I intend to catch up on this week.)

      Right now my body is saying, "Hey, Kate – it's 10:30 and you've got to get up at 5 a.m., so get off the laptop… NOW!" (My body can be quite bossy sometimes… )

  3. Julia Lund says:

    When there are so many pulls on your time it’s often hardest to find space for the things you really want to do. I’ve taken to blocking out time in my diary for writing. Recently, a friend I haven’t seen in a while and who I only see intermitently, a friend who has told me she doesn’t want to know anything about my writing, wanted to meet up for coffee. I suggested a couple of times, avoiding my writing ‘appointments’. It proved difficult to find a mutually convenient date but we managed. When we finally caught up she was obviously miffed with me and commented that if something is important enough, you can always find time for it. Precisely, I thought …

    • Kate Loveton says:

      How peculiar she doesn’t want to know anything about your writing. Generally, our friends are interested in what is important to us – and when they aren’t, it makes me question how much of a friend they are. I’m sure your writing is important to you, a large part of your life and enthusiasms – why wouldn’t a friend wish to share that and encourage you?

      I did smile at the end of the post – it seemed on the money on two counts: if writing is important to us, we’ll always be able to find the time to do it. AND if friends are important to us, we’ll make time to see them (and I grinned at the thought of your postponing coffee meet-ups with this ‘friend.’).

      I had lunch this past Sunday with a friend of many years. We both lamented that we no longer see each other as often as we should. We pulled up our calendars and penciled in a lunch date for every other month. During the past year, we saw one another when with our husbands, but never just the two of us for girltalk and we realized we needed that – and so we decided to make the time for it. 🙂

  4. Well, that was inspiring! Thanks for getting back in the groove and setting a great example! 🙂

    • Kate Loveton says:

      Thanks for the comment. 🙂 It’s good to be back in the groove. I managed to complete three stories this weekend, and make a start on two others. I’m beginning to wonder if Mr. Loveton put something in my coffee this weekend!

  5. I love Heather’s advice. Tell her thank you from ALL of us. I have those days, also, when ‘real life’ just sucks the (creative) juice out of me, and I think I don’t have a word anywhere within me to write. BUT, if I go to my ‘writing room’ (which looks much like yours) and sit my butt down, voila, I write!
    Glad to see you back here – don’t give up!!!

    • Kate Loveton says:

      I had a very productive weekend in terms of writing. I found two things that seem to have helped me this past week and came to fulfillment over the weekend.

      First, on my ride to work, I turned off the talk radio and news channels I usually listen to (and which can drain the life out of you!). Instead, I put on the radio channel called ‘Spa Music.’ It’s New Age music, very calming. While listening to it, I found my mind considering various ideas for stories. When I got to work, I quickly jotted them down on a pad, to be developed more fully at a later time. I really believe the music – as opposed to strident and arguing voices and listening to all the world’s woes – helped me think more clearly and opened up a vein of creativity. I’d like to think so, anyway!

      Second, the other new thing I’ve done this week is start journaling. I’ve never much bothered with the practice in the past, but for the last six or seven days, I’ve been journaling over at ‘750 Words.’ I find I can jot down 750 words rather quickly if I’m not overly worried about grammar, punctuation, and I just let the thoughts flow. Surprisingly enough, one of the stories I wrote this weekend grew out of a childhood memory that I touched on in my journaling.

      • FANTASTIC! A friend just gave me another journaling book – I think I better get right to it! The thing that helps me with writing my next book is a quote I got from another blogger: “Little and Often Make Much.” Instead of feeling overwhelmed with the idea of writing another chapter, I promise myself that I’ll write for ‘just 15 minutes.’ That gets me in the chair. Then, usually, I end up writing much longer.

  6. Megan says:

    Stiff upper lip! Good advice. We all have reasons why we can’t write, but sometimes we just have to sit down and do it anyway. I’m glad you didn’t give up on writing because I’ve nominated you for the Liebster Award https://invisibleworldd.wordpress.com/2015/04/11/liebster-award-wait-what-does-that-mean/ 🙂 Glad you’re back at it!

    • Kate Loveton says:

      Megan, thank you for nominating me for the Liebster Award. I’m honored that you thought enough of me to do so. I’m going to have to take a pass even though I appreciate the nomination. I’ve accepted the award in the past. But, again, thank you!

      And you’re right: we all experience reasons and times when we feel we can’t write. Sometimes you just have to try to write through it.

  7. W. K. Tucker says:

    Glad to hear you’re back in your groove, Kate, though I think we all need a break from time to time. I read in an interview with Steven King that he writes for a few hours every single day. Lord love him (I sure do) but he doesn’t have a day job like most of us writers do. We squeeze in the time we can, and for most of us, it isn’t enough.

    • Kate Loveton says:

      Hi Kathy. I’ve read about Stephen King’s writing schedule. His writing IS his full time job. It must be great to be fresh when you sit down to write, rather than tired from working an eight hour job.

      I’m happy for those nights when I have the time and the energy to fit in two hours of writing! Another thing Stephen King used to do (maybe he still does) is take very long walks (and I mean VERY long walks), and he works out his story ideas as he does so. I should perhaps try short walks with the same plan in mind.

      • W. K. Tucker says:

        When I walk (which isn’t as much as I should) I have earbuds in listening to a book…not enough time to read either. I look forward to the day I retire–wishing my life away 😕–so I can write full time. When that time comes, I have plans to join a gym and do some volunteer work, maybe at a retirement home. Let’s see how that works out. lol

  8. markbialczak says:

    Way to get your head out of … your finger out of … Way to get back to writing, my friend. You are going to rock ’em again, Kate. Everybody’s allowed a funk, you know. (Good work, Heather B, stiffer lipper, you.)

  9. I’m relieved to hear that you’ve managed to pull yourself out of your writing funk. I very much appreciate how delicately you paraphrased my advice to you, I’m fairly sure I worded it slightly differently… 🙂

    Welcome back, Kate! ❤

  10. noelleg44 says:

    Love your humor, Kate. And I’m glad you’re back, but I, for one, don’t want you to burn out. Otherwise, where would we go for these wonderful posts? So as the rider said to the horse pulling his car in a race, “Pace yourself!”

  11. stacilys says:

    Hahahaha, great post Kate. Very humourous indeed. I know exactly how you feel. I still haven’t been able to totally get back into the swing of it all since my big move. Soon we will be moving into our own place and there will be more structure and organization.
    Glad yoy took your finger out of your butt. 😉

  12. I know how you feel Sistah. Last year I had my rhythm and thought I had the habit of writing harnessed. Then. A break for an overseas trip, and it’s all gone to putty. Twice in the last week friends have asked me to get back to Liz Thurlow. I thought I had let that story slip so long, I would just abandon it. But it seems there is still some interest.

    • Kate Loveton says:

      Hi Gwen, once a habit is broken – even temporarily – it seems to play havoc with our regaining our momentum. Hope your back to Liz Thurlow! I’m still catching up on blog posts, and hope in the next day or two to see what you have been up to. 🙂

  13. sknicholls says:

    I am soooo there right now. I think I’ve posted twice in three weeks. Blah!

  14. jan says:

    I remember those year end annual reports. Such fun (not). I don’t really think I can write flash fiction so my hat’s off to you! Go for it!

  15. amkuska says:

    You can do it. 🙂 Keep going!

  16. Good for you, Kate. Plod on. I have a hard time finding time for writing, too. I’m thinking the month of June I’m doing nothing but writing. Front burner. That’s it, that’s all! 😉

  17. Good post and written so as to gain attention. No mincing words involved.

  18. Glynis Jolly says:

    Many of my days are a challenge to get my butt in the chair and start typing away. However, because I’m quite a bit older now, I know I must take this challenge on or scrap the entire idea of being a writer. Missing more than one day of writing is more likely to be the beginning of not writing at all for eternity.

    Complaining sometimes can be a motivator, so do it if you must as long as it gets you back at the keyboard.

  19. Naomi Harvey says:

    Welcome back!! It’s easy for me to get myself into a writing funk, especially over winter. I suffer with S.A.D something terrible. I’ve been largely absent lately too so it’s about time ‘one removed one’s digits from one’s posterior’ and got back to work too. I have resolutions to keep. Mainly sending in work to magazines and getting my Novella self-published.

  20. I could have written this, Kate. I know exactly how you feel…sigh…
    Glad you’re out of your funk. 🙂

  21. A delightful read, Kate. I had begun to drag my butt in March and had to unplug for a week. I might have exploded if I hadn’t taken the time off. Yes, there comes a times you have to do what you have to do, but I also believe downtime is good for what ails you. Glad you’re feeling more like yourself and it’s wonderful to see you again. ❤ ❤

    • Kate Loveton says:

      I remember your taking a week in March. I have done that before, taken a blogging vacation as well as a writing vacation. A short break does recharge you; a longer one makes it hard to get back to business.

      It’s always good to see you, too, Tess – and read your wonder 100 word stories. You do a great job with those!

      • I’m falling behind again already. One week isn’t enough but as you say, too long away makes it harder to get back into the swing of things.
        Thanks so much for your kind words, Kate. They help keep me going when my energy is sapped. ❤ ❤

  22. a good enjoyable read

    and thank you, Katilyn, for the kiss

    Big Hugs

    john

    • Kate Loveton says:

      And didn’t I dress up nicely for all the male bloggers in that photo? LOL!

      I am thinking of posting a selfie on my blog. Trust me, it won’t be half as compelling! *grin*

  23. Congratulations on regaining your mojo Kate

  24. Absolutely agree, old stick. Great to see you back in action again.

  25. Good to have you back Kate. 🙂
    ~Carl~

  26. Jolly good show Kate. I see yer made of the right stuff. Stiff upper lip and all that. I know you like a drop of Calvin Klein (cockney for dry white wine) in the evening but that mate of your’s, Heather what’ser name, she’s got it right. Yer have to get on yer bike, not sit on yer arse. Cheers for now.

    • Kate Loveton says:

      Do you practice something called ‘Cockney Mockney’? Heather subjects me to these rhymes that make absolutely no sense to me! And then laughs at me when I haven’t a clue what she’s talking about! The ‘Calvin Klein’ remark made me think of that. Now, Malcolm, really – what does Calvin Klein have to do with wine except wine and Klein rhyme. I hope Heather doesn’t read this… I’m going to tell her I had Calvin Klein during dinner…

      • Cockney Mockney eh. Clearly Heather is teaching you the most important elements of being a Londoner. Personally, I don’t practice that mock cockney but I was born closer to Bow Bells in London than most, so I do have a right to speak the da real fng. Right guvnor!

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