On Adequacy

What is adequacy? According to the dictionary, it’s “the state of being adequate.” Adequate is “as much or as good as necessary for some requirement or purpose; fully sufficient, suitable, or fit.” If we take it for that definition, then why is it that so many people, myself included, feel inadequate. Are we really all not “as good as necessary”? I don’t think so.

The other day, I felt inadequate. Truth be told, I often feel inadequate in any number of things. But on that particular day, it was my stationery business. I work very hard coming up with new designs that you can’t find anywhere else. Ones that are funny, cute, charming, something that’s not the usual. The usual is often boring or overdone. I like to think I’m neither of those things. I had just shipped off two cards to a lady in Florida when I realized both on and offline I’ve only sold cards to two people who weren’t family or friends, that lady being one of them.

Sure enough, as soon as I let that thought cross my mind, BAM! Inadequacy smacked me so hard I cried honest, frustrated, angry, I-should-give-up-now tears. I had bought business courses on how to start and run a creative business. How to use Instagram to increase your followers and in turn how many sales you make. I did it all right, at least I think so. But the followers aren’t coming. The people aren’t caring, so why do I still do it? I should give up now.

That’s what I told my dad and a friend of mine. My friend told me my cards were just a little off-center that no one understood them, that it’s not me, it’s them. Those aren’t the words you want to hear when you end a relationship, but it helped me a little then. My dad also told me that if I could just get them in front of people, and if they could just talk to me, they’d understand. It always seems to boil down to people understanding me or what I make. So why do I feel inadequate? I don’t know.

I should give up now. I should give up trying to please or impress everyone because I never will. I should give up caring about my number of followers. But I should not, and I won’t, give up on myself, my writing, or my cards. I love making them. I’m happy when I’m drawing and writing, when I’m exercising my creativity, and when I think that maybe someone out there will smile or laugh because of something I made. I don’t know everything, but I do know that I’m happier when I’m doing what I love no matter how hard it is. Even on the days I want to give up, and there are several of those, I remember that inadequacy is subjective. If I gave up, then I really would be inadequate according to myself, and I don’t want to do that.

If inadequacy comes knocking, smack IT upside the head and keep going! Happy creating!

P.S. For those of you who don’t know, I own Puckish Propensities Press. Find it here on Etsy. I’m still working on my own website!

The Up-to-No-Goods

chibi storyThey say creative people work better at night. I’m proving that true today since it’s 2:45 AM as I write this! I’ve accomplished more in the past three hours than I have three days. Yay!

As you may know, I have been pursuing discipline of late. You can find posts on that here, here, and here. Since setting daily goals hasn’t worked yet, I’m going to try something else. I’m going to illustrate a short story, or vignettes involving these two characters—Sally and Kenny. “Writing and illustrating?!” you say. Yep! It’s a double whammy to get the creative juices flowing. I hope you enjoy my illustrations. I’m not at all an artist!

Let me introduce the characters.

Sally—a precocious 8-year-old—always finds herself getting into mischief with her neighbor friend Kenny. Kenny is the level-headed one, but often his well-meaning efforts wind up getting him into trouble when Sally comes knocking. What shenanigans will these two find themselves in? Will they manage to convince everyone that they really aren’t up-to-no-good?

Stay tuned!

If only I were Preston Sturges…

mv5bnju1ndiyndg4nf5bml5banbnxkftztywmjk2mji2-_v1_sy317_cr170214317_Preston Sturges was a playwright, screenwriter, and film director during the 30s, 40s, and early 50s. Some of his notable, and might I say hilarious, films are Sullivan’s Travels, The Lady Eve, and The Palm Beach Story. If you haven’t seen them or any of his others, you have to. I love them. I laugh so much my stomach aches and tears trickle out the sides of my eyes. The most fascinating thing about Sturges, though, especially for us writer folk, is that he wrote fast, and he wrote well. He wrote a play, Strictly Dishonorable, in 6 days. That play went on to make him over $300,000. I heard a story that he wrote it to spite an ex-girlfriend who claimed she could write a better play than him. Hers flopped. And, well, if his profits are anything to judge by, his was anything but a flop.

If I were Preston Sturges, I would be able to crank out my novels in a couple of months instead of several years. If I were Preston Sturges, people would laugh so hard they’d cry when they read my jokes. If I were Preston Sturges, I wouldn’t feel so disappointed in my writing accomplishments for the past year.

Problem is I’m not. I’m not Preston Sturges. I’m Maya, a woman who wants to be a writer but can’t stick her butt in a chair long enough to do it. But you know, that’s ok. We can’t all be Preston Sturges. Sometimes, the world needs a little bit of hardworking-a-lot-of-the-time-discipline-lacking-kicking-themselves-in-the-butt people. We’ve all heard that it takes all kinds to make a world. I’m sure the writing world is no different. So I guess what I’m saying is I’m going to show the world just what I’m capable of. It may take me a while to get there, and I might cry out of frustration when I think of what I haven’t accomplished yet. But yet, is not never, as long as I don’t give up.

Just you wait, Mr. Sturges. I’ll get there eventually. Happy writing!

P.S. Hope I remember this tomorrow!

Discipline Week 1 Results

Well, that didn’t work.

Week 1 Goals and Results:

1) Write 100 words a day of one of my novels/stories—2 of 7 days

2) Read one chapter of a book every day—0 of 7 days

3) PUT THE STUPID LAUNDRY AWAY!—got it done the first day!

4) Write a letter/email to one friend—um, no

As you can see, I’m still not disciplined, so that stinks. I did, however, manage to reseal the driveway, spray paint two chairs and a table, paint the deck twice (didn’t like the first color!), and stain two chairs, a table and a bench. That’s something, just not writing something…

With any luck, this week will be better. No, it’s not luck. It’s discipline!

Discipline Goals: Week 1 Day 2

Today was a little harder to buckle down and write. Even though I wrote about 100 words more than yesterday, I had much more difficulty getting it out. I’m going to blame it on having a soccer game on at the same time, instead of zoning out with music through my headphones! It’s not at all because I lack discipline. That’s just silly.

I grunted as the rope burned my skin, rubbing it raw. A sharp pain shot from my hands and up my arms as a blister burst open. But the veil was almost up. I could see the end. The mist climbed faster and faster, creating more and more hands and feet. It was on the castle walls now. If it got in…if it got to the bell tower, I was doomed. I bit down and pulled and heard John’s muffled grunt beside me. We were almost there. A few more tugs and then…the rope began to slip through my hands, slick with blood and pus. With all my strength, I gripped the thick threads of the rope, willing it to stay between my hands. I couldn’t let it fall. Not now when we were so close. The mist was at the floor below. Every hair on my body stood. It was coming. It was here.

Happy writing!

Discipline Goals: Week 1 Day 1

I’ve started Week 1 of my Discipline Goals. To hold myself accountable, I’ll post at least 100 of the words I write for each day. I’ve written about 150 today, but I’m not getting cocky. AND it doesn’t mean I only have to write 50 tomorrow. Otherwise, my discipline wouldn’t improve whatsoever. Here’s some of what I wrote:

I took my spot next to him and grabbed hold of the rope. “It’s a good day to die.”

Always!” John roared over the crash of thunder.

We pulled the rope relentlessly, feeling the seconds zip by. It was now or never. If we didn’t get the veil up completely, I really would be dead. That happened a few times before I caught on to this mist thing. My parents had neglected to inform me of the curse before they died. What good is inheriting all this money and a crown when I’m supposed to die every other Tuesday? Not much if you ask me.

Happy writing!

On Discipline

There was a time when I was very disciplined in everything I did. I wrote until I cranked out 750 words every day. I read book after book and managed to get any other work I had to do done. But it’s been roughly four years since I’ve been able to do that. I have no good reason for it. Somewhere along the way I lost it through no one or nothing’s fault but my own.

I want that discipline back. I remember how much more productive I was, and I look at my life now and can’t see how I get anything done at all. I want to write 750+ words a day. I want to read a book a week (at least). I want to meet friends for coffee and see how their day is going. I want to write emails and letters to those far away. I want to relax with my family knowing everything I need to do has been finished.

I don’t want this lingering feeling of guilt that I haven’t written or revised a manuscript in days, weeks, months. I don’t want to doubt myself so much when I write that I never do it. I don’t want to worry about how my place is a mess because I just can’t be bothered to put the laundry away or finish the dishes.

I don’t want to be disappointed in myself.

The only way to do that is to try, so I will try. But let’s put some realistic goals here. Gotta ease my way in, you know?

Week 1 Goals:

1) Write 100 words a day of one of my novels/stories

2) Read one chapter of a book every day

3) PUT THE STUPID LAUNDRY AWAY!

4) Write a letter/email to one friend (If you want to be that friend, let me know!)

These are totally easy to achieve. There’s no way I can fail. Right?