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I Like My Attachments

When the clocks changed, so did my mood and motivation. In the last week, I finally finished the first chapter of Dreaming in Shadow, got through half of the second chapter, and wrote a whole chapter Magic Inc. Maybe that sounds great. And most of the way through, it was. But by my fourth day in a row of writing, I was pushing myself too much. See, around this time of the year, a lot of writers are doing NaNoWriMo. And let's just be honest, I hate NaNo. The idea of writing a whole story in a month makes me feel ill. I don't want to force writing out every day. I don't want to care about word counts. But then, other writers I know do NaNo and post about their word counts and such. And I'm jealous.

Yeah, I'll admit to that. I'm glad that I'm sticking to my ideals and the way I work best. But NaNo does produce visible results, and it makes me feel inferior. I'll have been working on Dreaming in Shadow for 10 years come December 24th. I've gone through ups and downs. The earliest chapters have been through 5+ versions. And I know NaNo is not the end of the story for writers who participate. I'm sure lots of great novels have surfaced out of NaNo. But the point of NaNo has been stated as "quantity, not quality". And I just can't agree with that at any point of the way.

Still, my Ego gets jealous at the results. The Ego likes numbers. And even though it was disguised as getting to see how ridiculous getting that much writing done in a month would be for me, I pushed myself on Wednesday to make the 1,667 words in a day that would be a daily amount to reach 50,000 words in a month. With only a couple of 20 minute breaks and one hour-long break, it took me all day. And I was ill by the end of the day.

I was so drained and sick that, the next day, I read an article that triggered me so much I had to crawl in bed sobbing. I will totally claim my part of this. If I hadn't overworked for four days in a row, I probably could have gotten past this with just a minor bad mood. But that's not what happened. And now, I feel like I have to say something.

I like my attachments.

I enjoy reading The Daily Love and other spiritual sites. I honestly do. But occasionally, I'll hit a post that triggers me. (And often, it's not that bad when I go back to it. My own emotional state when I read almost always plays a role.) But I definitely have an issue with the "release attachments" way of thinking. This article makes mention of it in a way of saying that if we're too attached to an outcome we'll never get it. And he used the example of a friend of a friend trying to find "the one". He was apparently too attached to this idea and only found someone when he stopped looking. This triggered me because it was basically telling me to give up my attachment to finding Morgan. And that just sent me into hysterics.

Look, I'm not going to argue over what works for other people. Everyone is different. But I hear this "release attachments" way too often. I hate the idea that - to make ourselves more spiritual - we have to be unattached to things. We may be spiritual beings having a human experience, but we are still human. Yes, occasionally, being too attached can bring you pain. But I don't believe the right way to react to that is to not care. I want to be attached to finding Morgan. I want to be attached to being known as a writer. I don't want to "release my attachment to the outcome" of those things. In fact, trying to release those things would give me the pain of repressing core parts of myself.

I do believe there's something to be said about not being attached to exactly how and when these things will happen. But I do need these things in my future. And I want to need them. They are part of who I am. I will do my best to follow where the Universe guides me and understand that It knows best. But I was not given these dreams for no reason. I was meant to be invested in finding my Soulmate. And I will never give that up. Not for anything.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 23rd, 2013 11:51 pm (UTC)
Hey Val!

Aw, sorry to hear Nano stresses you out. It used to stress me out too. I tried it, but the quantity approach didn't work for me because I just ended up off-topic. I have yet to write a complete chapter story!

I've been dating my boyfriend Damian for five months now, and he's the closest to a soulmate I could find (and I don't believe in soulmates). Just before I met him, I gave up searching. I got too irritated of picking through potential "candidates" and stressing about the result. There is truth in the article.
Nov. 24th, 2013 12:21 am (UTC)
Yeah, NaNo definitely stresses me out. Every year, I spend half the month complaining how ridiculous it is and the other half working really hard to prove to my Ego that, "I'm awesome, too! See, I can work hard!". And I totally crash afterwards, probably leading to less work getting done overall. I probably need to just ignore it altogether, but it's hard when you follow other writers, and you still want to cheer your friends on.

Gah, I miss your writing, though!

Well, I know that's how it works for some people (and I'm really happy for you!! ^_^), but it's definitely not how it works for me. I'll never let go of wanting to find Morgan. It's what has kept me alive all these years, and it's too much a part of who I am. I won't let him go, and I don't even want to. Like I said, everyone is different, and I personally like my attachments. They're what keeps me focusing on getting through the hard times.
Nov. 24th, 2013 01:25 am (UTC)
Do you remember this? http://writeordie.com/

I miss my writing, too. :( I think it used to sound pretty good (sometimes). Haha, you know it's been too long when you feel nostalgic about it...

What I meant was-- I don't think my post conveyed it-- is it doesn't seem to conflict to me. I still went on a date because at the end of the day I preferred to be in a relationship than alone. I guess I couldn't really take any real action until I could calmly decide between the two options before me, which implies letting go of some of your strongest feelings, I think.

Are you still writing fanfic?
Nov. 24th, 2013 02:18 am (UTC)
It was really good! I definitely always thought your writing was great, and that's why I wanted you to beta for me! And you totally did so much for me back then. I still really appreciate it.

I don't think I ever saw that site, actually. Oh, but just reading about it makes me anxious! Haha.

Ah, well... maybe that's true. I'm just a deeply emotional person. And I like that about myself, even though it sometimes causes more pain. In the end, I think I make the right choices for me. But sometimes, it is good to just meditate and calm down. I just don't think that has to mean letting go of your feelings. I think it just depends on the person.

Well, not really? I mean, I usually post a new chapter of Hate You, Hate Me on the anniversary of when I posted the 11th chapter back in 2005. It kind of changed my life, which is a long story if I haven't told you. (I must've at some point, but it's been a looong time.) I already have the next chapter half done. It will go up in February, I hope!

But no, I don't really do fanfic these days aside from that. I'm working towards self-publishing Dreaming in Shadow and some other stories. I'm on the second full draft of DiS now. Still lots of work to do, but it's coming along... slowly. If you have a Google account, I could add you to the private Google Doc! I'd love to hear your opinion on it, if you have time.
Nov. 26th, 2013 06:28 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I remember how you were talking about self-publishing. Sure! Add me: orchide.chen@gmail.com
Nov. 26th, 2013 07:35 pm (UTC)
Okay, I added you! There should be a link in your email, I think.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )