Ever since I had my first child, my weight has climbed. There have been the odd times when I lose a few pounds, but nothing I tried ever worked long term. Most of the time I give up far too easily and end up heavier than ever. As I watched the number grow, I found myself more worried about my health and even worse, I found my confidence shrinking. At one point I gave up. Why bother trying if every diet plan just made me frustrated and grumpy? Last October I stood on the scale and the number horrified me. I hadn't even been that heavy when I was pregnant. With some good advice from my mother, I decided to give it another try. To date I have lost twenty-one pounds. I'm still working at it but there will be no quitting this time. I think I found what works for me.
Writing is a struggle, too. Mostly it is a time issue. I need to drop something from my schedule - I just haven't figured out what yet. Some of it is a confidence problem. I still see so much of my work as unreadable and wonder why I ever thought I could do this. Those are things I try to improve on daily. The bigger problem is that I am still trying to find what works.
I tend to write by the seat of my pants. I let the story flow from my fingers and just hope it makes sense in the end. It's the same way I used to write high school and college papers - not really a highly recommended method, but somehow I got by. What I've discovered is that I'm not really fond of editing. When the story is told, I want to be done. Of course, letting it all just spill out onto paper leaves a lot of holes that I have to go back and fill in. I can do it, but it just about drives me crazy.
I'm trying to teach myself to outline a little more. But I love to see where the story goes without me over-thinking it. So I need to find the balance of not too much planning, but just enough to leave me with fewer holes in the end. Someday I'll figure it out. Until then I stumble along hoping that I can pull it all together and find the right system for me. I go to conferences, participate in my critique group and read as much as I can. All the little things I pick up here and there help and I can see myself getting better all the time. It's all just part of the lengthy learning process. But if I can improve my eating habits, surely I can improve my writing habits as well. It's all just a matter of finding what works.