WORD COUNT: In the Eye Of The Beholder

  Word count is something I thought very little about before trying my hand at writing. It is something I now mention no fewer that 100 times a day. Trust me, I counted them. 100 plus! It has now been roughly 4 months since I was told, “You are a writer” and this journey began. Let’s do a quick word count on my story so far. 1,2,3,4, carry the one and drum roll….WORD COUNT in four months….3,000!?! Really? 3,000? Maybe I should have carried the 2? Sadly, that is about right. You see, I have something called OCD and I have tremendous difficulties when it comes to concentration and reading and writing. I have not read more than 20 pages in a novel in about a year and a half. You can go ahead and weep for me.

  I’ll read a Tweet and it will say, “Had a good day, wrote 2,300 words.” Or someone will be excited that they got 600 words and the very next Tweet will have someone almost suicidal over 600 words.

  This is not writers block? I don’t sit down at my computer and just go blank. I don’t have pen in hand staring at my notebook and think, what would my Main character say next? I mentally and physically cannot open the file to my story or I cant pick up a pen. This has happened pretty much every day for 4 months. I wrote the roughly 3,000 words on my novel in about 2 hours, if it was all condensed into a 2 hour block of brilliance. 😉 How many other hours did that leave that I could have been writing? I’ll let you figure that out and I’ll save my counting for my words, when I get to writing them. Counting my words? MY WORD!!!

  I’m not giving up. I cant give up. I’m consumed by my story. I think about it all my waking hours. I have gotten depressed. Very depressed. I never know about these mental barriers of mine. They may suddenly lift and I write the 1st draft in 3 weeks or it may take me 6 months. Make no mistake though, I’m writing this story and I think its good. Really good! So I wont stop. I will keep pushing until the dam breaks and the river is set free. Next time you are hung up on word count just remember, “3,000 in 4 months!” and maybe it wont seem so, end of the world. Who knows? I may even write 3,000 by the end of this day. Lets hope for that. 🙂 P.S.-It has taken me 3 weeks to sit down and write this little post but I did it and that’s progress.

Advertisements

Origins of Mr. Bellweather

 

 

 

It seems like Mr. Bellweather has always been around but its been less than a year since my mind created him. My first thoughts were of someone mysterious who was also compassionate, kind and who enjoys encouraging others and making them smile. Those are some qualities that I strive for in my personal life. They say to write what you know and those are things I enjoy. If I am going to spend countless hours a day writing this story while also battling and struggling with multiple mental disorders, why not have a Main Character who brings out the best in me, along for the ride.

I mentioned mental disorders and I would like to touch on that subject briefly here in my 1st post. I have been diagnosed with OCD and that leads to sometimes crippling Social Anxiety and Depression. I have also been diagnosed as being Bi-Polar. I am 41 years old and I have never had one day where I didn’t have to battle at least one of these disorders. They never go away and they are a constant in my life. It is sometimes brutal, sometimes horrific but over time I have developed the coping skills needed to get through each day. I will reveal more details and stories as this blog unfolds.

I have an amazing wife and amazing doesn’t do her justice. She is absolutely my best friend and we spend most of our time with our two daughters who are truly a blessing from GOD. We dedicate all of our time in raising them to be kind and compassionate, respectful people.

I have always been ultra creative. Its a nice “side effect” of my OCD. My mind is constantly creating to the point it wears me out and I cannot turn it off. It also enables me to think of funny things to say at lightning speed.

So, I am currently trying my best to write a novel with Mr. Bellweather at the center. Several months ago, I created a Twitter page and began chatting with writers, agents and anyone who loved books. I began chatting with an agent one day, someone who I had chatted with before and she became curious about Mr. Bellweather (and me I suppose). In a nutshell she assumed I was a writer. I quickly set her straight that I was not. The idea was almost comical to me. A writer? Me? I cant even work at a job. I am disabled. A writer? lol I’m a dad and a husband and a child of GOD and I am proud of those things. A writer is someone with talent who has spent their life reading and writing and studying the craft. I have done very little of that. She still believed it though. So one day I wrote something just for her. I came up with the names Archie(Archibald) and Elsa and when I had written a few paragraphs, I sent it to her and she thought it was great and she said, “Parker, you are a writer!” I cried. I couldn’t be. Could I? This person knows what she’s talking about. Right? I mean it is her profession. I believed I was a writer for about 48 hours and then my mental disorders told me different. That I was nothing. That she was just being kind. I have been battling between those two thoughts for 3 months now. I still don’t know.

Here is what I wrote for her….

“A robust wind swept the last remaining leaf off an old oak tree and carried it up high and over the hilltop. It rode effortlessly on the wind stream and down into the valley where at last, with a drawn down whisper of a breeze it was collected out of the cool dry air with a young strong hand. Archibald had dropped one of the three metal containers he was carrying to catch the leaf. He thought it looked like a butterfly that had too much to drink. Spinning, flopping end over end as if it was a court jester. Its flaming red color, a sign of the seasons changing, reminded him of Elsa and her fiery head of hair. He placed the leaf in the metal bowl and picked it up off the ground. He knew that Elsa would be waiting. He could already hear her sweet voice teasing him about being late and wondering what daydream kept him this time. These were dark days in a land once filled with song. He stopped in hopes that a tune his mom had once sung to him had maybe gotten lost, caught up in the wind and had not followed her to where she went. He wondered if she was singing there in that place where fallen saints go? If melody’s danced in treetops there? Trees that had leaves that did not die but did change colors. Like the fiery one that had found him this morning. The one like…..Elsa was waiting.”

I have written a little more on this story but my ability to focus is greatly limited by my mental disorders. I have not read a novel in over a year. I have not read my Bible in over a year. In 3 months I have written about 3,000 words on my story. I am a prisoner in my own mind but I battle everyday to write. I have been depressed and sad and sometimes I wonder if I will ever be able to write this story. Will it be possible? Everyday I almost quit. Some days I will write something so quickly that I think, “I’m brilliant!” lol But that quickly fades and I am sad again. I cant wait to tell you more and I hope you come along with me and Mr. Bellweather as we travel this path towards….towards I don’t know. It will be heart wrenching at times. Joyous at times. Come and laugh and cry with me. I could use your encourage, advice and a your friendship. Until next time. (((BIG HUG))) just for you. 🙂