When my pen stutters

Photo by Álvaro Serrano on Unsplash

In the 2010 inspiring movie The King’s Speech, Colin Firth brilliantly portrayed King George VI who is dealing with an impeded speech. This high profile person who is the monarch of the United Kingdom couldn’t communicate well to his countrymen. The shower of stammers and stutters not only hindered his message but takes toll on his self-esteem also. Then came World War II and it is his biggest trial to reach out and inspire his people. The help of a foreign and eclectic speech therapist addressed not only the obstacle but what caused it in the first place. This brought about a great friendship between these two.

What I found irresistible about the story is how recent this all seems since King George VI is the father of the current ruling monarch of England, Queen Elizabeth. We still have people who fought during and survived World War II. The King George VI’s speech problem is a direct contrast to the gifted orator Adolf Hitler. We can’t help but keep rooting for the underdog.

The struggle and stuttering reflects my writing. My thoughts are all tangled up and I have a hard time attempting to organize them. Describing the scenes, characters, then narrating how they went from point A to point B, and my conclusion are so distorted. The tumultuous feeling when I create is akin to gasping for air while trying to keep afloat. So why do I write when I feel this uncomfortable about it?

Writing is my vocation. I finally know this to be true after working in several disciplines and having moved to two different countries. It was the calling I ran away from for over a decade ago. Now I am facing the consequence of neglecting and hiding the talent. You bear witness to my awkward sentences and the longs hours spent editing what I wrote showed my level of production, which is not high at all. So even if there is some awkwardness in reaching my goal, this is just the time to learn and develop my skills.

There are many stories I wish to share with everyone. Even if my writing skill is at its lowest and I require many hours of training and practice. I can’t stop all these beautiful stories from churning out of me like a broken ice cream machine. I desire to distribute these narratives. So I will get to where I turn these stories into books that everyone can enjoy.

“Because I have a voice!” was uttered with such passion in the film that it woke me up from my stupor. Am I striving to improve my craft? As we work hard we influence others to face their own calling, motivate them to do their best and encourage them to not only face any hardship but overcome them.

Many thanks for reading this post and I respect your time but if you haven’t seen the film and want to know more about The King’s Speech, don’t forget to check it out.  You can watch the movie trailer here.

The compulsion on this obsession

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In Psychiatry, compulsion is an act or ritual that person feels compelled to perform repeatedly, often to reduce the distress caused by an obsession. (Source: The Free Dictionary by Farlex) In effect, the current distraction we have is due to avoiding a specific stress in our lives. This is a very human condition.

              My current distractions are playing games and reading various webnovels. I confess to having multiple projects ranging from buying gifts to crafts and needlework that are detracting my focus because I am stressing over something I could not achieve: perfection. It doesn’t need a Psychology graduate to conclude this. If you keep asking yourself `why´ so many times, the dissatisfaction in your life would surface. It is so much easier to distract ourselves. I tell myself that solving a certain puzzle would make me feel accomplished, gathering resources are like gathering the ideas left and right, and while crafting or doing needlework allows me to set the scenes of the stories in my head. In the end, I did not pick up my pen nor touched the keyboard to write the story—I only did all those to run away and waste time.

               I always tell friends and family members (who would listen) that there were many times a great plot or scenes would play in my mind. I would wish I have the time to jot down what the Muse shared with me. This is my dilemma when a superb story rolled in the theater of my mind. The plot is riveting and images so exciting that these should be on the big screen! It was too easy to get lost in the whole thing except I’m lost on where to start re-telling. My writing skills are not yet good enough to show the picture to others.

My obsession on details and minuteness must be is driving my husband up the wall. When I write these images and go deep in the recesses of my mind to capture the actual scenes or words of wisdom, the biggest hindrance to my writing is myself. The stress of capturing everything and relaying these to the readers provokes me like those who need to feel the “end” on what they started.

The Muse moved on—perhaps giving another writer the chance to write the story she gave me. I felt helpless and defeated because my skills were not enough—I was not enough. The only thing I could tell you was that “Once upon a time, there was a story that haunted me… and I ran away from sharing it with you. The End.

Once upon a time, there was a story that haunted me… and I ran away from sharing it with you. The end.

Shelami Laubach

This does not make up for a good story until I set aside my need for perfection and think of the reason I want to share the story in the first place. So I took up my pen again, dragged out all these drafts and reconstructed my writing blog to start what I hope is the breakout of my writing career.

The Writing discipline

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I want to write. I want to create the world and characters in my imagination and make them come alive in pages. Books don’t get produced on a whim; they were the results of ingenious ideas and edited pieces. Among the chief thrill of writing is the inspiration that surge in me. I have to give chase.

Dear Readers,

Do you know that walking many paths does not take you anywhere? It takes a sincere dedication on following one path that allows you to master it. Even though some may seem to have been walking several paths and succeeding in it, they couldn’t match the time and effort given by a real master.

I’m talking about discipline.

To be a writer, one must write. To be an author, one must produce his or her written works to the world. This is the path faced by writers and authors.  I have several friends who write well about tons of topics and I join them in their quest to share their knowledge and ideas even though there are so many books out there to read.  I do like novels and even though I don’t give raving reviews on all of them, I truly appreciate them for bringing me to different worlds and introducing me to such wonderful characters.

Perhaps that is why I’m forlornly looking at the NaNoWriMo website. NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month and it started the first of November. You have 30 days to finish writing 50,000 words. Of course, the preparation starts in October or even earlier. Reading through the many testimonials and seeing the many participants all over the world made me wonder about the writing discipline. As of now, you dear readers are reading roughly over 200 words. Of course, 50,000 words would mean several chapters but to finish all that in 30 days requires one to be self-controlled, regulated and organized.

I heard that confessing is a good practice, well here is mine: I rarely finish work that I started at a short length of time. I drag things, I productinate (see its meaning at Urban Dictionary), and I have a tendency to neglect or pass it along. It is such a bad behavior that I get upset looking at the piled-up tasks on my Journal or my desk. If I really want to accomplish it, what is stopping me?

I want to be a disciplined author. During a live-chat with Jerry B. Jenkins, I asked what he would do when an idea hits him hard while currently working on a novel and his response was to simply jot it down and “focus” on the novel at hand. His answer hit me hard right where it should: my lack of discipline.

To truly change, one has to work with your whole being. Do you think it’s easy to immediately be disciplined? I recall my military training (yes, I did have that back in high school) and the first thing we got drilled on is physical training.

Did you just slack off there, soldier? Well, give me another 50 push-ups.

You can’t do that, soldier? Well, your buddy here won’t share your load and neither will I so move it!

It put tremendous stress physically and mentally but it did put you in a certain tune: Obedience. The body does just what you tell it to, pushing itself to the limit and with obedience your mind becomes more focused. Once you’re leading your own squad you know you have to pass on the same kind of discipline because you are teaching them to make their mind and body obey.

One of the very first things that I had to do when I moved here in Germany is to set a schedule or routine for myself because once I’ve uprooted myself from Chicago, everything was unfamiliar. In retrospect, I should have done many things in the beginning. I should have created a schedule, a routine and disciplined myself to do something productive right away. Instead I allowed my confidence and dream to deteriorate.

My French friend, AC, has been such a good influence on me lately and helped me think of my future. She even allowed me to assist her on the project she’s working on. This took me out of the rut I’m digging myself in. Previously, I would often speak with family members and friends on what I should do, what I can focus on, and my various (winning) skills. At the same time, I would often tell my husband how lost I felt because there are so many paths before me. In the end, when AC asked me what I really want to do it became crystal clear: I really want to write. That means I need to have a (published) writer’s discipline. So, I aim to do just that by continually blogging about my pursuit.  It is not going to be easy and there will be times I would fail but I hope to have the same discipline during my military training days.

If you’re still reading at this point, I am especially grateful because that means you allowed me to exhibit a glimpse of my life and almost at 900 words you’ve been patient with what I shared  Please look forward for more updates and I would enjoy hearing from you