Monday 15 March 2021

Hurdles I - A Personal Insight into Writing by Dave Kendrick

    When asked by Howard during the January writers’ meeting to write a blog on what prevented me from finishing my writing, I was not sure on how to go about it. It was scary and overwhelming because I did not have any experience in writing a blog prior to now. The only knowledge of blogs that I had was from reading my friend Colleen’s blog. I procrastinated at the start, which is one of things that prevented me from writing before I dove into the project. Some of the other factors that prevented me from finishing my writing were writers block, negative feedback and being busy with work and family. I needed to complete some research on the issue and then I remembered a book I had purchased eight year ago. Silencing Your Inner Saboteur by Sherry Peters was my inspiration for this blog. I highly recommend this book to those struggling to write or finish their writing projects.

    Before going into depth regarding the book, I think it is important to give you about of idea on my writing experiences and why my writing suffered over the years and I was unable to finish it. I have been writing on and off since I was about 14 after I attended my first writers’ seminar. Since then, I considered it a hobby and did not think much of it. I did not even hang on to the work that I completed at the conference.
The next major inspiration was in my English 23 class. I was asked to write a short mystery story that was less than two pages. This was prior to my high school Myers-Briggs assessment to determine which career path I would succeed at.

    I was recommended to pursue the fields of broadcasting, writer or some level of law enforcement. Throughout my career life thus far, I have followed all three of these career paths. My hobby grew as I discovered I had some talent while I temporarily moved into my grandparents’ place to help my grandmother while my grandfather was in the hospital.

    My grandmother was a lot like my fiancĂ©e. They both went to bed early and rose early, which gave me an opportunity to get more writing done. I continued to try and extend the story that I started in English 23; However, I struggled to add any sustenance to my novel. I did not know at the time that I was hurting and sabotaging my own work.

    I attended NAIT in 2003 to upgrade my high school marks by taking more advanced English classes and it paid off. Shortly after upgrading, I was accepted to the broadcasting program at the Canadian School of Modern Broadcasting. At this point, I was attending school five days a week and working evenings and weekends on the side.

    My novel writing was put on the back burner as I focused on my schoolwork. After completing my post secondary, I started a job at a radio station as a copy writer (writing the ads for the radio station). I thought it was awesome to be a professional writer in the radio industry. The downside to working in this position was that the pay was not sufficient. This led to a career change. I would be finding that after writing all day at work, I would not have the desire to write any more in the evening.

    Shortly after leaving the radio station, I started work as a security officer working 12-hour days. During this time, my writing took a major hit as I was exhausted after a day of work and writing reports all shift from 2007 to 2019. If I had taken proper breaks, gotten proper sleep and set some realistic goals for myself, then my writing could have been easier. After being off work since late 2019 due to medical reasons and COVID and missing the writers’ group, I decided to try my hand at writing again. I rejoined the writers’ group in January 2021 and have rediscovered my passion.

    I bought the book mentioned near the beginning at the When the Words Collide three-day conference in Calgary. For those who have not attended this conference, I highly recommend attending it. It is a great place to network and take work shops. At the conference, I attended the author Sherry Peters seminar and purchased her book. Once home, I attempted to read it but was struggling to read it as my focus was not there. After Howard suggested I create this blog, I decided to read the book again for the third time.

    The third time around was the charm. I found the book was describing me to a tee and it was inspiring me. It allowed me to pinpoint the errors in my writing and the reasons I was procrastinating with my writing. I realized that I was sabotaging my own writing which I come by naturally and self inflict on myself. I naturally struggle because I have ADD and learning challenges which cause me to procrastinate. By struggling with ADD, I must focus three or four times harder on a task.

    Throughout the years, I have learned to focus more using some of the tools I have learned throughout courses and my own personal growth. However, when fatigued, I have more trouble with focus. I find myself still making excuses for not writing; However, I am working towards bettering myself.
After reading this book, I realized that friends, family and my teachers also contributed to my procrastination with writing. When I asked them to proof my writing, I was met with only negative reactions like correcting my grammar and punctuation. It created self doubt and discouragement that my writing will never be good enough. The book examined the root of the problems and provided me with solutions to better my writing.

    Even though I struggle with ADD and burnt out, I want to focus on the positive that I have learned from this book. I have used the criticism over my writing career and have used it to become a better writer. I see this now.

    If not for my dad, I would not have become a stronger writer. He would get irritated at me for not listening when he had some sound advice. He taught me how to push myself more in life. It included meeting and networking with people like at the Edmonton Writers Group. This pushed me to take harder classes in school and allowed me to choose the career paths that I chosen. In the future, it will assist me as I continue my journey as a writer.

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