Renewed Conversations: Consistency + Caspertown

Introducing “Renewed Conversations”! This is a new type of post in which I revisit old blog posts and craft new ones to show how I’ve grown in these subjects over the past however long it’s been. The first one is going to be a brand-new, in-depth conversation about consistency paired with some updates about my novel-in-progress, Caspertown. One of the previous posts I’ll be referencing here is called “Consistency”. I wrote it in September 2018, as I was in a big transitional stage and wanted to positively reframe my life during it. Seeing as though I’m still writing on this topic now (albeit it’s something I feel we need to work on over the course of our lives), it seems as though the thought process I had then wasn’t the most effective. So today I’m looking back on where I would tweak a few things. Let’s dive in!

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The new blooms come only when the old ones fall. 

In the previous post, I realize that I had a very compartmentalized perspective. I wanted every piece of my life to be in its own box while also wanting them to fit perfectly together. I was going after consistency in each “category”, one-by-one. I’ve certainly found that that’s not really how life works. However, if we’re going to use that puzzle metaphor, the pieces need to work together in order to create the whole picture; they can’t operate alone. Life is very much the same. The different parts that make up our lives weave together in all sorts of ways to create life as we know it. Coming to that understanding, I’m now looking to maintain a personal culture of consistency across the board instead of in compartmental manner.

I’m attempting to create such a culture by shifting from a perspective of compartmentalization to one of prioritization. Priorities encourage us to distribute our time well, while acknowledging that our lives are cohesive; all of the pieces are important, but there are some that make up more of the picture. There are some things we need to designate more time to than others, but it all works together instead of operating as individual satellites.

A year ago, my problem was that I wasn’t spending as much time as I would have liked doing creative writing, and guess what? My problem is still the same. Nothing has changed with that former mindset. Do I think that that mindset is ultimately useless? No, I don’t; it’s all a growing process, and there are still pieces of that previous perspective that I am still utilizing today. Learning is building. I was definitely on the right track with the concept of saying “no” to some things for your own sanity, and the emphasis on packing less into every day was spot on. Now, I’m prioritizing in order to get as much out of every day, instead of putting so much into every day.

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Sometimes we look for the four-leaf clovers too long to appreciate the beautiful consistency in the three-leaf ones. 

Ultimately, I want to hold myself accountable in all things so that life is able to flow more seamlessly. Consistency comes with doing my homework when I say I’m going to, while staying true to my word that I give to friends, making time for writing, and so much else. When everything finds a rhythm together, that’s when we can find those rhythms in the separate aspects. Writing doubles as my passion and self-care, so if I want to write more consistently, I need to prioritize well and hold myself accountable to what I say I will do in order to maintain consistency everywhere. Mistakes are painfully human, and they will happen, but doing my best with what’s in control helps to create consistency as a habit.

All of that being said, writing is my purpose for finding a healthy and consistent balance. About a year ago, as well, I wrote an update in which I stated that I was picking my novel-in-progress, Caspertown, up again: “The Official Caspertown Reboot”. Long story short, that didn’t happen. Because the consistency wasn’t right, the novel has not made much progress. I’ve had many ideas for it, and I have a clearer vision in my head than I did before, but I haven’t done very much of the actual writing at all. Not very useful. With writing in general, I’ve been straight-up quiet for a couple years. I’ve written here and there, but it’s almost been a love-hate relationship. And let me tell you, I’ve hated feeling that way about writing.

Yes, there’s intimidation. Yes, there’s fear. But I’m also out of a consistent practice with it all. It’s harder to make a rusted up car that hasn’t driven in years start than one that’s kept up and consistently driven. In that way, I know that the first sentence, first paragraph, first chapter will all be the hardest to write, but I will write them. I’m going to try to lift the pressure off and begin. Begin.

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” -Confucius

 

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Caspertown itself is inspired by two of my favorite places: the lake my family has a cottage on, and Jamestown, RI.

A novel must coexist with consistency; there isn’t a choice about that. Many (if not most) worthwhile pursuits in life are that way. So I’m going to start small and just think about the next word. I’m giving myself room to grow here. The puzzle will all come together. These characters have such important stories to tell, and so be it. They’ve been in my head for the last four-plus years and they aren’t going anywhere. I need to tell their story. Winnie has been itching to tell her story to you all for years, let me tell you. 

I’ll let you in on a few little details ahead of time: Caspertown is a beachside town in its winter slump, has some dark and twisted secrets, and they trail back to Winnie’s grandparents, Ersee and Victor, who are deceased. A bit vague, I know, but piecing together Winnie’s narrative in a way that’s both powerful and mesmerizing is something I’m literally buzzing about. And I want it to benefit from the experiences I’ve had since I last set it down.

The consistency lesson is what life is, though. It means that we realize where we went wrong before, we acknowledge what hasn’t been working, and then we change course. We learn and we keep going. That’s where I am now. I’m just focusing on making each day I live, and each sentence I write, better than the last.

What did you guys think of this new type of post? Let me know in the comments, and also tell me all about how you implement consistency in your life. I can’t wait to spark this conversation.

Much Love, Quinn

Thank you for reading today! You can catch new posts every Tuesday and Friday here on the Word Oasis blog, as well as additional content on my Instagram: @word.oasis. 

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