I leave in two weeks for Hawaii for the summer. It sounds fabulous but is also kind of wrenching as my two oldest sons will be with their dad for the first month and then come to me for the second–and I’ll be away for one of those weeks they’re with me attending Romance Writers of America’s national conference in Orlando.
I’ve never been away from Mac for more than a night and flying thirteen hours away from him for 6 nights of business makes my heart hurt. I think I’d be better with the week away if that were my only week away from the boys, but that’s just the beginning of three months of frequent, and sometimes hard, travel. I’m excited to promote She’s Gone Country, but struggle at leaving the kids.
The She’s Gone Country booktour kicks off in California, with four stops there, before zipping to Henderson, Nevada (just outside Las Vegas), and then back to Bellevue where I’ll turn my attention to Pacific Northwest events. Surfer Ty and I head to London for a week in September, too, so I can attend the annual meeting for AMBA, the Association of Mills & Boon Authors. I haven’t attended an AMBA meeting since September 11th, and that entire trip was shadowed by grief and shock.
Because I won’t be returning to Bellevue to repack for Orlando or the booktour, I’m having to haul all my business attire with me to Honolulu and so I’ve been sorting through my wardrobe, trying things on, purchasing a few new dresses, coordinating shoes and accessories. I was absolutely delighted to discover that I could slide/squish myself into my favorite navy Max Mara slacks. They’re not my tiny navy slacks, but my formerly comfy ones. They’re not as comfy on me as they once were, but they zip, and with a longer blouse, I almost feel like the old Jane. Almost.
The scale isn’t showing that I’ve dropped a lot more weight but my body must still be shrinking from the workouts as I can definitely fit into some of my old size 8 clothes. There’s no chance of squeezing into the 6’s or the 4’s, but that can be a goal for next summer. It’s enough that I see progress. That I feel better than I did. That I have hope.
The writing, though, is still a struggle. I’m in an ego bruising place of fear and insecurity when it comes to my work. I’m not confident about this new book. Not comfortable with my voice. Not feeling the love. Right now I miss the writer Jane who knew what she was doing and where she was going. But maybe that Jane will return. Maybe it’s like my work outs in my garage with the weight equipment…maybe with time, with effort, with patience…this new story line and voice will fit me. Maybe if I just relax and go with it, the ideas will flow and the story will work.
Until it does, I have to stop the hate. I’ve been so mad at myself for not being more productive, and brilliant, and efficient. I struggle at my keyboard and as I struggle I’m filled with the old self-loathing. The little voice inside my head has so much to say…so much negative talk and put downs. Stupid, stupid Jane. Why do you think you can write? Why do you think you can succeed? Why should you deserve more than you’ve already got? And the voice achieves what it sets out to do. It stops me. Silences me. Hurts me. Sickened, I remove myself from my keyboard, desk, office. I then pace. Fight with myself. Do simpler things like email.
But the mean little voice, the mean bully inside my head can’t win.
It shouldn’t win.
I know I deserve kindness and patience and encouragement. I know I deserve love.
But its amazing how, when the pressure is on, I crumble instead of squaring my shoulders and locking my knees and digging deep for strength. Must find the strength. Must find the peace. No one can do it for me. This is one of those battles no one can fight but me.
And so that’s my goal. Not to write 5-10 pages a day. But to dismiss the critic and embrace the fear and take that deep breath, that deep calming breath and remind myself–I can do it. I can do anything. I just have to take it one baby step at a time.
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We all have those little mean, evil, nagging voices.
But we all love & believe in you!!
Believe in yourself too!!
Hang in there Jane. Sounds like a tough summer ahead of you. Maybe take 2-3 days off and reenergize.
It is amazing what a few days off can do.
Do you have a “wall of fame” for your office? Something to reming yourself of your remarkable achievements as a writer…like covers of all your books lined up on the wall; maybe awards in frames? We make sure to display kids’ artwork on the fridge, but I don’t think we display our own accomplishments as blatantly as we should.
Don’t be so hard on yourself Jane. You are and amazing writer! It will come to you. Just give it time.
Have safe trips!
I love all your books. Tell that inner bully to make like a tree and get out of here! (Like Biff says in Back to the Future.)
Time to make an appearance on the east coast. You have fans out this way too. Start with DC. 😉
What you are saying about that mean little voice really touched me. We all can identify, but to know that doesn’t make it easier. I’ve been doing some work with mine recently and realized that I learned to tell myself those awful things in childhood, during difficult times. Those old “tapes” are so deeply ingrained, it takes a lot of work to re-program them, but it CAN be done. It requires first just being aware, which you already are. Then, when you catch yourself saying those things in your head, visualize yourself at 5 or 6 years old and tell that beautiful child “those are just old tapes, we know better now, so we’re not going to listen. you are NOT those things, you are beautiful and creative and valuable to the world. now forget those voices and go PLAY, create, have a good time!”
We all still have that innocent, trusting child inside and we just have to love and protect her/him. Just as you would Mac or any of your children if a bully was saying such ugly things to them. Hope that helps a litte!
Sending you love and light. 🙂
Yes, remind yourself of all your amazing successes the next time that nagging voice starts beaking off!
And thank you for all the sacrifices you make for your readers! Too often, when we are anxiously waiting for your next book to come out, we forget the fact that you put your personal life on hold to fulfill your writing and promotional obligations.
I feel your pain. Those negative voices in my head have been louder lately than ever before. Sometimes life kicks you in the gut and even if it’s not your fault, you blame yourself. But I’m cheering for you, Jane, because I’ve seen you pick yourself up a million times before and come out better than ever. I will, too.
Jane, congratulations on getting back into your size 8s!! =) And you are such an amazing author – I couldn’t resist polishing off both The Sheikh’s Wife and Marco’s Pride yesterday (not a great testament to my self-discipline but a great testament to your writing)…they were both incredible, as I knew they would be. As you said, this is a battle you have to fight for yourself, but I do hope that we loyal readers can help give you the strength for the fight!
Hi, Jane! I admire you and your family for working to meet each other’s needs. Give and take in a flexible, but equal, balance is so important. You are a great example of a modern career woman/homemaker!
Just to make you feel better, and give you a laugh…no part of my body has ever been a size 8, 6, or 4. Not even my little toe! I couldn’t even get my foot into one leg of your “tiny navy slacks”! : )
Doubting yourself and denying your worth as a person weakens you and leaves the door open for all kinds of trouble. There are always users who spot self-doubt a mile away and make the most of a person’s weakness for their own selfish purposes. I promote literacy in every way that I can, especially for girls and women. Being literate is empowering and enables informed decision making. You are an intelligent, literate person with a warm, caring nature. Don’t get overwhelmed by the whole big picture. Take care of the more important issues as needed, and whittle away at the smaller ones. You’d be surprised at how much you can accomplish that way!
I think everyone has to deal with the same self doubt. If there is someone who wakes up each day 100% confident and 100% motivated I don’t want to know about them. Good luck Jane!
So many of us believe in you and support you. I encourage you to believe in yourself. You’re a joy to me, as well as others. We can sit down with one of your novels and smile and sometimes even escape life itself for a few minutes it and I’m grateful for that. Your books are so enjoyable and you’re such a giving person. I appreciate you sharing pieces of your life with us.
I pray for you to have peace of mind while you are away from Mac and for your safety during your travels.
Congrats on your new novel and your weight loss!
I think we all are guilty of beating ourselves up for something. I think you should stop nagging yourself though, because you are an amazing writer and by far, my favorite! 🙂
Congrats on being able to fit into your old pants….I wish I could say the same, but I’m continuing to work on that.
Have a wonderful trip to Hawaii and I can’t wait to read She’s Gone Counrty!!
Jane you are an inspiration to me! I have the same persistent little voice and it has had me down the last couple of weeks but I feel myself swimming back to me island.I am getting out of the house this weekend for a camping trip with my ladies so get up girl and enjoy yourself too.
I love your candidness – it reminds us all that no matter who we are or what we’ve done, we are all people and feel these same feelings and have similar thoughts. Your life is busier now than it used to be, so be patient with yourself. Too bad your deadlines can’t be stretched a bit to fit with the business of your life. Yes, your readers are eager to read everything you write and what you haven’t written yet – you entertain us so well, and I am thankful to you for that. YOU ARE NOT STUPID. YOU CAN WRITE – AND YOU DO IT WELL. YOU SUCCEED BECAUSE YOU DO IT WELL AND PUT YOUR HEART AND SOUL INTO IT. I don’t see it as deserving any more than you already have – it’s that you were meant to write and that’s just the way it is. Airing your thoughts like you do will help to remove them from your head. Thanks for sharing them. Keep at it, it will come.
Congrats on getting into your old pants – that always feels so good!
You are suffering now, but keep at it because you will suddenly find your voice again and the words will flow. I just picked up Flirtying with Forty to read again and it is so great. I think it is my favorite (until I re-read another) but it speaks to being in a bad place and deciding not to listen to negative comments and allow yourself to be happy. The “old Jane” is still there within you and you are right, you can do it!
I love how you open-up your feelings to your many readers. I’m going thru another set-back, lost a kid in my daycare so I have only 1 for acouple wks in June, and have 1 for acouple of wks in July so I’m little down but I have faith that things will workout in the end. I was upset but decided to look on the brightside of things. God has a plan for me, even when were not happy about it, he’s with us all the way. You have to look at yourself in the mirror and or write down all the wonderful things about yourself. I don’t have small children so being away from them is going to be hard but you’ll be working and they know that, but you will be keeping in touch and so on. I wanted to attend that meeting in Orlando but not sure if I can afford it but you never know, I’d like to meet you and a few other authors. I don’t know you very well, just as an author but you seem like a great person and friend. I’m trying so hard to get a few pounds off too, but I’ve got to take it one day at a time, I’ve been taking one food that I enjoy off my shopping list, so far I’m doing ok. but stop beating yourself up, thats what I’ve also stop doing, too. I hear that from Mike, instead I just act like I don’t hear him, and that pisses him off. Your a beautiful person…take one day at a time…cherish the moment…
I forgot add,pat yourself on the back for fitting into you navy slacks. Good job, I’m wearing pants that didn’t fit me last summer..keep-up the good work. Keep writing, waiting for your book in August.I can’t wait!!!
I am sorry your feeling down right now. We all have our bad days. I guess we have to take the good and bad. Even when we really don’t want to take the the bad.
I have to share with you, I just read your article on
A WRITER’S PERSPECTIVE: ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING
by Jane Porter
(that is on your website) just a couple days ago.
It is amazing!!! Your amazing!!! I love this article!!! Especially about the part on Success!!!
I emailed it to a couple close friends and my Mother.
Remember tomorrow is a NEW DAY!
Everything will start to falling into place.
Wishing you the best in your writing, balancing life, and taking care of those precious children and your Man.
You are Amazing!!!
Much love to you and yours!
I was thinking about you this weekend when I read Karen White’s THE LOST HOURS. It alternates between 1st and 3rd POV depending on which character is the focus. You might want to give it a read.
This is the only book I’ve read by Ms. White so don’t know if this is how she does all her books or if it was specific for this story but I really liked it.
The 1st person chapters gave me that same sense of immediacy and intimacy I like about your books, but the 3rd person chapters also made all the history, and mystery so rich and deep.
Happy Reading! Happy Writing!
Thank you for Sharing!
I forgot to mention to
“Congrats on the Size 8 pants!!” Awesome!!
I definitely need to find time to workout more often!
Take it one page at a time, things happen for a reason. When you least expect it, your brain will talk to her fingers and the typing will just start to flow.
As my husband would say, “if you build it, he will come”. Great movie (Field of Dreams). Just like your writing, it will happen.
And by the way, a size 8! Hell, that is my left side… I thinks that is the bomb.
I understand your insecurities. We all get in a funk sometimes. It’s hard being a woman, a mother, a wife, a lover, a writer and everything else everyone asks of us. What’s even harder is the pressure we put on ourselves to do all of those things. We often forget one of the most important in that list up above…We are human!!!
It’s okay to have fears, anxiety and lack of self-confidence. It’s ok to doubt yourself. Things will happen for you soon. You have a great body for just having a baby. I wish I had your body and your gorgeous long hair. I wish I could write like you. I think you are wonderful. Just remember who you are… You are Jane Porter; my hero, my friend, our friend.
Don’t allow those negative inner voices destroy your joy. You are a beautiful, loving mother and friend. There is only one you and everyone loves you just the way you are. Have a safe trip. Can’t wait for SGC!
I think to some extent that we all go through those cycles when we feel stupid, useless and what is the point in trying. Usually diverting from the plan and finding some fun or that silver lining will help you get back to the Jane you want. Sometimes it is the trying times that make us into better people.
I think of you getting much better because for all the years I have followed you and read your work I just think imagine you having to improve much.
You just hang in there. just remember that you are loved by your guys and everyone that visits here loves and roots for you too.
Like everyone else I am excited for you to feel good about your weight loss. That is just GREAT! Sometimes we feel more upset about our weight than those we love feel about it. When I say I want to lose some weight, my husband reminds me not to lose too much. He remembers when we married and I weighed 99 lbs. and likes me better now. So, I try to maintain a healthy weight, not model weight. If I could just rearrange my weight and send my tummy weight a bit higher, now that would really be helpful. Smile!
I just finished a book The Journal Keeper in which the author worries about her writing. She wants to write a book about her mother’s life and just is not able to do it, so instead she keeps a journal and that ends up being the book that her editors want. I don’t know any editors, but I imagine them to have opinions that sometimes are the exact opposite of the writer. No matter if it is the “little bully voice” in your mind or a real person, remind yourself that you have something to say and folks like us who want to read your words. I am praying for you to have “Traveling Mercies” and for your sons to have a good summer, too.
I believe in you! I know that does not help too much but I hope it does just a little. You are amazing and real and fabulous! Enjoy your summer in Hawaii!! The writing will come 🙂
Hang in there Jane we all have our little slumps, thing will come back around! Summer is busy for all of us and you can’t get everything done! Congrats on getting back into some of your clothes! Myself if I loose five lbs then I gain it right back. I just need to stay off of this computer and work out more.
Hi Jane! Your blogs are so inspiring to read and you can definitely write! I don’t see you ever crumbling under the weight of it all. You cleanse yourself by sharing with us and then move on. I am so happy to hear about the weight loss and fun upcoming travels you have. It will get better with the book. When you least expect it the road will turn and you will find your way.
By the way, thanks SO much for that awesome blog prize I received. Wow!! Never imagined it would be all those super awesome goodies. And so very excited to have my own copy of FWF again. I gave my first one to a friend who was going through a divorce and moving across country (and grew up in Hawaii) and she loved it.
It will get better. Thinking of you!
Congrats on the size 8! And for the determination to work at it and keep your eyes on your goals.
When we look at famous people we see the good looks (yes, you, Jane), the celebrity, money…and we don’t often get glimpses at the insecurities and normalcy of these people.
Except for someone like you who opens up to her readers and fans. Thanks for the glimpses into your life and the encouragement for us all to follow our dreams and goals as well.
wow- that was a masterpiece in itself!
Jane, Jane, Jane…. Don’t lock your knees – it causes you to pass out (witnessed it many a time in formation, lol) … and that wouldn’t be good.
I think you need to have compassion with yourself Jane and look in the mirror and embrace your inner Tiana – because she has some good advice. Advice I listened to on my trip when I needed a break from everything (feeling like I need another one now – but baby steps. Turtle steps: hint, hint). You should listen to her. Embrace her. Her words are your words. Both of YOU have great insight and great advice!!
Let’s see… what was it ‘she’ said??
“… tonight I hear it all, take it in, savoring every honor, every achievement, realizing that I should have been doing this years ago. I’ve worked hard. I’ve accomplished a lot. I should enjoy it. But like other women, I never take the time to savor my successes. I’ve always been too focused on what I haven’t done right or what I still need to do.
“… clinging to fear only increases fear. There’s only one way to fight fear and that’s by fighting back. Embrace change. Grab for the unknown. And believe in hope and joy and love … So love yourself, and love your life, and even love fear, because it won’t hold you back.” ~ Tiana Tomlinson
Your words chica :0)
You may have to fight this battle on your own as you stated, but at least your family, friends and readers can arm you with the tools and the backup (we got your back) to help you make it through your struggle to win the fight. We’re all here for you – just like you always are for us. You CAN do anything!
And, you can be very proud of your achievements as a result of your workouts too!! You are doing AWESOME!!! Do not let that number on the scale discourage you. You are able to fit into these new-to-you-now sizes because muscle is now replacing fat cells (and of course muscle weighs … hence the reason for only minor numerical changes). This is great – keep at it!
When you start feeling the blues, then beat them away with a workout! Or – as sung by the B-52’s …”When the blues whop you up on the side of the head, throw ’em to the floor and kick ’em out the door.” 🙂
You are not stupid Jane ( ~ go away evil negative self-talk); You KNOW you can write (these are only minor setbacks); You KNOW you are and will be successful; and EVERYBODY, including yourself, DESERVES more than what they’ve already got!
… so go get ‘em killer!!
Kick the mean voice to the curb, Jane! Being down is a much a part of life as being up (and feeling groovy).
With all that you’ve got ahead in the next month or two, you’ve every reason to be self-doubting and insecure. Leaving Mac, missing your boys, all the trans-con flying; please allow yourself to feel the very natural feelings. Don’t dismiss them (or yourself) as stupid.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Not to mention the “self” you always share with readers that love and believe in you (and your writing talent).
Give yourself the time to get organized with the trips and hurdles ahead so you can re-group to the writing. Are you going in a different direction this time?
Hate to hear that your hurting, but comforted that you share in the ups and downs that we all do as we struggle through the days and bumps life lays in our path.
Keep up the work outs, they always make you feel better, stronger, faster–do it for you. I’ve been mad at the numbers on the scale, but happy with the waistbands that expand as my waistline grows a teeny bit smaller. I can only hope it’s the old “muscle weighs more than fat”; if its not–pass the Kleenex.
Big hugs to you, sorry Tustin (and October) are so far away!
Hi Jane- Hope you’re feeling better this week. I keep re-reading your blog entry and thinking, ‘wow… if she can write this well and full of feeling and expression when she’s down, I cant wait to read her new book !’ …and since nobody can have more than one thought in their mind at the exact same moment, choose your thoughts carefully…moment by moment…and consciously replace the thoughts that you don’t want, with the thoughts that you do want.
hope that you are doing well. congrats on your taking care of yourself so that you can be healthy. not a size this or a size that. but the healthy size you are supposed to be. my daughter was lamenting about her “size” and sometimes it crosses my mind, so i told her to cut the size off her clothes!!!!….being healthy is what we are working towards, and unless you have tailor made clothes, nothing is ever the same size. even the same type of jeans by the same brand. or any piece of clothing or shoe for that matter! you are a brilliant writer, you have compassion for others, you care a great deal for everyone in your life. that is the size person you are supposed to be. be safe and be well!~!!
Jane, maybe you need to find out what this new story means to you. What are you trying to say? Really, really trying to say? To the world? To yourself in the writing of it? When that comes, maybe the writing will flow easier. Good luck!
As for your sizes…you’re a beautiful woman. And if you want to be a size 6 or 4, that’s fine as long as you recognize that all the layers are not who you are, and that includes not just “looks” but the state of your health.
Yes, working out for health is a great thing to do. But now that I’ve come to know people with cancer, people whose bodies will never achieve close to physical wellness, it’s easier for me to see that even optimum health as a goal is a nice thing…but not the essential thing. You are already perfect and whole. Looking into the eyes of a sick person, you see they are, too.
So what ARE we supposed to do? Well, I think we should still do our best to achieve wellness of body and mind. It elevates our life experiences when we’re striving upward. But the most important thing is to nurture that spirit in you, the life force, whatever you want to call it–that thing that shines out from your eyes, no matter the state of your body.
No one can tell you how to nurture and protect that…but you’ll know you’re doing it when you have peace. If you don’t have peace, something’s out of alignment. But it’s okay…just listen to your gut, above all. Let it speak, and soon you’ll be back to a happy place, which isn’t always fireworks and craziness. Sometimes it’s quiet joy.
I think all of life is this shifting and learning and striving, all mixed together. If we have the right attitude toward it, if we tend to the hopeful and the positive, it’s a great journey!
BTW, I loved my wonderful prize!! You’re a generous lady, and I’m thrilled I get to read your books and take a peek into your life!
And please throw away everything I said that doesn’t sit well with you. I don’t mean to be pushy. I just want to be able to give back to you the same kind of care you’ve shown your readers.
I find your posts very inspiring! Thanks for such open-hearted honesty!
Ah, an author who really lives in “our” world…no wonder you touch on all the nuances of our lives with such insight. Thanks for your gifts of sharing your thoughts of self reflection,your plans to handle stressful situations, and recognition that taking baby steps to enhance life is to be celebrated. H-U-G-S all around.
you are such an inspiration to so many and we all love and support you! i have been having the evil voices myself as I struggle with my manuscript. I promised myself that I would finish it this year and get it out there. Now I find ots too longa nd realized it needs more work than I thought — besides editing half of it away! Will it still be the same story I want to tell? Will it still have the same voice? And genre…that is making me crazy!
I hope you find some time to enjoy your summer and Ty and your boys and most of all yourself! I know that it will all come to you when you least expect it and you will be ready! The words will flow again.
I have been struggling with my high school daughter and her final exams. I told by bff thatmy daughter is so smart and I want her to be more than I am. She said, “You ARE smarter than you ever give yourself credit for. Don’t ever say you aren’t!”
I have taken a break from Zumba because we have been so busy with the end of the school year. But it is the best for Fat Exorcism! I have fat coming off in places it never did before and I am toned and stronger all over! Give it a try! It is hard work but so fun! Love the music.
I hope to be able to go to RWA next year — I hope to feel worthy of joining.
Take care of yourself! I see you have so many here that love and believe in you as much as I do!
Whenever I feel that way, I go back to what Christopher Robin told Winnie the Pooh: “You’re braver than you believe, smarter than you think and stronger than you seem.” If I want my kid to remember anything that I have taught him is this little quote.
You’ll do great! You are an inspiration to lots of women.
Well said! Way to make me cry Uili, lol :0)
I read an interview with Kate Winslet and she said something to the effect that every time she steps on a movie set, she feels as if they’re going to find out that she’s really can’t act and she has no business being there.
And then, last week I was watching a Drop Dead Diva rerun on Lifetime (yay Lifetime!) and one of the lawyers said that he felt like a fraud when he steps into the courtroom.
I think that this is a common theme with many people, no matter what they do and that the feeling can ebb and flow.
The successful people are the ones that push through the feeling and persist.
I hope you are able to see this, I’ve been able to stop by in a few days and was starting to have withdrawls.
Beautiful, amazing, Janie. Don’t you know you inspire just by being you? Your writing is fantastic and that’s a given, but it’s the human being that we are in awe of.
I think it was Natalie who was first to remind us what huge sacrifices you make for your craft, and we are humbled and grateful. And Karla who talked about making a “wall of fame” for yourself, and she’s right. When I was in the service, my CO encouraged all in our unit to have an, “I Love Me Wall”. He said, “when life kicks you in the a**, and it will, you will need that wall to remind you of accomplishments and trials that have made you better human beings. But don’t ever loose sight of what is most important on that wall, that represents you, and make sure a picutre of your family is front and center.”
I know this is very long, but I have a quote taped to my wall, that helps me, and bouys me up lately. It is from Akeela and the Bee. The author is Marianne Williamson, and I think it might help.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
I think when life throws us curves, big or small, it can take time to bounce back. Give yourself time kiddo. It’s ok to take time. You have 4 great men, big and small in your life who adore you, and it’s ok to draw from their love and energy until you are back when you feel you want to be. Unconditional love is amazing like that.
BTW – size 8 is…wow. I haven’t been a size 8 since geez, 7th grade. LOL
I’ve heard so many people lately being at the hate/insecurity level with their writing. I’ve been struggling with it more often lately as well. You’re awesome. I’ll say it, even though I know it’s hard to believe it sometimes.
Hey, my cousin is a children’s librarian at the Henderson library! I’m jealous you’re heading over that way! And kudos to you on the weight loss.
You’re doing fabulous.