Blog Et Cetera

March Madness

I’m not talking about basketball, although I did enjoy watching Loyola surprise everyone.

Rather, the word madness is referring to the events of the last month. If you remember, back in February, I thought I had it all figured out. Working part-time…writing more…enjoying options.

Life is such a tease and I was temporarily delusional.

Suffice it to say, there are still options, but not as many. I’m going to have to squeeze in writing, just as I had before. But, writing is important, much like drawing in the next breath. 

I often wonder how other writers spin their craft. I was recently asked to read a few pages of a friend’s work and it was brilliant…I mean- amazing. The content, the ideas, the way it described the scene (where I could see it vividly in my mind, but it didn’t direct me into a corner): genius. The compliments flowed.

And then, I got a little irritated. I didn’t mean to. It was beyond my control. It’s like she was keeping a secret from me. There was a need to retrieve the recipe: Where were you when you wrote this? What mood were you in? What time of day was this written? Did you know what you were going to write before you sat down? How did you do this?

Madness. I never asked any of those questions but, instead, came to my senses. Writing is similar to cooking. A recipe can be shared, that includes all the right ingredients and measurements but, in the end, the finished dishes (books) will be different.

We also have to remember, as writers, that opinions are just that- opinions. Someone may not like a story you’ve written, but you wrote it well. They may not like a character that you wrote, but it’s your favorite. You may send your “baby” out to publishers or agents, only to be told it’s not what they’re looking for, at this time. You may never receive a response.

So many people ask how I’ve finished two books. My answer is easy- I write. 300 words a day, at least.  300 words for 300 days is 90,000. The other 65 days can be used to polish, edit, work on the cover, etc. And you have a book a year. (This post alone is 417 words).

My first book took three years to finish but, in my defense, math was never my “thing.” 😉

Write on, people…write on.

“I can live for two months on a good compliment.” – Mark Twain   

 

 

Options

My 2018 journey has been interesting so far. As much as I originally believed that it was going to be a year where I enriched and added to my life…I’m finding that my life is becoming enriched by simplifying and subtracting instead.

Just last week, I decided that in the month of April, I will start working part-time or seasonally, instead of full-time. The decision changed my entire attitude. I’m giddy with relief and the idea of having options.

Yes, there will undoubtedly be some tightening of the budget and spending changes, but it will be worth it! My favorite word in the English language is “options.” O.K., it’s not my favorite word, but it’s certainly my favorite concept.

Admittedly, it’s sometimes easier to “have to,” because then you know the parameters of your responsibility. Having options doesn’t come without bouts of stress. Now, I will have more time to write. What if that time doesn’t change my output or quality? What if I have more time to market my writing, but fall short of goals or hopes? What if being mindful of productivity at work, helped me be productive in writing?

Options are similar to standing at the edge of a pool, deciding to dip the toe in, slowly walk down the steps or just jump in, come what may.

I really don’t know which one will suit me better. So, I’m going to bask in the fact that I even find myself at the edge of a pool, with the sun warming my skin. I’m going to be thankful not in the options I choose, but merely the fact that I have them.

They are beautiful. And mine. And all part of the journey.