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Posts Tagged ‘work’

These days I have dozens of magazine articles and several books under my belt. I have signed contracts for more books to come. I am considered to be a serious writer by my friends and family. So when I say I can’t go somewhere or take part in some event, because I have deadlines or edits, they accept it peacefully.

But that hasn’t always been the case.

Back before I ever had an article or story published, I was mostly a closet writer. Few people other than my immediate household knew I wrote. Many knew I loved to read, but no one put a connection between the two. Writing remained a secret endeavor of mine.

adult frowned male writer working on typewriter at home

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

When I was working on something great and was asked to attend something, it would be awkward to find excuses not to so I could stay home and write. Sometimes I really didn’t want to attend the function. I wanted–needed–to stay home and write but the explanation would go over as well as saying I couldn’t go out because I was washing my hair. Without published clips, I lacked the credibility to say I had to stay in and write.

But the fact is, writing those early “learner” stories, short shorts, poems, articles are all just as important as our tenth or twentieth published, or “real” book or article or poem. They all need to be drafted, written, revised, polished, etc…. Whether they make it fully through the road to publication is immaterial to their value–even in the eyes of our family and friends.

crop woman with coffee writing in notebook on bed

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

The ones that end up in the bottom of the drawer are just the necessary stepping stone to publication. But are they valid “writing”? Enough to be used as an acceptable excuse to avoid temporary socialization? Can we say we need to research now or have edits due back to the publisher Monday or submission deadline and be viewed as legitimate? Or just using a lame excuse?

woman in gray sweater sitting on wooden floor typing on portable computer

Photo by bongkarn thanyakij on Pexels.com

When do we become the “writer” or “poet” or “artist” who can use our craft as acceptable validity to remain in and work just as any other real work worker? The lawyer preparing for trial, the student studying for finals, the medical professional, the self-employed person who has after hours admin. All of them are excused because they have “work to do”. When does the literary artist cross that line and join their ranks?

 

 

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I just stood out on my porch and watched the rain fall in heavy sheets. It was wholly refreshing and relaxing. It was perhaps the second time all year I have had such a pleasant experience. When I bought my home in 2014, the porch was one of the big selling points. Then, I could already see myself nestled under a throw, cradling a cuppa tea while either scribbling away at my latest literary work, journaling, or simply–like today–watching the rain drop.

The first couple of years I did just that in regular batches. This year, sadly, I have not had the time. Why? Because I have been caught up in a whirlwind.

A whirlwind is described as a vortex (vertically rotating column) of wind forms due to instabilities and turbulence made by heating (air temperature) and flow (current gradients). Okay, what that technical mouthful means to me is a whirlwind is what occurs when air and things heat up, creating instability and turbulence, which in turn forms a strong rotating column of wind that whirls around, creating havoc and damage.

Yup, that about sums it up. It is bearing down on me, growling like a mad bear, claws at the ready. And I just stand there, too busy, tired, fed up, etc… to do much of anything. Certainly not smart enough to take solace on a wicker sofa with a cup of coffee (and probably something chocolate) on a rainy day.

Sound familiar?  We get busy with this and that and more and still more, and before we know it, the simple pleasures of life have slipped by and we wonder why haven’t we done this more recently. Just look how fast the pages of the calendar turn. I know each calendar’s days are numbered, but come on now. I am still waiting for April to get here so I can tear up the brick in the courtyard and fix a sagging patch. April? Next week I’ll be facing July in the eyes.

We can probably all lament about what our own personal whirlwind is. Mine is responsibility. I have come to see that as a character flaw. I have a full-time job, usually cracking around 44-45 hours a week. I pet sit and dog walk around that, usually around 15-18 hours a week. And my time around those two are devoted to writing tasks.

My second release of the year just came out this week and I am in the middle of a virtual blogging tour. There is a giveaway I am posting about for my romantic suspense novel that just turned one-year-old. There are two more novels coming out in November so there is covers, blurbs, hooks, and tags to work on before edits begin. I am in the middle of first round edits for my first-ever self published non-fiction book, based on the journey with my PTSD dog. Let me just say the world between self-publishing and traditional house publishing is vast indeed. Vast. And should I tire of any of those endless tasks I can always update blog, website, media pages, newsletters,  ads, etc… And should I run out of ideas there, I can always work on my latest work-in-progress. Right now I am about 20,000 words into a time travel romance novel. Roughly a quarter of the way done with the first rough draft.

And any time beyond all of that above is spent doing what zillions of others do. Clean the house, do the laundry, pay the bills, go shopping, brush the dog, fill the bird feeders, visit friends, call family, plus cooking and somewhere in there, sleeping.  Admittedly, everyone’s list of whirlwind activities will look a little different, but we all have them. The point is, we get so caught up in where we have to be, doing what we have to do, seeing who we have to see, that we feel the whirlwind of life swirl around us, and pick us up, and whisk us away from the pleasurable things that we need to keep us grounded, stable, and sane.  Like sitting on the porch and watching the rain fall. Or sitting by the river watching the river bubble past. Or whatever restores your sanity and breath.

This past week, I was doing a drop in visit at a client’s house and was petting a cat on the chin. Kitty loved it so I lingered, chatting and scratching while kitty purred in bliss. A thought struck me and I said it to kitty: “I always thought I was slowly going insane. Now I realize I am on the express freight train instead.”

Kitty didn’t care. Kitty was in his own personal moment of comfortable bliss.

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