If you all have read any of my previous blogs, you know I had a huge schedule change this summer at the bank which really impacted my writing time. Then as life happens to all of us, there has been one family crisis after another.
But I thought I was dealing OKAY with all the angst until this triple whammy; I didn’t advance to the semi’s in any of the writing contests I’d entered.
I tearfully re-read the contest advancement lists, to be certain I hadn’t missed my name, then sat my office and wondered why I so miserable. Sure not winning is hard to take, I’m a competitive girl, but it’s happened before and I didn’t feel this bad.
So I sat and I pondered, much like the Grinch wondering why the Who’s in Whoville still sang after their Christmas was taken away until I realized I wasn’t loving any part of the process I professed to love so much. None of it, the rewriting, the querying, the fun of a new story. It all seemed...POINTLESS.
I grimaced and shed a tear or two, then sat on the patio with my husband and told him I needed a change.
After he got over his shock, he told me to do whatever it is that I wanted, but reminded me that I love writing, I’m good at my craft, and I needed to take the time to find that passion again and above all, not to take it all so seriously. (WHOA, this from an Attorney?)
Of course he’s right. For the last umpteen years I’ve been taking this career, this JOB so seriously that every high was breathtaking and every low was heartbreaking. I dreamt of an Oscar or an Emmy, I even had my dress designed in my head.
And then it dawned on me, I was looking at "reward" as success, doing well in a contest, getting that Oscar, because frankly we’ll all taught that the golden ring is the prize. And I was a failure because I hadn’t "won" whichever "prize" I was going for. I forgotten what I’d learned when I started this journey, that every little step up the ladder is success. Every page written and rewritten is success. That a well written line is a joy.
I’d preached and taught everyone else to take their writing seriously, YET enjoy the process...and I’d forgotten to do that very thing.
I’ve always felt guilty when I was doing something else on my rigidly scheduled writing time, and we all know guilt isn’t a good place to write from. I was creating a pressure cooker inside me.
So, I’m not giving up this dream, that was never an option and I know it will take me time to unlearn habits. And then, what will my new habits be? I don’t know yet. Heck, will there even be a habit? Probably, as we are creatures of the word. But I know I can do this if I just don’t take it all so seriously...even the change.
Let the process begin.
Oh, and I'll be out of touch for awhile. I'll check in when I can.