Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Don't Miss Life

The first book in a series I'm writing is pretty much edited and finished. I've sent a couple of queries out and received one rejection. Haven't heard from the other one yet. I began the second book and couldn't figure out why it wasn't flowing. Last night, at a writer's meeting, I got my answer, which means I have to totally re-plot and re-character (if that's a word.)This morning I read an article from one of the blogs I follow (look to your right on this page), about Character External Goals. Turns out this article will help me when I re-character and re-plot.

I like to think of myself as a writer, but I don't think at this time in my life I really have what I need to try to get to the "top" of that profession. I'd like to have this series published, when and if I ever get to book number five. I have another book that needs serious revising before it will be ready. I put in a lot of time researching background for it, and feel I need (want?) to write it. When we were in Virginia City last year, I took pictures of some tombstones. There's a story there for sure. We have two real-life events in our family that could be written. Lots of research needed for both of them. I have a memoir floating around in my head, too. And I like writing short stories. But writing any of this takes discipline, and "life" always gets in the way.

I probably will never be on the Best Seller List, but that doesn't matter. I enjoy writing when I do it, love going to critique meetings and reading other writer's work, hearing ideas of how to improve the craft, and most of all, I love reading almost any genre.

I think that's what life should be about--doing what you love but not allowing it to interfere with Life. Otherwise, it becomes a Job. Jobs are all right if they're just jobs and not life. I was married to a man who thought Job came first. That is, until he was dying of lung cancer. In the end he did recognize how out of balance his thinking had been and apologized for it...and made up for it the best he could.

I loved working when I did it. I loved my job, but it never got in the way of Life for me. My job today is to enjoy the years I have left. I don't want to spend them chasing after something that has no real lasting value. Lasting value things are family, loving other people, enjoying God and His world and playing with grandkids and great-grands.

Trace Adkins sings a song, "You're Gonna Miss This." Listen to the words. They're right on. When my girls were growing up, I spent a lot ot time--too much--worrying about keeping the house neat and a myriad of other small things. If I could go back, which I can't of course, I'd look at everything through different eyes. That is if I could go back with all I've learned over the years--which I can't, of course. The reason I bring this up is because I don't want to miss anything now. If I don't get to the computer to write 300 words every day, well, so be it. Maybe I'll do that tomorrow--if Life doesn't happen first.


  1. I like this post! It's so true that the joy of writing is in the act itself, for people who are writers by nature. Writing teaches us so much about other people and who we are. But you're right: other priorities must come first, at times, or there's no benefit to writing.

  2. Great Post! I've always been one of those people who has to have a project. Sometimes it's my kids, my husband, my job, my parents,or a friend. The problem is, as my husband puts it, when I'm in a "project" I put on blinders to everything else. There's no balance. After this past summer, I'm really trying to keep myself in check with what's most important in life and finding balance. Thank you for this post.