A Return To Work

After two months, I sat down to work on my novel (working title Butterfly Wings). 

Somewhere in mid-July, I gave up my Camp Nano goals. I was already struggling to meet my word count goals, and then my uncle died. The next week was a blur, between the funeral and recovering a bit. I did not recover enough to get out of my slump.

Then my elderly mother fell, got a concussion, gashed her brow that required nine stitches, and broke the fifth metacarpal bone in her right hand. The cast caused arthritis flare ups in her hand, and she spent most of August in and out of pain. I brought her to the hand specialist twice, and he gave her a cortisone shot in the hand. She yelled out in pain. I crumpled.

Then, just as her hand was starting to feel better, she got sciatica. After a couple of days where it only got worse, I got her into see her rheumatologist who had treated her arthritis. I wish I had put it all together sooner. She got steroids and an RX for physical therapy for her back to match her RX for PT for her hand.

In the meantime, a book I had wanted to read finally came into the library: The War of Art. Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles. by Steven Pressfield. As soon as the next paycheck is in our account, I am picking up this gem. The layout makes this topic eminently readable: three parts broken down by subjects that are no more than a couple of pages long. Many of the topics are one page. If you have a particular issue, just mark the page. Reread it when you need it.

The second section called Turning Pro enumerates the ways that amateurs differ from professionals. One important way is that the professional knows that a craft can be honed, does not things personally, and strives to keep improving. Nothing stops them. They write come rain or shine. Pros know that inspiration comes when you sit down to write. Anything. Just write.

After lunch today, I took my laptop to Starbucks, got a decaf, and sat down to read over my novel starting at the beginning. I reread the story summary, and began reading and editing what I had done. Since I no longer remember where I was, I need to start over. I worked a couple of hours on it before heading home to prep for yoga class.

On my way home, I realized that what I wrote wasn’t as bad as I thought. First off, it was never bad in the first place. If I get feedback from my writers group, I know I will get many suggestions. New eyes will bring new perspectives. Then I can return to the work again and improve it. But it’s never going to be anything but written once if I never return to look at it again.

What are your dreams? What are mine? They are what we decide they are. I have thought I wanted to be an artist since I was a child. I had no one tell me otherwise. So why not? Just move forward. No one really cares what you do. Really. They don’t. You might say that someone would be threatened by you pursuing your dreams. And you need their approval why? Unless your entire life depends on that one person, you have no excuse.

The truth of the matter is that no one owns us or can tell us what to do or hurt us or get in our way. We only think they can.

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