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Posts Tagged ‘balance’

 

 

 

 

Please forgive me for my lack of blogging these past few months, but I’ve fallen in love, with editing my novel. Of all my 2011 intentions, editing was the one that filled me with the most fear. I faced all the other intentions head on. I’m still making them a conscious part of my life. Polishing my stories, a very necessary tool for a writer, filled me with dread. Last year I faced the typing monster, this year, editing.

 

But first, let me back up and tell you how I fell in love.

 

The moment when it all coalesced was at Norwescon this April. I was nervous through the entire conference leading up to my feedback session with The Fairwood Writers Workshop. My appointment was on the last day of the conference. I was sure they would say, “Don’t quit your day job.” Which, of course, is too late, I write everyday, all day. Writing is my dream job.

 

The feedback session was held in a tower room of the Doubletree. It seemed fitting that I would meet my fear in a tower room, since I submitted a fairy tale fantasy.

 

Four published authors, of various genres, gathered around a conference table to discuss my writing. Each person got ten minutes of uninterrupted time to voice their feedback, ask questions, and make comments.

 

The first author told me to keep in mind that this wasn’t his genre. It was quite a shock to my system when he finished and I wasn’t boiling in anger or near tears from the pain. This continued around the table with the next author and then the next. I took notes. Wonderful detailed notes, questions about my world that I hadn’t considered, structure tweaks, and publisher information. Yes, publisher information, markets I should check out and submit my work. They each gave me written feedback as well that included notes in the margins and on the backs of my pages. Each one of them gave my story attention.

 

I left the session energized and eager to get back to work, extremely thankful that I wouldn’t need the box of tissue waiting for me in my car or the pint of ice cream in the freezer at home to console me. My feet hardly touched the ground as I went to my next 2 panel discussions. I was accepted as a writer. I was taken seriously by strangers. Yes, my novel needs polish, but the feedback was delivered in an uplifting way, and these four published strangers encouraged me to continue on this path.

 

I faced the editing fear. Next fear on my list, you guessed it, submitting it to agents and publishers.

 

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Writing breathes in every corner of my life. Stories steep in my imagination every moment, day and night. So it is a natural conclusion that other parts of my life sneak into my writing. And, when my life is thrown off balance the repercussions are reflected in my writing life.

 

The first signal the scale was teetering off balance was the avoidance to typing up my novels. I excused it away instead of attempting to find a solution. I filled my days networking and socializing. Stir in a major family crisis and my daily life was spread thin like jam over toast. I was overwhelmed as the scales toppled with task lists, emails and a full calendar. My morning pages became stiff and sluggish.

Thankfully, I am surrounded with angels watching out for me in the form of amazing friends. One very special friend advised me to take a deep breath, ground myself, and take one step at a time. My translation was to ‘unplug’ (from the internet, the phones, and the schedule) and take a mini retreat. Writers retreat to the woods all the time to finish a novel and commune with their muse. Conveniently I live next to acres of wilderness. My house is hugged by trees; so it was quite easy to pick up my camera and my dream catcher notebook and go for a hike. Sunshine filled days gently guided me back to my ‘Me-ness’ and quieted the panic and confusion. My life was feeling more in balance, the writing flowed and the joy filled every fiber of my soul with buoyancy. However, my resistance to typing remained.

Time to check in with my ‘Wellness Angel’ of a friend, Diane. She is a certified Holistic Health Coach, http://www.dfskinwellness.com/ and would know how to ease the resistance. We talked for a bit and I explained how typing was cold and sterile for me. She asked if I was aware when my least creative time during the day was and immediately I had the answer, mid-afternoon. (The times I schedule social activities and errands and email.) She advised me to schedule the typing time in that slot so I felt less conflicted about the loss of creative energy. Could it be that simple? I pondered the suggestion as I drove through the mountains toward home. It was another gorgeous sunny day in the Northwest, something I treasure, and it seemed like a waste to spend it in my office typing. Drifting in my window with the sunlight came the simple notion of typing outside. I could feel the corners of my mouth turning up. Laptops are portable; no one said the rule was to type at your desk!  Then there is the bliss of living in the woods where WiFi can’t reach me, even on my deck.

The Borg had it right, ‘Resistance is Futile’. Resistance abated. Balance restored. The past few days I have been HAPPILY typing my novel amongst the birdsong and sunshine and living one page at a time.

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