Photo: May he always look at toys this way… Ursa Minor got to build this one with a little help from his grandfather. So much joy! He ran around the house with it for about 30 minutes and then you know what happened, right? Yup. Broke. Boys… Lordy…
I spent my weekend knitting and thinking while the boys have played. I have been letting my fingers do the work while my brain mulled over this week’s writing assignment. This week was a pretty big deal. I’m deciding where my novel will start. I’ve had to plan (but not write) my Opening Scene.
I have been thinking about this novel for now over a year. I’ve been writing in the “universe” of it on and off, conceiving of characters and the things that have happened to them. I signed up for this writing class because I’m not sure that I have the skills to write the story that I want to write. Not in a way that anyone would want to read, anyway. Frankly, I am taking this writing class because I think it’s my best hope of ever finishing a full-length novel. I hope I can say that I’ll finally produce a publishable work. I really hope I do.
It’s hard not to feel impatient about this craft sometimes. I write every single day. If it’s not this blog, it’s freelancing. If it’s not either of those two things, it is fiction of some sort. I’ve come a very long way from the messes I used to send friends, thinking it was my best work. I’ve even learned quite a bit since my first submissions just a few years ago. I still feel that itch to create something, turn it in somewhere, and get my first “yes.” Not because I’m desperate to be published, but because it would be really nice to have that little bit of affirmation. That yes, we see you’ve put in the time and it’s paying off. Welcome to the club.
There have been times when I’ve wanted to put it all down, delete all of my files and completely walk away. The problem is, I’ve done this for so long now that I don’t really know how to stop. Have you ever gone so far down a path that you have little choice but to see it through to the end? So much time invested treading up and down hills and bends, tripping over raised roots, swatting at plants reaching over and scratching your leg… the thought of turning back is just as exhausting as pushing forward, not knowing how much further there is until you reach the destination, whatever that may be! I suppose that I’m old enough to have experienced enough positive rewards at the end of such journeys that I can keep going. But doubt and impatience are powerful things, Dear Reader. “Successful writer” is such a nebulous goal. It may even be a meaningless goal. What, Dear Reader, does “successful” mean?
I think the best part about this writing course is that it comes with my own personal coach. I met her quite by accident on Facebook when I was asking around about the class. She and I have become quick friends and I’m grateful for her attention to detail and her probing questions about my work. This is the first time I’ve ever had a consistent, impartial reader for my work and it is the greatest possible gift. Every single question, every “hmm” or “we’re going to need to work on this,” and every single “yes!” means the world to me. I know I’m getting better. I just hope upon hope it amounts to something. There are 4 weeks left of class. Then…? Well, I guess I’ll find out if I have an idea with legs.
There is so much to do. A lot to turn in: for class, for freelancing, and three posts of this here blog, of course! All of my mom friends are texting each other complaining on how to keep the kiddos entertained while getting anything done. You can surrender to it for a little while: taking the kids to splash around in the pool, chasing them around fields or biking with them. The boys are having a wonderful time and I admit that I’ve really enjoyed their energy a lot. But, eventually, something comes up due. The world is still turning and stuff has to get done! This is going to be one of those weeks when the scales will be tipped for sure.
How are you doing, Dear Reader? Can you believe that it’s mid-July? Is summer just getting started or soon to be over? Are you counting down the days until back-to-school shopping or are you relishing every single moment? Or, maybe, are you feeling a mix of all sorts of things like I am? Like yes, Summer is as wonderful as they say, but it’s challenging… it’s hard to surrender to it for long periods of time. Right?
I’m here for you, Dear Reader. I’m working and dreaming and mothering right along with you. Let’s get to Friday feeling like we’ve accomplished something, yeah?
Until Wednesday, take care.