I don’t mean that I can’t finish a book, or that I ever stop reading.
What I mean is that I no longer have a “favorite” genre, or author, or type of book, or series, or… well, anything.
Ask me today what I want to read and then ask me again tomorrow, and you’ll get a different answer. My genre loyalties shift with the wind, and my non-fiction topical preferences change depending on anything from how much sleep I’ve had to whether I’m hungry to the number of pages in the book.
I didn’t used to be this way! I used to be able to say, “oh, I don’t read romance” or “the classics don’t interest me” or “economics? no, thanks!”
Well, thanks to Librarything.com and particularly the Talk group I’ve been a part of for the past five (six?) years, it turns out there are just TOO MANY amazing books out there in areas I thought I didn’t read.
So, yes. I’m a fickle reader. It makes figuring out what to read next a little paralyzing sometimes, because there’s almost too much choice.
Not that I’m complaining.
Oh, man. We all know that person.
The one who, no matter how many times you try to have a conversation with someone else… or if you’re a teacher, when you try to get your class underway… shouts out loud some inane comment or puts their hand up and waves it around so much you can’t avoid them.
Or, sometimes worse in this day and age, the person who posts idiotic things on your Facebook wall underneath genuine statements or status updates. Or who posts ads in your industry-specific group just because their event or news is vaguely related to your group’s interests. Or maybe they met you once.
Yeah. I may be a little annoyed this morning.
Look, it’s important to give people the benefit of the doubt. Everyone has a story of their own, and we don’t know—most of the time, anyway—if that person means to be disruptive or if they just lack social awareness.
But I want to tie this into writing, so here goes: If you’re writing and you find that “one of those people” keeps shouting at you in your head and won’t shut up… it might be worth a listen.
Give your subconscious the benefit of the doubt. You may learn something fantastic, or that disruptive voice shouting at you might actually have the idea you’ve been waiting for to make your plot or story sing.
Or it’ll be total crap and make you slightly crazy.
Either way, you’re a writer, so it won’t make you any worse off in the end regardless.
It’s easy to get comfortable with the status quo… get up, work, come home and eat dinner, sleep, do it again. Hobby A is done at this time, hobby B at that time. Family on Sundays. Check emails twice a day (or if you’re me, seventy billion times).
We need to find the challenge in this routine and tackle it. Barney Stinson, love him or hate him, has a fantastic catchphrase (well, he has a few, but there’s one that applies here):
“You can’t bungee jump, you’re afraid of heights!” Challenge accepted.
“Baking a souffle is frelling impossible.” Challenge accepted.
“There’s no way I could get a new job with my qualifications, even though the one I have is killing me.” Challenge accepted.
What have you been telling yourself is impossible or impractical or just not realistic because it doesn’t fit into the “status quo” of your life? And if those things would make you a happier, healthier, more whole person… why not just accept the challenge and go for it?
At the end of your life, do you want to say “man, I’m really glad I stuck with my easy, boring 9-5 at the paper factory even though it felt like it sucked the life out of me some days” or do you want to say “I’m so glad I took a chance on my dream job as a widget entrepreneur, even though it didn’t pay as well… but I sure had fun doing it despite the hard times.”
We only get one shot at this thing called life. Why not accept more challenges and make the most of it?
Even if you don’t believe in God, or if you’re of another faith, it’s hard to argue that the human race isn’t living up to its potential. We’re not whole, we’re not complete.
The news lets us know that every single day. We’re broken people, some of us more shattered than others.
The good news is that we don’t need to be broken forever. We can pick ourselves up and put the pieces back together… heck, we can help others put their pieces back together, and probably find that we’re more whole after doing so than we were when we tried to do it ourselves.
You know that speech a flight attendant gives about helping someone with their oxygen mask in an emergency only after you’ve secured yours? That doesn’t apply here. In real life, helping someone secure their pieces can often help yours fall right into place.
The world wants us to believe that it’s too late. That things aren’t fixable.
But really, it only takes one piece at a time. Patiently. Slowly.
Brokenness doesn’t have to be permanent.
The sad thing is, it seems that a lot of people believe otherwise.
So… I missed the sign-up for the A to Z Challenge, which shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, considering the lack of blog posts. Basically, I’ve left this blog for dead more times than Lindsay Lohan has been busted for DUIs, and it was really only last April that I came out of the woodwork to post regularly.
And now that the sign-up for A to Z is closed, why bother?
Well, that’s where the “a is for asinine” comes in. I’d like to put more posts up for the sake of posting – and if they’re just here for me to read, cool. If someone else stumbles across them, welcome!
I have a number of projects underway at the moment, so writing these posts will *hopefully* be a bit of a break from the slew I’m wading through at the moment.
So, who else is embarking on an asinine adventure this month? Or this year?
Who wants to join me in the loony bin? It’s kind of nice here…
Last year, you barely saw me here, once the A-Z Challenge in April ended… I wrote just two posts between then and the end of the year. And you probably didn’t see me anywhere else, either. My blog visiting was, ahem, abysmal. Non-existent, if you will.
But that’s okay. No guilt monkeys here! Let me explain.
2012 was an interesting year… it was a year of experiences both good and bad, and of growth, both joyous and painful. I learned a lot about myself, and some of those lessons weren’t easy to face. I realized a little more what I’m made of, what I lack, and how desperately I need God’s help to make it through each day.
But at the end of it all, I’m grateful. I think I needed to be tested. Mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I got too comfortable, too lazy, and too apathetic. It was time for change. Time to move, regardless of direction. If you don’t get to your feet and at least take a few steps, you’ll never get anywhere at all… and sometimes we need to stumble before we can get our bearings and make headway.
I turn 30 this year, and for the first time in my life, I can see a clear direction. Oh, I’ll wander – trust me, I’m prone to wandering… it’s in my nature – but if you’d asked me at the beginning of last year if I’d accomplish any of my goals with 100% certainty, if I’d be even one step closer to accomplishing my dreams and to becoming the person I always hoped I could be, I would have told you “yes” to your face, while crumbling inside.
I still have a heck of a lot of growth to do. I know that. But it’s okay—I’m made of stronger stuff these days. And when I fall apart? When the roadblocks and trials inevitably come? It’ll be all right, because I know that with my family, friends, and God at my side, I’ll find the strength to make it through.
Here’s to a glorious 2013 for all of us.
May it bring the change you seek, the challenges you need, and the victories you deserve.
Wait for it…
Wait for it…
Wait… for… it…
I’m now represented by Gina Panettieri of Talcott Notch Literary!!!
…yeah, I’m a little stunned too.
Which novel managed this feat, you ask? My YA dark fairy tale retelling:
Yes, it took me five years to get here and a lifetime of dreaming (literally).
Yes, it took five full novels of various genres and several partially-completed disasters before hitting the right note on number six.
Yes, it took much self-doubt, joy, confusion, frustration, moments of genius, and moments of agony.
But you know what?
If you don’t give up, you can make your dreams come true. Hey, I know it’s cliche, but it’s a cliche for a reason, okay?!
This is just a rung on the ladder, but when you keep pushing forward and refuse to look down? There’s nowhere to go but up.
Thanks, everyone, for sticking with me and thanks for reading (even though I have a terrible habit of not posting regularly… I’ll try to fix that, honest!!!).
And cheers to your own dreams. If I can take a step forward, you can too!!!
It’s been awhile. But now I’m back! …from outer space…
Well, maybe not from outer space, but there’ve been more than a few moments these past few months where I felt father spaced out. I definitely needed the blog break, that’s for sure.
But after more than a few “why aren’t you posting anymore?!” comments (by which I mean three, one of which was from my mother… thanks Mom), I’ve decided it’s time to start writing here again.
I mean, I’d planned to re-launch in September anyway. Really. Honest. *flutters eyelashes*
In the meantime, it’s been a busy summer, and yes, I’ve still been writing (have YOU?!). I took one of Brian Henry’s critique courses, which was a good experience, and it spurred me to go back and take another look at some of my untouched-for-years material. Here’s what I’ve been up to:
And after I presented the first few chapters of the new project for critique at several workshops, I felt very strongly that I should focus on that for awhile, and that’s what I’ve been doing these past few months. In the middle of that, however, I had a health issue crop up that ate most of my energy and time for about a month or so. I’d intended to reboot the blog at that point, but when you’re sapped and feeling like garbage, it’s hard to do anything other than go one day at a time and find ways to cope.
But NEVER FEAR. All is well. Okay, not ALL, but MOST is BETTER which is good enough for now.
I should also mention… I’ve been handwriting the new project, which is VERY CLOSE TO FINISHED. By which I mean the first draft, which is actually the second draft, if you count typing it up as an editing pass… which I do, since I make changes and move things around along the way.
Handwriting the whole stinkin’ novel.
ARRRGH. What was I thinking?!?!
Heh. Oh, the things we do when our muses tell us to…
But enough about me.
What have you been working on?! …and have you ever handwritten a novel? o_O
…because I am. Not in the “zonked out on drugs and alcohol” way!!! Read the second definition. I’m exhausted and fatigued. I don’t think it’s just me, though—I’m betting everyone who made it to the end of the A-to-Z Challenge feels a little bit zonked.
It’s been an interesting challenge, and I cheated more than once by missing a day and back-posting (but I know I’m not the only one! …and at least I made it…). I also didn’t get around to nearly as many blogs as I’d hoped to, and I still owe a few of you return visits to your blogs.
I’m wondering though, if the blog really is on the decline as a form of interaction and communication. There were, what, over 2000 people participating in the challenge this year, and yet many of the blogs I visited had few (if any) comments on many of the posts. That says to me that people still want to talk and still have things to say, but fewer and fewer people have the time to spend visiting and reading and commenting on other peoples’ blogs.
It’s like we’re stepping back to write just for ourselves again, and not necessarily for an expected audience.
Is that a bad thing? I don’t think so. And I suspect the interest in blogs and blogging will move in cycles. I also don’t think that the blog as a communication tool is necessarily going to go away or die anytime soon… I just wonder if its place in social media will decline for a time.
That said? Thanks for visiting, thank you for commenting, and here’s to another successful A-to-Z Challenge!
And, umm… I may take a few weeks off before posting again. I wouldn’t blame you if you did the same.