Determination: The Rain Won’t Stop Me
I dropped my son off at high school as the rain water pooled on the side of the road and overflowed the ditches. Our city had received a mighty amount of precipitation. As I waited to turn left at a stoplight, I saw two girls running in the grass on the side of the road. They were wet from head to toe. I imagined their soggy socks rubbing their sore feet until blisters formed. Yet, those teenage girls chatted with each other in what appeared to be an every day manner. Not a lot of frowning or arm waving or shaking fists at the sky.
On an average day, I see a couple dozen boys and girls jogging around the school. Apparently, the weather kept most of the regulars away. Not these two girls. They reached a deeper puddle without a pause, sloshing through the water to the other side.
The girls turned right as I turned left and I wondered, “Am I that determined to become a professional writer?” Because if I’m going to make a career out of this once hobby, I’m going to have to be.
If you read my last blog, you know that my schedule has gotten out of control, again, making it difficult to achieve my writing goals. I am five chapters behind for my WIP even though I wrote two chapters last week. I have not written a word in any short story for the entire month. I missed two blog posts. And by missed, I don’t mean I just don’t have time, it will have to wait. I mean, it’s Tuesday? Did I write a blog Sunday? I really don’t think I did.
Now I am left having to write a chapter a day this week to meet my goal of finishing the first draft of Gabriella and Periwinkle. I can do it. I know I can. The question is will I? Am I determined enough to make it happen?
When you break it down, writing is for me. I want to be a successful writer. I want to contribute to the family finances with my stories. I want to learn the skills and business practices of a writing career. I am full of characters begging to be brought to life. I have worlds spilling into my consciousness. I want to prove I can do this.
Notice all the I’s? I’m also a mother and a wife and a daughter and a sister and a volunteer and a friend and a… You get the picture. I don’t have the luxury of putting myself first. I routinely dream about escaping to a cabin in the woods to dedicate my time to my imaginary friends. I’ve gone so far as to search hotel prices and retreat locations.
But I can’t. It’s not about me. I can’t seem to fit “me” into my list of things to do. Not never. My WIP is almost complete. Obviously, I’ve squeezed some me time in. But not enough to keep with my timelines.
I need the determination of those girls running in the rain to keep their long distance times competitive. I must learn to not let the rain stop me.
I have an hour here or a few minutes there or a couple hours around the corner. Most of those, go to waste. I let the rain stop me. It takes time for me to get into the focus I need for writing, a few minutes won’t cut it. I explored Twitter and Facebook for half an hour before I set about writing this blog. I must learn to dump words onto the page as soon as I sit down.
I am routinely at the barn with my daughter for three hours. I bring my laptop almost every time. I could write my entire book at the barn. But I let the rain stop me. My young rider still needs help and wants me to watch her ride. Sometimes, I watch the trainer’s little one so she can concentrate on the lessons. I sweep the barn to ensure my daughter gets her work done so we can leave on time to eat dinner and my daughter in bed at a reasonable hour. If nothing else, I feel anti-social if I sit in the van and type instead of bonding with the other parents and riders. In other words, I let the rain stop me.
I volunteer professionally. I know that sounds like an oxymoron, but for those of us in the thick of it, we know the truth. I spend an inordinate amount of time organizing events, sending out emails, training (both receiving and instructing), attending meetings, updating website calendars, planning trips, recording rank advancements, etc. For the last six weeks, I have been a cookie cupboard, which means I held thousands of cases of Girl Scout cookies for troops to pick up to increase their sales. This rain was more of a deluge. For a couple weeks, I forgot how to swim.
I could go on, but the excuses mount up and total one truth. If I’m going to be a published author with a library of novels under my name, I have to work through the rain. With my hair dripping and my blisters swelling, I have to keep going.
This week I will write a chapter a day and get my second novel complete. I am going to the top of the list (at least for this week). The rain won’t stop me. I am determined.
I am reading (as if I have time to enjoy that hobby more than a couple of minutes before bed time) the next book in the Dune series The Heretics of Dune by Frank Herbert. This series is not proving to be my favorite. Too much political intrigue and not enough action. As a writer, however, it’s been great fun watching Herbert grow. He started in third person omniscient. By book five, his voice remains the same, but the point of view has switched to third person limited. I’m finding this book much easier to read, never in doubt over who is talking. I’m finally getting a grasp of the differing political factions and their overarching goals. I am not yet a hundred pages into the reading. The book might pick up and add some excitement. You can check out my full review on Goodreads when I’ve finished.