Saturday, November 20, 2010

Turn The Beat Around

Originally posted on 10/4/09 for the Charge of the Write Brigade.

This last week and a half I’ve found myself caught up in my day job. I’m a CAD drafter and our company has been under a dreaded deadline. With last minute changes and tiring efforts, my brain has turned to mush.

Now as a budding writer, I know my time is precious. When I have a few moments to myself I should write. The problem is that I feel too exhausted to think let alone let the muse play.

Up to this point my articles have tried to give encouragement and next time I plan to do the same. This week, however, I’d like to turn the tables a bit.

I know those of you reading this have experienced times like this. What have you done to push away the brain-dead exhaustion and put pen to paper? What methods have you employed to get your butt into the chair and write something instead of troll Twitter?


Monday, November 15, 2010

Workin’ It Out

Originally posted on 9/20/09 for the Charge of the Write Brigade.

The other day I found myself alone on my day off. This is very rare in the Roberts household, I can assure you. We have in our home seven pets. We’ve got three dogs, three cats and one quiet rabbit. I decided that a morning alone was the perfect time to clean the rabbit’s cage.

Now to properly do this task, I needed to tie the bunny to the fence so she didn’t escape into unknown dangers abroad. Then I would take the cage to the curb to hose and scrub it clean. Yes, it was a vile job but the underlings (children) were at school.

The challenge wasn’t the hosing process. No, the true challenge of that morning had nothing to do with Hazel’s abode. We recently added to our six pets. We gained a new, annoying, puppy (hence the count of seven animals).Yes, we’re outnumbered.

While the other animals have enough knowledge to stay out of the street in most situations, Lily the pup didn’t. So while I lean over the curb, washing the cage, she wanted to run pass me into the street.

I couldn’t have that so I had to put her on the dog-run. Now I should mention that the difference between a relaxed adult rabbit and a nervous puppy is that one is content to party in the family garden near the fence (whoops!) while the other makes more ear-splitting noise than a cat in a washing machine.

The cleaning process isn’t very long. She would remain tied for perhaps ten minutes. If you happened to be strolling up my street at that moment, you would have sworn I was beating the puppy within an inch of her life. She whined and tugged at the strap with desperation.

If she could’ve understood that at after a short ten minutes she’d be frolicking in the house, terrorizing the cats or chewing on something important, she wouldn’t whine. It should be noted that when it comes to waiting for things, there is a strange chrono- spatial warp present. If you are the one waiting, ten minutes becomes an hour. This warp elongates with time. If you’re a writer waiting on that expected rejection letter, it could take years (months).

We whine too. I’m a big whiner. Ask my friends and family. They have stood by me during this whole writing dream and they’ve suffered with my frustrations. I’m tied to a fence, waiting (i.e. editing, revising, submitting and then start all over after enough ample servings of rejection). One day I’ll be chasing cats in the air-conditioned living room (published). Sure, it wont be Heaven. Everything I read informs me of all the challenges a published author goes through, but where I sit it would be better than wondering if I’ll ever get there.

Instead of whining about rejections and further revisions, wondering if we’ll ever be published, we could work on other books, send more queries, revise yet again and improve our web platforms.

If we could look at our situation from an outsider’s point of view from the future, we might learn that yes, we did get that agent and publishing contract. Unfortunately we can’t. We have to struggle and learn the hard way. And by doing that, we learn the things we need for that future time. Patience and faith. They’re hard to comprehend sometimes, but it’s worth it.