Post written by Monica Gaylor.
“Every great story on the planet happened when someone decided not to give up, but kept going no matter what.” ~ Unknown
This is that kick in the pants that we all need from time to time. Confidentially, I usually need it everyday. Some days – two or three times. I’m stubborn.
A student came up to me today and asked me if “next” year (school year) he could read the first chapter of my book. No, it was not a comment on how slow a writer I am – but he would be a senior and thus be 18. They’re like sponges. They remember everything you say, it seems – on some days. On other days – I think they make stuff up. But since my mind is going 90 miles an hour on most days – I am not sure.
Last year at this time, I told him all about the sci-fi (of course) saga I was writing. We had a long discussion about the various characters and the plot and how it would be 30 or 40 books long…etc. (That would be one book per year, or a little less, so that I could work well into my 80’s. I like to make big intellectual plans to keep me mentally young and to stave off Alzheimer’s.) Last year he asked if he could read some of my book and I told him it was not really rated PG-13. Teachers have to be really careful. (There is some weird alien “whoopee” in it, so… probably not a good idea.)
As he went on talking about how he couldn’t wait to read about this character and that character… (and by golly he even remembers their “working” names.) Gosh! I thought to myself. I haven’t written anything since last year at this time. I’d better get crackin’ if I want to have chapter one completed by next year. I have lots and lots of discombobulated pages, an incomplete plot, and many ideas stilled filled in my head – but nothing resembling an organized chapter. Sadly.
And why haven’t I worked on it since last year? Busy, busy, busy. Had this to do. Had that to do. Netflix to watch. Tired. Blah, blah, blah. It’s not that it wasn’t a priority, it was, but…? I, like most people, have dreams and aspirations that go un-achieved and “un-tried for” even. And they are important to me. They just always seemed to get pushed behind the more immediate concerns of the day. The job. The emergencies. The mundane chores. The “I’m exhausted I have to sit a while” attitude.
How does one fit-in one more important thing to do? I wish I had the answer. It seems to me that my writing / painting / sculpting ebbs and flows at a glacial pace. Sometimes it flows so strongly. And then – the stresses of modern day living win out again and it ebbs or grinds to a complete halt. For all of you who have this same problem – here are a few bits of wisdom. Read. Absorb. And get crackin’. Now!
The credit belongs to the person who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; who does actually strive to do deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotion, spends oneself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who at worst, if he or she fails, at least fails while daring greatly.
Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those timid spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.” ~Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President, Nobel Prize Winner
Fly, fly, fly. Go do it now!
Release the Kraken!
(The shower curtain pictured above is from the Kraken Rum Store.)