This blog post originally ran on August 12, 2009. I will put updates to life in all caps :-)
“My momma always said, "Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." – Forrest Gump
Truer words have never been spoken.
My life—well at least my writing life—is very much like a box of assorted chocolates. Most days, it’s the chocolate-covered nutty ones that are full of the ups and downs of writing: no character motivation, plot holes, never ending chapters going nowhere. Some days are the smooth, soft caramel ones where the writing flows free and easy and nothing’s wrong with the world, and still others are the really nasty ones I liken to cherry cordials—gross, oozing with questionable internals with a stale cherry staring back at you that represent the Big Dark Moment you’ve written your characters into but can’t find a way to get them out. (UPDATE 06/2010 LIFE IS STILL A CRAP SHOOT LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES EXCEPT I'VE GOTTEN A HANDLE ON THE WRITING. NO LONGER DO I HAVE THE ABOVE ISSUES. I UNDERSTAND HOW TO BUILD A GREAT STORY)
“My father used to say that if we ever had the money you have, we would eat steak and ice cream three times everyday!” -- Pollyanna Whittier from Pollyanna
Wouldn’t that be nice? As writers, I think we’re consumed at the beginning, about making money—the big bucks—and when we sign that first contract, optimism runs rampant. “I’ve written a book and everyone will love it and come running to my door to offer me fame and fortune.” It’s only after that first, fourth, twentieth book is released that we take a step back and face up to reality, who’s been standing in the corner rolling his eyes. The money might be there, but unless you’re Nora Roberts or J.K. Rowling, writers aren’t exactly buried in piles of it. And that’s okay—most days—because writers have found their passion in life. Writing, and really, that’s priceless. Most days… (UPDATE 06-2010 HA! I STILL HAVEN'T CONQUERED WANTING TO MAKE TONS OF SALES--HECK EVEN A MODEST AMOUNT OF SALES. IT BUGS ME EVERY TIME STATEMENTS COME IN AND SHOW JUST HOW UN-FAMOUS I'M GOING TO BE LOL. BUT, LIFE GOES ON AND I CAN STILL DREAM OF MAKING IT BIG. IF IT DOESN'T HAPPEN, I'M OKAY WITH THAT :-))
“The start is not nearly as important as the finish.” -- Chef Didier in the Last Holiday
This is my favorite quote of recent time. Seems like every time I’ve hit the skids with my writing, this movie comes on and Queen Latifah’s jamming in the hotel kitchen with the chef and he tells her character this. Then I pull up my big girl panties and get over whatever it is that’s cuffed me on the chin. It’s how we finish—in writing, in relationships, in life. How do we want to be remembered as a writer? By a figure in a bank account or by the thought provoking, sweet, sensual, unique stories that we weave to entertain others? I’d rather write a book that someone will read more than once because it’s a favorite.
Ask me in twenty years how that’s going LOL (UPDATE 06-2010 SINCE THIS POST, I'VE GONE ON TO WRITE A HANDFUL OF AWESOME STORIES THAT SORT OF LEFT THE DUST OF 2009 BEHIND. MY WRITING IS MUCH STRONGER, HOTTER, BETTER. THE FUNNY THING IS, THIS MOVIE WAS JUST ON A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO, AND TRUE TO LIFE, I NEEDED TO HEAR THOSE WORDS. IN CASE YOU WERE WONDERING, REJECTIONS HAVEN'T SLACKED OFF SINCE 2009 NEITHER HAS MY PENCHANT FOR NOT WRITING IN THE TRENDS LOL)
And my all time go to quote:
“All your dreams can come true if you have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney
Maybe I’ve got Disney on the brain because I’m going on vacation to the House of Mouse in under two weeks, but seriously, Walt Disney has been a role model since I had to do a book report on him in the fifth grade. Ironically, that’s when I caught the writing bug…but I digress. (UPDATE 06-2010 LOL DISNEY. WE PLAN TO GO BACK THIS YEAR AFTER TURKEY DAY.)
Being a published author has been my dream (besides being a cake decorator, but all the cakes I make lean or crumble—long story) And finally, blathering on and on in notebooks and on scraps of paper begin to make sense.
There was a quote from Sister Act 2 that I really wanted to find for today’s blog, but I couldn’t and I should know it by heart since I’ve seen it so many times, but I’m tired right now and I wish I could remember the book title and author. Anyway, it’s paraphrased here:
Sister Mary Clarence gives her student Rita a book and tells her to read it and says “This guy’s real good. He knows a thing or two about life. If you wake up in the morning and the only thing you can think about is singing, you’re destined to become a singer.” (UPDATE 06-2010 I DID FIND THE BOOK A COUPLE OF MONTHS AGO: LETTERS TO A YOUNG POET BY RAINER MARIA RILKE)
"Go into yourself and test the deeps in which your life takes rise; at its source you will find the answer to the question whether you must create. Accept it, just as it sounds, without inquiring into it. Perhaps it will turn out that you are called to be an artist. Then take that destiny upon yourself and bear it, its burden and its greatness, without ever asking what recompense might come from outside."
That’s how I feel about writing. It’s the first thing I think about when I wake up (besides from my hubby) and it’s the last thing I think about before I go to sleep at night (besides my hubby). Writing’s my life. Good, bad, or indifferent, it’s me. I pour out a little piece of my soul into my current project. (UPDATE 60-2010 THIS HASN'T CHANGED)
This week has been excellent--or at least way better than last week. Sure, it started out with a mediocre review. I bitched to my girlfriends about it and moved on. Then this weekend, I fell flat on my writing face as doubts stacked up to the ceiling because I couldn’t get a new novel started. Once again, my girlfriends swooped in, smacked me around, and told me to pretty much get over it, I was a good writer. I believe them. I believe in my work. I believe my husband, God love him, when he says, “why do you let these things get to you?” I can’t help it. Remember that tiny piece of the soul in the writing? Yup, that’s why writers feel so deeply. We can’t help it.
Today, a publisher requested a partial of one of my novels and another one…well, I can’t really say much about that one yet until it's been confirmed... (UPDATE 06-2010 THE FUNNY THING? I CAN'T EVEN REMEMBER WHAT HAPPENED BACK THEN TO MAKE ME FEEL THIS WAY AND I WAS TOO LAZY TO LOOK THROUGH SAVED EMAILS TO FIND OUT LOL)
My point is, once you find the one thing you believe in with your whole heart in life: cooking, writing, singing, cement mixing, toilet plunging, whatever—once you find that passion, do everything in your power to pursue it. Knock on a few doors, okay pound on them until someone will listen and give you advice. Do everything you can to live that dream, make it yours, put your stamp on the world. The payoff may not be in obscene amounts of cold, hard cash, but in the end, when someone at the grocery, hair salon, and doctor’s office asks: “What do you do for a living?”
You can proudly say, “I’m an author.”
Need I say more?
(UPDATE 06-2010 SO YEAH, MY LIFE IS STILL BASICALLY LIKE THIS, EXCEPT IT'S WAY BETTER NOW. FINDING THE PLACE WHERE YOU FIT IN AND ARE COMFORTABLE THERE IS THE BEST FEELING IN THE WORLD. YES, MY GOALS HAVE CHANGED TWICE FOR 2010 BUT I'M STILL WRITING AND STILL DREAMING FOR THE FUTURE.)
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