Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Life is Pressing In

Monday night I watched a Star Wars film—which I’m really not a fan of but only did so because I was too tired to wrestle the remote away from my husband. This one happened to be The Attack of the Clones, but as always, my focus was on Yoda. He’s a smart little green thing. I loved how he appeared frustrated in this particular movie. I know why. It’s got to be tough being in a position of authority when no one seems to listen or they go astray thinking they know it all.

Always in motion is the future.-- Yoda

Also, it seems like my blog posts always come down to a lesson taught on the Biggest Loser the night before, except this time, the stuff Jillian was teaching was the same thing drilled home to me this week by my mentor. It’s almost as if the Universe wants to make sure I learned the lesson so it’s repeated in a slightly different manner. And just like the contestants on the reality show, there were tears.

Jillian asked “why are you here?” My mentor asked “who do you want to be?” Pretty much the same thing and equally thought provoking. One I couldn’t answer readily a couple of days ago.

What’s more eerie, they both demanded that if you’re not giving 100 percent into every project/workout you do, what’s the point?

What indeed?

The way I see it, life is full of buckets. Everyone carries them. Each of these buckets starts out empty. As we travel up Crap Mountain (in this case representing life), they become full of stuff that causes stress and conflict—family, work issues, obligations, financial junk, free time, etc. Sometimes, I don’t understand how to balance a bucket in each hand that represents the day-to-day and writing. I fully admit it. I’m human and I make mistakes. It happens. I suppose character building is found in how many times I can manage to get back up and continue on after I fall.

For the last few months while the publishing industry is seemingly crashing down and restructuring, I’ve spent time doing back to back to back edits. I wrote a couple of short stories that haven’t been my best efforts. I’ve done so much promo for books I think I’ll get sick if I have to fill out another set of interview questions. I’ve also taken a job of sorts that steals a good portion of my time right now. I’ve worried about things I had no idea I could worry about before this year. And I haven’t written a word on my WIP for a good week and a half. I have no desire to do so at this time.

"A bad day for your ego is a great day for your soul." — Jillian Michaels

Right now, I’m standing a quarter of the way up Crap Mountain. Both of my buckets are full and they’re heavy. Can I carry them? Don’t know but I’ll have to try. This is my life, the good and the bad, and it’s full of possibility even if it stinks sometimes. Life’s not fair and it doesn’t play nice and sometimes it catches me on the chin.

I have a feeling 2011 will be another turning point year for me in my career. I can feel it. Yup, it’s one of those unexplainable things that happen to me. I just “know” things. It kinda freaks my husband out sometimes.

So, let me answer Jillian’s question. Why am I here? On this planet? Because apparently the aliens don’t want me right now LOL Okay, I’ll be serious (but trust me, it’s a good sign the humor is trying to come back) In this lifetime? Because I’m meant to be a writer and I have something to say.

Now for my mentor’s question. Who do I want to be? This took a couple of days to ferment in my brain before I could answer. I want to be an author who writes books people will remember because the story was unique. I want to be remembered because I made folks feel while reading my stories; they took the journey alongside the characters; they agonized because it was over. I want to write stories that people will say “wow” after reading because it wasn’t the same old thing that’s already out there—because they had to think while reading. I want to make sure each piece I write has a bit of my heart and soul inside of it and that I gave it more than a 100 percent effort simply because it was my creation and I was in love with it. I want to be the kind of person who stands up passionately for what I believe in and be respected for that stand. In short, I want my words to live on longer than I will.

Have I done that to this point? To a certain extent but only with baby steps. So, it’s back to learning for me, to dig deeper, draw from what’s inside me and translate that drive into my writing. I’ll be the first to admit, sometimes I don’t understand how stuff works. Thankfully, someone is standing in the gap for me. Now I am considering the fate of a story that I didn’t give 100 percent to. Is it a sloppy piece? No. Is it showcasing what I’m capable of? Not by a long shot. Is it fair of me to let a bunch of people work on it if I’m not in love with it? No way.

Thus I’m trying to make a hard decision tonight. (or last night as the case actually is)

Moral of this story? I’m glad for the reality check. I’m glad I learned it now and not later when it was too late. I was in danger of becoming too cocky about what I thought I knew. I got lost for a moment there. I’m glad for the opportunity to examine just who the hell I am—and where I’m going and what I need to do. I’m thankful I have a mentor that’s not afraid to kick my butt when I need it, but mostly I’m thankful that I still have much to learn and a long path still to travel. I’m sure there will be many more of these reality checks in my future. I look forward to each one of them.

And mostly, I’m glad this stop on Crap Mountain is merely a check point and not the final destination.

Try not. Do or do not, there is no try.-- Yoda


Liia Ann White said...

I'm sure you can go back and fix the piece and give it your all. If you decide not to, it's your prerogative.
Great post Sandi - thought provoking and intriguing.

Sandra Sookoo said...


Vicky CK said...

It is way too late in the night/early in the morning for all that heavy Crap. Esp since you are RIGHT. Damn, girl! Do you have to make us think, and realize how little we are getting done?? (Like I need to know that the house is in need of cleaning, and all the other things I have yet to do this week (or last week)).
Not sure if I want to thank you or throw something at you. But you made an impression either way!