Oh wait, it’s Tuesday now.
Which is probably for the best, because yesterday I sat down and wrote half of this whiny post about all the things that are hinky in my life write now, like cavities, and jobs, health, and the messes the kids make. And really, who wants to hear about that? Even if it is hilariously written.
So, let’s start again. And I’m beginning by throwing off all the things that have me down. If it isn’t nourishing to my body, heart, mind, or soul, I’m so done with it. I’m focusing in on the good that I can do.
Because, really, what else can anybody do?
Good Thing The First
I’m growing all these little seedlings in my basement right now. Which is just a startling experience, even though I’ve done it before. I take this little tiny seed (some of them are downright miniscule, it’s like holding a period in the palm of your hand), put it in some dirt, give it some warmth, water, and light, and then in a few days, this little bit of green pops up. For the most part, they do this themselves, as long as I provide the right conditions.
Except the lavender seeds, I put about fifty of them in my trays, and so far I have just one little lavender plant.
That’s a really good feeling, to be able to grow a plant that will someday be broccoli that my family can eat. It’s a whole lot better for me, for them, probably even for the world at large that I’m doing that instead of reading fifty articles a day about the shenanigans of politicians.
Good Thing the Second
I’m also done fretting about queries (at least for the next 24 hours, until I forget this resolution) because there isn’t a thing I can do about them. I wrote the book I wanted to write. I created the characters I wanted to see out in the world. I made this novel for myself, and if no one else likes it, then that’s okay.
I did what I set out to do. That’s an enormous achievement. If you’ve written a novel, or are working on a novel, remember that. Sticking with each paragraph, each chapter, each book, is something to be proud of, because all that motivation to get the words on paper came from you. If you’ve taken that work through several drafts, cutting, refining, and reshaping your story, then what you’ve done is monumental, no matter how many people read it.
That’s not to say I won’t keep sending the queries and refining my manuscript. Of course I will. Stories burn through my brain all the time, as does the urge to perfect them, and to get more people interested in them. It’s an incredibly gratifying experience when someone else reads something I’ve written and is moved by it. One of the highest honors I have ever experienced is seeing someone’s heart warmed by words that I put on paper. But getting published isn’t something to worry about.
Something to work on, yes. Something to worry about, no. These two things don’t necessarily go together. And more worry and stress do not equate to better results. So, I’m going to keep writing the stories and the characters I love, and I hope you will, too.
Good Thing the Third
I’m the kind of person who doesn’t like change very much. You wouldn’t know this from hearing me talk, because I’m always starry-eyed about the next adventure I’d like to have. But when the time comes and life really is sending us on some amazing adventure, I always start panicking about the problems. This will be disruptive for the kids, what if we get lost on our way there, what if it isn’t open, I’m so unprepared, I don’t have the skills! I just know everything will go wrong.
Things do go wrong, but not usually in the way I expect. And usually there were plenty of surprising good things. Life in South Carolina really was unbearably hot, and the ants could bite. But, the storms were beautiful in their ferocity, flowers bloomed in January, and I lived in a neighborhood full of loving and supportive people.
There’s more change coming in my life. I can see it on the horizon, but I don’t know what shape it’s going to take. It’s going to bring difficulties that will knock me off balance, but also things that will amaze me. I’m looking forward to the moments when I surprise myself and pull off something I never thought I could.
Today, I bought groceries, I made lunch, the toddler took a nap, and then I did a Yoga class focused on eight-angle pose. If you’ve ever seen photos of Yoga poses, this is one of those that looks really impressive. It involves balancing on your arms, chest hovering over the mat, while your legs float off to the side, suspended. It looks impossible, and daring.
Getting into that pose feels utterly ridiculous, like you’re flailing around with your arms with one leg hooked over your shoulder. Being in the pose is surprisingly cozy, as your legs hug your arm, and your body hangs suspended in this cocoon of your own making.
As I balanced in it, I smiled. It’s a small thing that I thought I couldn’t do, but I tried it, and there I was, hovering, bound up in impossible-seeming knots. It was a moment that I’ve been working towards for a long time, without even knowing it. I didn’t start doing Yoga in order to achieve eight-angle-pose, but through the practice that I’ve done, I came to a point where I could.
I have worked on my writing for years. I have already achieved amazing things along the way. And someday, that work is going to allow me to achieve something that I haven’t even imagined yet. And that’s a nourishing thought.
Where has your writing taken you that you weren’t expecting? I’d love to hear about the twists and turns of your journey, too.