Hi Ya Bookcasers,
It’s funny how life can throw you curve balls, isn’t it? You’re just living your life, doing your own thing, and then boom…life jolts in another direction. I had a minor version of this lately: my wedding ceremony venue fell through and now we have a 5 month rush to find our next place. My instant thought was panic-ridden. However, after a week or two of deliberating, my partner and I decided to open our minds and look at alternative styles of weddings. This in turn made me thinking about my writing life and books. Did I really write with an open mind, or have I just been writing in the same old rut? Let’s see…
I’ve always been a “seat of my pants” writer, and a heavy outlined reviser. It’s my process. However, could it be something else? What if I tried outlining first? That’s something I’m doing now, and I tell you what, so far, it’s helped me untangle some potentially gaping plot holes. However, do I think it’s going to be my perfect model for success? Probably not. But I’m keeping an open mind and seeing what happens.
And then I got to thinking about the stories themselves. They come to me as they are and that used to be it. My story was set. But after outlining a bit, I thought to myself: what if other things happened in my story? What if it’s not just the exact thing in my head? What could make it better, stronger, more powerful? And letting my mind wander like that brought up some pretty interesting ideas.
After that, as writers tend to do, I let my thoughts meander further down the questioning rabbit hole. This time, I wanted to know “what if I gauged my success by the amount of fun had as opposed to books sold?” Indulging in writing for the sheer joy and wonder of it all. Forgetting that people are going to critique it, “make it better”, teach you the craft. Just writing for the thrill…and just writing a book solely for yourself. Authors don’t need to be published to be an author, you know.
Which brings me to: “What if it’s not the prime thing in my life and I can only be happy when I’ve gotten that book deal?” This was a hard one for me, actually. I’ve been pursuing my dreams for as long as I can remember. And I always will. However, last night, as I lay in bed, I remembered that I have had a few things in life that I would throw a book deal away for. I’d give up a book deal to have my boys back, to hold and hug them. I’d give up a book deal to live with my family every second of my life. I’ve give up a book deal to rescue dogs and horses alike. And I’d give up a book deal to help heal those who are hurting – both people and animals.
I will always want to achieve my dreams, but it’s important to keep things in perspective. Writing is my passion, my art, my career. However, it’s not the only thing I can be proud of, and I won’t let any mishaps along the way get me down. I hope you don’t either.
Always ask yourself “what if?”
Until next time,