Tag Archives: Life

Finding Balance – Give Me A Break

Lately I’ve been thinking about the term balance.  Probably because I have A LOT on my plate right now and I keep being asked, “How do you have time for this?”  This being whatever new thing I’ve taken on at the moment.

Somehow I find the time, but I think the people who are watching me do the things I do assume that I have found balance.  Nope.  Because there is no such thing.  At least not in the “happily giving all things equal weight and successfully making everyone happy.”  That is just bullshit.  And I have to call it that because there is no other word, so for those of you easily offended go read someone else.

 

Balance does not exist.  I do not have balance and I will not pretend that I do.  I live in chaos.  Managed and ordered chaos but it is still chaos.

 

The trick is knowing which part of the chaos needs my attention in the moment.  Not wants my attention – NEEDS my attention.  I will stop what I’m doing when I sense a growing need arise and I will devote undivided attention.  This is not balance and it’s not juggling weights, it’s simply putting one weight down and picking up another.

 

Magically, everything that NEEDS to get done, get’s done.  A lot of the “want to get done” has to fall away.  The funny thing is most of the stuff I let fall away are things that other’s have added to my “to do” list because they have a want.  As mad as it makes you to read this I am not sorry.

 

There are so many hours in the day and I need to spend what time I have living the life I intend instead of a life of inertia.  For those of you who look at me and see someone in balance, lithely dancing on the edge of a cliff – Ha, ha! I fooled you!  For those of you who see me as a hot mess clinging to the edge for all I’m worth – I’ve made peace with that image.  If I ever do find balance I promise I’ll let you know the secret.  For now, I’m happy holding on for dear life.

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I Lied – Sorry but I was Hiding

pants on fireMy last blog post was a lie … kinda. My last post about I’m not dead I’m Just Busy was only half-true. I am very busy and I’m not dead, but I was not hard at work on book 4. The truth is (and I feel like I can trust you all), I was suffering from writers block for the better part of 2015 and if I remember correctly part of 2014.

There! I said it and I feel better now.

I feel like I can tell people that now because it’s in the past and I am writing again. When I was in the thick of writers block I didn’t want to talk about it AT ALL! I felt like giving voice to it would only make it worse. That and I didn’t want to go around whining to whoever would listen because what has that ever gotten anyone?

So I hid.

Whenever someone asked me about book 4 I would tell them I was working on it. I think I worked in that I was struggling on parts. That was a lie.

The more people asked the more anxious I got and the more I wanted to hide. No one was overtly putting pressure on me but well-meaning, “I can’t wait for book 4!” made me physically ill.

None of my tricks for getting past writers block were working. I took time to refill my well. I did other artistic projects. I sat with my thoughts in quiet. I prayed. I cried. Nothing worked.

So I thought, I guess that’s it. I’m done as a writer. I’ve been writing for a very long time (since I was 7 or 8 to be honest) and I thought maybe I’d just used it up. Maybe each of us is only given a finite number of stories and mine had all been written.

The worst part was, I had been so close to the end of book 4 and that really pissed me off. Sorry for anyone offended by that phrase but it’s the only one that suits how I felt. I was pissed because I would never know what happened to Catherine on her last half-finished adventure. And I was going to miss her terribly if I couldn’t have my moments with her anymore.

Then one afternoon on a weekend when my mother-in-law had happened to have my daughter and I was all alone to my own devices, I decided to clean my office. If you saw if right now you’d call me a liar again but I swear I did clean it that day. There were the hand written pages of the manuscript that would be book 4 of the Catherine O’Brien series. I felt ill and sad at the same time.

I flicked through the pages until one passage caught my attention. I started to read and burst out laughing. I hadn’t remember writing what I was reading. It had after all been almost a year since I’d written it. I kept reading until I reached where I had left off. No I didn’t immediately reach for a pen and start writing. Wouldn’t that have been a great end to this blog post! Dang. I should have lied again, but this post is about the truth.

The truth is that read through refreshed my memory of the story and started me thinking of it again and how would I have like it to end. It took about a week after that read through and it happened in the shower. I’m letting water run down my back when suddenly the voices in my head went, “You know what would have been a great way to end that one?”

Naked, wet, and cold. That’s how I wrote the ending of book 4. Well at least the finial scene, which helped me fill in the gaps between where I left off and where it would go. Yes, this time book 4 really is completely written. I’m working on typing it into the computer (because you all know I hand write my first drafts), and it needs A LOT of polishing but it’s all there to be scrubbed up.

Thanks for listening and I’m sorry I lied for so long.

~S

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