Don’t fear the water

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***Please note, if you watch Scandal this post contains slight spoilers.*********

Thursday is my favorite day of the week. I quickly get the kids ready for bed, put on my jammies and settle down to watch Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal. Grey’s is an old friend in my house – if I have to take a call or let it roll over to DVR, I’m not troubled. On the other hand, I have to watch Scandal as soon as it airs. I must know what happens next! It is that freakin’ addictive!

Last week, one of the subplots revolved around professional killer Huck, having an odor. We later found out that due to a recent traumatic event involving water, things like rain and taking a shower were just too much for him to handle. He had developed PTSD.

This got me to thinking about writers. I know many that after getting no responses or horrible responses from their first novel, shy away from doing anything else. One writer friend of mind, will shut you down immediately for bringing up the subject. I really believe I saw her eye twitch. She has rejection based PTSD. It saddens me because I think the world is now going to miss out on her talent, and she is going to miss out on sharing her gift.

When it all boils down, not everyone will like your work. You will have some pieces on a special shelf or in a drawer that may never see the light of day. That’s okay. Those works are for you. Did they make you happy? Did you quiet those voices? That’s all that matters.

Now a Scandal quote to wrap this up: “Huck: [to Quinn] I used to live in a box outside the Metro and before that I dismembered people for a living. Right now I smell. When the rain stops I won’t smell. I’m fine.”

There will always be storm. We will go through our bad days but realize that the sun will eventually shine and our fear will go away. Rejection happens. The only way to get over it is to keep writing.

Check out other blogs participating in the “I Don’t Like Mondays” blog hop:MondaysBlogHopButton_zpse6a5f098

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True Freedom

I often think about the moment that led to my freedom.

I had just got in the tub after seeing the look of the inevitable on my aunt’s face. My grandmother, a strong lady who had cared for her own 8 children and their offspring for nearly 60 years, was succumbing to cancer.

Generations, which had been camped out beside her for days, had just left to go to sleep when it happened. I thought she would be there when I stepped out of my bath. Minutes later I heard my grandfather wake my uncle with the news.

I loved my grandmother even though I thought she was harsher on me than her other grandchildren. I often tell friends stories of getting the switch or being made to sweep off the porch one Christmas when everyone else was opening presents. Yet, I flourished when I was around her. I learned how to cook from watching her. I learned the true meaning of working hard and having it pay off by watching her go from cleaning houses to owning her home and property.

The small Mississippi church was packed by those who she had impacted. As the minister delivered her powerful tribute to my grandmother entitled “press on,” the chains that bound me snapped and freedom was mine.

After changing jobs and getting rejected in so many situations I had gotten to a point where I had settled. I had found comfort in the fact that I would probably stay in my small town forever, never live up to my potential and never be good enough for my daughter or anyone else who cared about me.

But sitting in the funeral, my grandmothers words continued to echo in my head: press on, Press On, PRESS ON – it was an anthem, a comfort, a challenge!

So many times, women forgo their dreams and grow complacent in what life has dealt them. When I had my first child, people saddled me with guilt so much over returning to school that I eventually starting skipping class. I began not to care or be motivated because I felt like a failure on multiple levels.

I got my dream job working at a newspaper but never tried to going any further in the industry because of the fear of leaving the comfort zone of my family. I was bullied into believing that I could not survive without them. Years and opportunities came and went while the cold metal of my chains became heavier. I ached for freedom and in the back of my mind I knew there was more out there for me. I just never had the courage to break free of my bondage – until I heard the minister’s challenge.

His words echoed in my head that day as I began to set the wheels in motion to change my life. I returned calls and followed up on job leads. I stopped be fearful of relationships and fearful of failure and just started to leap in and press on regardless of what may happen.

For the first time in my life I felt like I had power. Although my grandmother has been gone for 8 years, I miss her immensely and feel deeply indebted to her. Reflecting on her life, gave me the courage to break my chains and find freedom. It is the truest freedom and the best feeling in the world.

Multitasking (Or a Feb. Write-A-Thon Update)

Curse you grad school!

I truly value the power of education and I am a nerdy girl who LOVES learning new things. I love learning about diseases and what is wrong with health in our country. It is my hope that one day, my little voice will help shed some light of some preventable health issues and give people longer lives.

But this month – I am at odds with my educational obligations.

I want to write, revise, and repeat. I want to wholeheartedly participate in Ashley Farley’s Feb. Write-A-Thon (http://ashleyfarley.net/). I was in the midst of revisions on another MS and heard about this event. My mind started ticking, my hands started outlining, and man I am LOVING what is being put on paper – when things get put on paper.

As per the usual with me and writing – life happens. Earlier this month, everyone in my house was sick so I was taking care of them. By midweek I was sick, and had 2 papers due. From that point on, I have been playing catch up with my writing. My goal this week is to at least reach 15K by this Friday. I am hoping for 20K is a good #writeclub Hail Mary attempt:)

So okay, maybe not curse you grad school. I do love you deep down in my heart. I just need to refocus myself so I can balance you and my writing.

How do you juggle your writing life and other things?

Time

When February began, I immediately began to think about how I managed my time.

I am embarking on revisions for my first book. This is exciting because I have sent it out in the world to get feedback and am loving all the help/guidance I am receiving. Also this month, I am participating in Ashley Farley’s Write- A-Thon (http://ashleyfarley.net). I am using this opportunity to draft a NA novel that I think is going to be a kick butt series. Super excited about that!

Anyway, back to time. There are 24 hours in a day. If you think about it, this is a massive amount of seconds, minutes, and hours that gets whittled down daily based on our activities. But the fact remains that we start each day with 24 hours at our disposal.

For me:

6a I wake up, deal with kids, prep for work, and get to work

730 I arrive at work. I spend 8 1/2 hours here with the 1/2 being my lunch.

400 I begin my commute home

0445 I am usually home. I will clean and cook for the family

0630 Usually when I try to have dinner ready

0700 try to take a walk with the family but now its getting colder so this time is usually watching TV time

0745-0800 getting the kids ready for bed

0800-1100 watching TV, on the computer, random time wasting

1100-1130 trying to go to sleep

I outlined this schedule this summer because I was trying to “find the time” to write. After a thorough look at my schedule, I see that the time has always been there – I just choose not to utilize it. I mean, I sit at my desk for lunch and usually read People magazine online. The time that I’m prepping for dinner, I usually have a quiet 30 minutes where no one is home and something is simmering and doesn’t require my attention. Also there are three solid hours at night where I don’t HAVE to watch TV – that’s why I have a DVR.

I am full of excuses and putting it on paper really spelled it out. Now, I have kids and life happens so something usually does pop up. But in the end, there is no excuse for me to not write.

The time has always been there.