Here is a muse. Or a whine. But let's try to stay positive. It's a thought.
Because sacrifice, though difficult, is always for the greater good.
This time last year, I had finished writing a few of my books, and I wasn't sure which direction I wanted to pursue next. I had sent out queries to many publishers, and they had almost all come back denied. (The ones that hadn't come back at all, I also assumed were denied. Though I was wrong about one of them...)
Was I going to continue to wait for someone who knew what they were doing to accept my work, or was I going to self-publish. I hadn't decided yet. So in the meantime, I found a diversion. Reading.
It might seem to you that an author doing some reading is as logical as a fish going for a swim. Those who really know me know that reading has never been my thing. I was always the slowest reader in my class. I will never forget timed reading tests in 8th grade when the teacher would ask, "Is everyone done now?" Of course everyone was, it had been an insanely long amount of time. Everyone was done, but me. And that put a bad taste in my mouth for reading. I just could never finish quickly enough!
Things changed as an adult. There were no more time limits. I sat at home, as a stay-at-home mom, in my comfy chair, with more time than I realized. So, I hauled my 4-year-old to the library, week after week, checking out movies for her to keep her entertained while I would take out three books at a time of my own choosing.
I found a favorite author - Richard Paul Evans - whose works were short, different, and very addicting. This time last year, I sat in my comfy chair by the big window in the living room, with cats on my lap, and read. Today, I can gleeful say my second novel is already in the works to come out soon.
But instead of sitting here, getting lost in someone else world, wondering if she will or if she won't accept the flowers from the strange man, or if Mom will find out the secret in the tent, I am in a different world. The world is one I have created. I know the answers. I know the end of the story. What I am trying to do now is tug at my brain to find the exact adjective that describes that smile. I am trying to explain how it feels to die, when I have never done it myself. (Neither have you though, so you'll never know how accurate I am!) I am trying to decide if I need to break for a new paragraph or a new chapter. And Lord help me, what do I NAME that chapter that will make you need to read it, give you an idea what is going to happen but not reveal too much.
In 75 characters or less.
I missing guessing. I miss being surprised. I miss hunting down another book. I miss crying in the shower. I miss driving in the car wondering how things continued for the character after it ended. Writers should be reading, and when I have time, I will delve into the many Kindle books I have waiting for me. But first things are first, and I need to take care of my audience.
Would I trade it? The writing for the reading? Not in a million years. These characters, settings, plots I have made are my babies. I created them. Another author (King, perhaps? I forget.) calls them darlings. And just like when you have children, you have to make a few sacrifices while they are growing. My characters and plots are still growing in my head. If I neglect to let them out onto the computer, they could die and never be found again (so thick is the sludge of information in my brain).
One day, they will be fully grown, and set free in my books. I will gladly kick them out, as they have spent too much time in my brain as it is. And they will be all yours to play with. Then, I will pick up someone else's book and nurture their characters for a little while.
First of all, I would like to point out that, yes indeed, I have changed the name of this blog. It is called Passion Under Grace because I am passionate about many things, and right or wrong, I am covered by God's grace. You can feel free to agree with me or disagree, but either way, I know I am forgiven.
One thing I am passionate about is exercise. Since becoming an adult, running has been my way of still being able to eat ice cream and not feel guilty abut it. But it became more than that. The old competitive spirit I nurtured as a kid resurfaced. I wasn't just running, I was trying to be better than I was yesterday. I set a lifetime goal of running a half-marathon and crossed it off my list in 2010. Not willing to dedicate the time needed to train for a full marathon, I am stuck wondering what to do next.
While in this limbo, I am not stopping. Blindly, I use that old Nike creed, "Just Do It." I have no other reason. But neither do I have a reason to stop. Unless I have a good reason not to, I get out for a work out on my designated days. The list of reasons "not to" is pretty short. Today's temperature was 18ºF, with a wind chill in single digits. And I have no car today. So, I ran to the gym and rode a bike while I was there. I am glad I did. I feel awful when I give up on myself.
So how about you? Looking for motivation? Many times, I just don't want to go out. I don't really love running. And sometimes, I am just too comfortable to get up. But I do it anyway. And here's how I do it when I don't feel like it, in case you need to borrow any of these reasons.
That is how I stay motivated to work out. I just don't allow myself much wiggle room. I'm not a pro athlete; this isn't my job. So I have to do it for some other reason. If I keep at it, maybe I won't need a reason at all. How about you? What gets you up and out?
Passion Under Grace,