Here's Why I need YOUR Review
I used to be pretty hesitant to write book reviews. I mean, truly, reading is subjective. My definition of a great book is probably decidedly different than yours. Which is as it should be. Takes all kinds.
Only a few books are universally loved – and even those books aren’t universally loved. I’m thinking of the Harry Potter books (at least the first three), Charlotte’s Web, Skippy Jon Jones or most everything by Dr. Suess.
I racked my brain to think of adult books that are universally loved and as I thought of each one, the little negative nelly minion with the glasses and the clipboard on my shoulder said, “but, but, but…”
Some of the books I thought of were- Prayer for Owen Meany, She’s Come Undone, The Art of Racing in the Rain, or Life of Pi. I loved all those books and would put them in my top 30 (no WAY I could have a top 10). But some of you might have hated those books or some of you might read different genres and have never heard of them.
I admit to a rather narrow personal bookshelf. I’m not a huge fan of fantasy or science fiction. I’m curious about erotica, but have yet to explore it, and I truly do not understand poetry. I’ve never read a real horror book – I can’t handle the images. I find thriller books to be too intense for me – I can only read them in one sitting otherwise I stress about the situations too much, particularly when it involves children in danger. Although, I read Elizabeth Brundages, The Doctor’s Wife, obsessively, not even stopping to eat. I couldn’t not turn the page. Even mysteries are hard for me because I hate the not knowing, it irritates me. It’s generally my book club that pushes me out of my ruts. Mostly, I stick to literary fiction, historical fiction, womens fiction, occasional chicklit, memoir, and a smattering of young adult. I know, I should get out more. But there it is.
Back to my original point- reviews are subjective, but that’s no reason not to write them. As a writer, I depend on them. I’ve been trying to be better about asking people who read my books to review them. Asking people for anything makes me uncomfortable. Maybe I’m a product of my generation of women who think they can handle-anything-don’t-need-nothing-from-nobody.
But here’s the thing - I don’t care if you like my book or hated it or were somewhere in between, I need your review. The number of reviews impacts book sales, promotions, and whether or not Amazon will ever move my book above the YA book with the same title in the search results. More than that, it’s pretty much the only way other people can discover my book. When I’ve mentioned this at book clubs or workshops, people seem surprised. I don’t think the average reader realizes how important reviews are to authors. I know I didn’t.
Now, I review every book I read. I’m a team player as a writer and want to do everything I can to support other authors. We need each other. My reviews are nothing special, but I try to be honest. I try to write more of what I liked than didn’t like. I’ve discovered that I can find something nice to say about pretty much anything I read. That’s because I don’t read books I don’t like. If I’m not finding anything I can appreciate by page 50, I put the book down and move along. There’s too many others out there waiting to be read.
I don’t want to beg, but I can think of nothing I’d appreciate more from my readers than an honest review on Amazon or goodreads or ibooks or Barnes & Noble or BAM or any other site that sells books (you can even copy and paste the same review to all the sites – totally fine and I’ll even invite you over for fresh cookies and red wine if you do). It doesn’t have to be lengthy or fabulously written- simply heartfelt. So, here’s me asking – if you’ve read one of my books, please give it a review (or two).
Book Club Tour!
Tomorrow I hop on a plane for Florida!
I’m going to Tampa to meet with a book club that just finished reading, I’m Not Her.
Super excited because 1) I get to escape the impending snow/cold/winter misery and 2) I get to jump back into the world of Carin and Leann and 3) I get to meet some people who know Carin and Leann!
When I tell people I am flying to Florida to discuss my book, they are duly impressed. It sounds so huge, doesn’t it? Course it is.
There’s a standing offer on my website that I will fly anywhere to talk books as long as you’re buying the ticket. When I wrote that, I meant it, but I didn’t expect anyone to really take me up on it.
Now, here’s the thing, the people flying me down there are my father-in-law and his wife. I see you silently mouthing the words – oh, now I get it. But it’s just me- no grandkids, no son, just daughter-in-law. So, you know the book has something to do with it. I’m not that good company.
All of that aside, I’m still truly jazzed to be headed to Tampa. I love talking about my book and it always humbles me that other people like it. I practically swoon when they talk about my characters like they are our mutual friends. It’s one of the best things about being published and probably the best thing to me about being a writer.
The rest of the garbage- the rewriting, the editing, the promoting and promoting, the begging for reviews, the proofing- all of that (of which I am currently up to my neck) is the price you pay for the moment when someone says, “I loved your book,” or even better, “your book made me think.”
Next week I get to do it all over again with a book club on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, before meeting with a group right here in PA in April. I’m on a roll. It’s the only thing that’s keeping my head above water as I wrestle with the manuscript of my third book and gear up for the release of Girls’ Weekend in May.
Oh, and by the way, if you’d like a half-price copy of Girls’ Weekend, you can get one if you order the ebook version before May 2. The offer only extends to ebooks, but the paper version is available for preorder now, too. (I’m a paper girl, myself.)
p.s. the picture above is my own illustrious book club
I’m reading backwards this week.
I’ve discovered that starting with the last line and reading a manuscript backwards, line by line, is a great way to do a final proof.
Seeing each sentence clearly all on its own makes it possible to spot all kinds of typos and grammatical errors your unconscious mind would otherwise gloss right over. It brings back memories of 5th grade English and sentence dissection (which I loved).
And reading the story in reverse also shines a spotlight on my own weird habits.
It was obvious that I get in ruts – writing sentence after sentence with an introductory clause or exclamation. Embarassing. And then switching to simple sentences one after another in a staccato line, before several pages of compound sentences connected by ‘but,’ obviously my favorite conjunction.
Adverbs rear their ugly heads like the voles in my sweet potato patch. Obviously, something must be done. If only it were as easy in the garden.
And then there’s my odd use of a goofy word repeatedly- one that didn’t stand out in the feverish forward read, but in reverse sticks out like the Valentine’s balloon caught in the leafless trees outside my window. Authors should only be able to use words like, squeezed, bleary-eyed, ominous, fresh, and surprised once per manuscript. Oh, and chuckled. I use that WAY too much.
I’m even growing annoyed with my characters. Why do they drink so much wine? Is it really necessary for them to sigh so often? They really aren’t so funny in reverse.
Picking apart my manuscript this way makes me feel exposed. What the hell am I doing? I suck at this. How did I EVER get published?
And as the corrections pile up, I think, my editor is going to wring my neck. I should have found this stuff long ago.
And then I doubt myself – is that truly a run-on sentence? Modern authors seem to take great leeway when it comes to run-ons. The definition has gotten muddled in my mind. What’s accepted these days? What’s still hand-smack worthy?
And how many times can I start a sentence with And and get away with it?
My 8th grade son had a grammar test today and listening to him reciting the parts of speech he had to memorize made me nostalgic.
He said, “I hate this stuff. I can’t remember it.”
I said, “Gosh, I wish I’d paid more attention to grammar when I was your age.”
“Why?” he asked. “It’s not like you’re ever gonna use this stuff.”
What's YOUR word?
I love the concept of choosing your own word. I don’t know where this phenomenon originated. It’s probably not important, although I do like to give credit where credit is due, so suffice it to say – it wasn’t my idea. I’m just stealing it. Copying is the sincerest form of flattery, I always say.
Churches are into picking your word, but this isn’t a religious thing for me. It is spiritual, though. I may be turning 50 this year, but I am certainly not finished growing up. I’m still polishing the edges, working on the bad habits and trying to let go of crappy stuff like resentment, jealousy, and judgment.
I think the moment any of us stop trying to be better people, is the moment we become old.
And I never intend to be old.
So, this year’s word (drumroll please…..) is Give.
(Last year’s word was blessed, and wow, was I ever.)
I picked give because I’ve gotten so much. I’ve been so very blessed. In order to keep balance, I’ve decided I need to give more or my plate will crack under the stress of so many blessings.
But what could I give?
I can’t give money. I don’t have any to spare since I have a kid in college and two headed that way and three cars with WAY too many miles on them. Add to that three horses who I couldn’t give away if I tried. (Basically I have three too many of everything.)
Since I couldn’t give money, I decided I could give my expertise. While my expertise is quite relative at best, offering it will mean giving more time (of which I have very little to spare, poor busy me). Still, I volunteered to teach a few free workshops on creative writing, and am looking for more opportunities to teach, coach, or help other writers.
That seemed pretty measly, so I thought more about it and decided that what I can most give are the intangibles - encouragement, patience, honesty, and love. Yup, it’s sounding kind of religious, but again, it’s not. It’s human. I can give more of my humanity.
So I’ve begun reaching out more. Instead of reading another writer’s post or article and thinking, “Wow, that’s really good, I wish I’d thought of that,” and simmering away on my jealousy stew, I’ve begun commenting, liking, and sharing.
When I finish reading a book, I’m following up on that reading by reviewing, and even contacting other writers to say- wow, you’re awesome. (since most of us work for pennies, I know the compliments are priceless.) I’m working up the nerve to invite a few to guest blog for me (already slipping up on the giving and trying to get something…)
Instead of trolling the internet looking for what I can get, I’m looking for what I can give.
I’m giving other writers a few minutes of my attention to read their blogs and comment.
Instead of simply clicking the follow button on twitter, I’m taking the time to scroll through a twitter feed and look for real connections.
The Liebster Award landed in my lap, and that was a perfect way to pay it forward.
I’m hitting the “like” button much more now and surrendering my lurking status.
At home, in terms of giving, I’m trying to be quieter. When it comes to me, that’s truly a form of giving. I’m not nagging or directing as much. I’m letting the kids go a little feral because they’re old enough to have earned that right. I’m not sharing all my inner rants with my patient hubby. I’m even turning his t-shirts right-side out instead of simply folding them that way.
I’m sure there are lots of other ways I can give this year. It’s February so I’ve only had this powerful word for about six weeks. I’m hoping it will guide me all year long. The adventure is just beginning.
What’s your word?
This summer while scraping the bottom of the barrel on Netflix, my husband and I stumbled upon a quirky movie about a writer. I can’t remember much of the plot or the name of the movie. (This happens frequently; stories and titles rarely stick with me. I think my brain is too full of them. Embarrassing problem to have as a writer.)
This forgotten movie opens with a writer musing that being a writer is like being a boxer. You have to put all your talent out there in the ring all alone for everyone to see.
I agree about the putting yourself out there, exposed. It does feel like that sometimes. But beyond that the analogy fails for me. Taking this analogy another step would mean beating up another writer or being beaten up by readers. Basically, being beaten up by somebody. I’m not a boxer. I don’t watch violent movies or read thrillers. I'm pretty much a pacifist.
Giving credence to this analogy would mean that when we get in the ring, one writer’s success could only come at the expense of another. And as much as that can sometimes feel like the case- it isn't.
Maybe a better analogy would be the Initiative & Confidence courses of my youth at summer camp. We ALL had to get over that wall. And then we ALL had to work together to make it along the tight rope, the monkey bars, the wiggling logs and plenty of other exercises designed to threaten and then build your confidence. The entire course involved working together through what appeared to be insurmountable obstacles (at least to those of us less coordinated and less confident participants).
Maybe that analogy is lacking, too. But we writers LOVE our analogies, so we’ll go with that one instead.
Writers need each other. We’re the only ones who ‘get it.’ We know all too well, the sting of so many rejections. We understand how you can love being a writer and hate writing at the same time. We know how brave you have to be to write well – the risk, the gut-honest truths, the embarrassing habits, the painful memories. We know that vulnerability is not optional and you really do have to kill your darlings.
I remember standing at the bottom of THE WALL on the I&C course one summer when I was about thirteen. I was cripplingly self-conscious, convinced I was fat and weak and terrified at the idea of my campmates having to haul my big, pathetic butt over that wall. I contemplated every kind of escape, wishing I knew how to throw up on cue since my stomach was in knots and my face was beet red. In the end I had to trust my teammates to help me over that wall. I had to let them see my weakness, expose my fear. No other way over that wall. Same for writers. Until we can share our weakness and stop trying to be something we are not, our writing has no authenticity.
Wow, that analogy went much further than I thought it would. I could continue to write about how the writers who have made it over the wall need to look back and haul the rest of us up, but maybe that’s a little desperate. Maybe.
Writing is mostly a solitary sport, but publishing is a team event. I’m in the midst of rewriting a novel I love, having taken my hits, put an icepack on my black eye, and gotten back to work.
It’s the process. So maybe writing is like boxing. Now I’m back to training and polishing and getting better, so the next time I toss my manuscript in the ring, it’ll be a winner. But it's also like those I&C courses, too, because I know I'm not really alone. The best thing I can do for my writing it trust the advice of other writers, trust my reader with my honesty, and trust my heart to share my story.
Filling My Empty Nest
My 16-year-old got her license. Which means that I find myself at home more. This is the kid who has always had practices, rehearsals, lessons, meetings, and shows that fill up her days, and until this week, filled mine with chauffeur duties. I didn’t anticipate how much her getting her driver’s license would alter my own days.
Filling up the unused hours will be no problem for me, but facing the further emptying of my nest created by my daughter’s independence is another thing. My oldest left for college this past fall, which leaves only my baby – a six-foot-tall 13-year-old who is itching for his own independence and has taken to walking upwards of ten miles in a day exploring our countryside and town with his buddy.
Maybe I knew this was coming, even if I didn’t verbalize it. At least that’s my husband’s explanation for why I began fostering dogs last winter and have steadily increased my involvement from fostering one adult dog at a time, to entire litters of puppies for weeks on end. I thought nothing of applying for a kennel license when our numbers went above 25 dogs per year and the County laws required it and didn’t hesitate to rearrange furniture to accommodate a third large dog crate in our living room. Who is this woman?
To his credit, my husband has been supportive on the dogs and mute on the reason for the dogs. It was only when I mused, “Maybe I’m taking in all these puppies because I miss being needed by my kids,” that he said, “Ya think?”
He humors me. That’s why we stayed married.
For so many years, I was overwhelmed, exhausted, but productive, working in the trenches of raising three kids with no end in sight. And then seemingly out of nowhere, the finish line appeared.
I can just make it out on the horizon there, beckoning me.
I can’t imagine days when I won’t have to plan a real dinner, fill my cabinets with Cheezits, grumble about the belongings left on the counter or trip over several pairs of large sneakers when I enter the house. But maybe it’s time to start envisioning that life. The life where I can cook anything I want, instead of something they will eat.
Of late, I’ve pretty much given up the fight in terms of getting anyone to help with the cleaning, or even the dishes. I have no idea where the me went who made lists of chores and filled the kitchen chalk board with meal assignments and pet care duties. She seems to have run off into the night somewhere and whenever I run into her and ask, she says, “Oh, they’ll do those things when they have their own place. I’m tired of nagging. I don’t want that to be my legacy.”
Instead, I’m putting my caregiving and training efforts into random dogs who enter our lives for only a few weeks and hopefully exit our lives happier, healthier, and a little closer to being housebroken. Basically, I’m still raising children – just on a smaller scale.
After all, that’s the same goal I have for my kids when they move out, right? We all want to raise kids who are happy, healthy, and more or less, housebroken.
#emptynest #parenting #fosterdogs
Guess What I Won!??!
So I was nominated for a blogging award! (But don’t get too excited because it’s not that kind of award – no money, no fame, no limo ride or red carpet.)
The Liebster Award (and I have yet to get to the bottom of how it got its name) is basically a chainletter for bloggers.
Now, I’m gonna confess right here that I’m that person who never holds up her end of the deal on chain letters. Thankfully, their popularity has waned, but even in its hay day, I was a nonparticipant.
Some of the chain letters would say, “choose the five people you think are most likely to do X…” and for some crazy reason a perfectly reasonable friend of mine would think I was one of those five people. But I never added my recipe, sent the dollar, answered the question, etc., etc., etc. I hit delete (or in the dinosaur days – the recycling basket) and hoped the friend would never mention the letter. Sometimes I even avoided said friend for a while, just to be sure.
So what happens now with this award and why, pray tell, am I bothering with the requirements?
Here’s what I (and any of you poor schmucks I nominate) have to do:
But, will I do this? And why would I do this?
I suppose I’m doing this already, right? Gone this far, no turning back and such.
Basically, I’m only doing this to be polite. I don’t know the blogger who nominated me, but she’s new at this and I looked at her new blog and, well, she’s real. She’s an honest to goodness nice person and pretty good writer. And she has three kids. (I have three kids, so that makes her one of us moms who are outnumbered and overwhelmed more than we are not.) Elaine’s blog is called ThreePlusOneEqualsFive. It’s charming and funny and well done and it has nothing to do with math. Check it out.
Now, you have two options. One is to stop reading because now I’m going to attempt to follow through on my obligations – answer the questions, nominate the bloggers, assign them questions. You don’t have to get involved. You’re free to go.
Your second option is to keep reading this terribly long post and I’ll try to make it interesting.
So first off, thanks Elaine! (I think)
Ten Questions for me from Elaine:
I have a bit of a blogging fetish. While, this is a new blog for me, I’ve been at it for nearly a decade with Kid Friendly Organic Life which is in its twilight years and only gets occasional posts. Next, I started The Mama Load as a place to put my parenting essays because I’m so bad at backing up my files. (Really!) Another Good Dog is my most popular blog because, well, people like dogs more than organic food or children. I write that one to highlight the plight of so many dogs in the rescue system who need homes. And then there’s this blog, My Life in Paragraphs, which is my newest. This one got started because now that I’m a famous author (humor me), I needed a place to write about writing and drum up business, but mostly because of the aforementioned blogging fetish.
2. Who is your favorite celebrity to follow on twitter and why?
Twitter is my new guilty pleasure. I’m spending untold hours there. My favorite celebrity to follow is Anne Lamott because she is so crazy funny and poignant and makes me wish I’d written whatever she writes. Anne is my hero.
3. What was the last thing you purchased outside of groceries?
Chicken feed. True.
4. How do you get rid of stress?
I have many remedies. Being on this planet for almost (gasp) fifty years, raising three crazy-smart-creative-conniving kids, and trying to make it as a novelist, requires this. I run when possible, drink too much wine too often, take long baths (and fall asleep in the tub, hopefully this won’t be how I die), but mostly I write. And write. And write.
5. What is your favorite quote?
This one is hard. I’m a quote collecting person. Hmmm… I could easily waste WAY too much time on this one. Instead, I’ll go with the one in my email signature –
"The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that's wrong with the world."- Paul Farmer
6. What is your earliest memory?
I hate this question. I have so very few memories of my childhood. I don’t know what this is. I didn’t have a particularly difficult or traumatic childhood. I blame it on my brain pruning too many memories. When I think really hard about it, I do remember being at the ocean and being knocked down by a wave and the water covering my head. I thought I was going to die and then my dad scooped me up and laughed. I’m not sure why that one sticks in my memory but maybe it was my first near-death experience. So I guess I owe my dad a thank you for saving my life. Thanks, Dad.
7. If you could rewind the last 24 hours is there anything you would change and why?
I don’t think there’s anything I would change. Except maybe I wouldn’t have eaten that second chocolate chip cookie last night while watching Madam Secretary. I had no red wine, so there really wasn’t any point.
8. You wake up, the sun is shining, you have no responsibilities for the day – what do you do?
Oh boy, I might make a few enemies here.
In less than two weeks, I will be living this fantasy question! My husband and I are spending 7 days on Grand Cayman Island with my little brother and his beautiful wife to celebrate our landmark birthdays (this gets us out of throwing surprise parties for each other). So, my plan for these responsibility-free days is to get up, go for a run, snorkel RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY CONDO, lounge on the beach or visit some awesome spot on the island, read too many books, and then drink too many rum drinks and maybe do a little dancing and lots of laughing. Oh, and there will be no children, dogs, chickens, or horses to feed! I do plan to post pictures on Facebook while I’m there because for WAY too many years, I’ve had to endure the pictures other people post of their winter vacations while I was stuck breaking ice out of buckets and falling on my ass on the driveway. Like my Facebook writer page if you want to sign up for this torture.
9. What do you love most about where you live?
The lack of people. It’s pretty rural where we are and I like that. I also like the fall. That’s about it. I’m not planning on staying here forever.
10. Do you have a nickname and how did you get it?
I don’t have many nicknames. When I was in high school, a few people called me “Face” or “CaraFace” because my name means “face” in Spanish and we all took Spanish 1 our first year and it was in the vocabulary list that first week. I wish we’d taken Italian because then they’d all call me “Dear,” or Irish, because then they’d all call me, “Friend.” In elementary school, I also got, “Carrot Head” and “Freckle Face” because kids were much less sensitive back in the day. I’ve reverted back to my childhood name, Cara Sue as my pen name because I have no nickname and it seems much more interesting than Cara.
Okay so that was super fun. For me. Now it’s time to pick out the next bunch of suckers, er, Liebster Award Winners!
Okay nominees! Here’s your questions:
Okay, that’s it. Done. I’d like to thank the academy, Elaine, and all my adoring fans for this wonderful award. I think.
What twitter Does For Me
I used to hate twitter. I complained about twitter on this very blog as recently as a few months ago. I resisted twitter for too long and now I couldn’t really tell you why.
Actually, I could.
I resisted twitter because it seemed so anonymous. It was too focused on quantity, not quality. When I surfed my feed it seemed filled with an awful lot of blather and retweets of the same blather. All those hashtags of gobbledygook made no sense. #I'mtoogoodfortwitter
I would still maintain that is the case, but I’ve discovered how to make my own twitter experience more substantial. #buildabettertwitter
I’m going for a quality twitter that is full of relationships and real people who could be and might be- friends. #realtwitterfriends
It is taking some intentional efforts and not a little time (but I try to do it mostly while walking on my treadmill desk so I don’t feel too guilty).
Instead of following anyone and everyone willy-nilly, as seems to be the strategy of many. I’m being picky. I’m following people who seem like people I’d enjoy sitting down with for a cup of tea or a glass of wine. (Except the dogs that I’m following, I don’t like dogs who wine. Badabumpbump. There seem to be an inordinate number of dogs with their own twitter feeds). #bepickyandfollowdogs
This takes time. I have to read bios. If I like the bios, I have to visit the twitter page. And read it. And maybe click a link and read that. #Ifollowcoolbiosandthatrhymes
Some people are easy. I can simply read their bio and know I like them – they mention dogs or horses, writing, my politics (notice I’m not mentioning the color of those politics), wine, annoying children, or something bizarre, like one woman talked about her affinity for mashed potatoes. Those people, I automatically follow. #kindredspiritsandmashedpotatolovers
Others, might pique my interest, but have too many hashtags or braggy stuff in their bios. I don’t want to follow people who are all about numbers or contests or free stuff or only pushing their product. Still, I give them the chance and check out their feed. #nojudgmentuntilnecessary
My process is getting faster as I’m learning to assess a twitter page more quickly:
Naked people? Nope, won't follow that. #nonakedpeopleonmyfeedkidscouldbewatching
Too pushy or judgmental with the politics? I’ll pass. #noobnoxiouspeopleormeanpeople
No original content- only retweets? Not for me. #nolazytweetersbeoriginal
I love the people who post their own pictures and thoughts. I love funny people, but I love sincere people more. #lovesincerityandrealpeople
When anyone follows me or follows me back, I always message them. I look for a connection to mention or a post I liked. I try to find some way to put some substance to our connection. Sometimes this goes, unmentioned, but most people message me back. Sometimes we start chatting. Sometimes we become friends. #FRIENDS!
I’m going to be one of the guest hosts for a Facebook Book launch party next week for another author I met through twitter. #TEONJAN19 (that’s the actual hashtag for the event! But you can sign up HERE to join me on Monday and win free stuff)
Another new friend on twitter, who is a lawyer, agreed to read the court scenes in my YA manuscript to be sure I got it right. #newcontactsareawesomebenefit
I’ve chatted with friends all over the world. I’m even considering putting up a map in my office and placing pins in the spots spots where I’ve made twitter connections. It would fill up fast. I’m friends with a third grade class in Kansas, folks in countries I've never even heard of, a bunch of people in Oz, and several neighbors who live right down the road. Maybe someday I’ll take a twitter road trip and meet some of these people! #twitterroadtriptomeetmytwerps
I suppose twitter is a chameleon. It’s whatever you want it to be. If you just want to amass numbers and impress the world (or an agent/editor/publisher), you can do that. You can even outsource it. There’s a gazillion businesses out there who will do it for you. #buyyourownfollowingifyouwant
But if you want to learn something, meet interesting people, make friends, network with cool people, and explore the world, you can do that, too. I’m reformed. I love twitter. #Ihearttwitter
For those of you who don’t know (and perhaps may not even have the slightest interest but you’re still reading, aren’t you?), my novel, I’m Not Her, was published by The Story Plant. The Story Plant is a small press in the scheme of things. In my opinion, there’s good things and bad things about publishing with a small press (as opposed to one of the BIG 5 publishing houses – which used to be the BIG 6 until Random House and Penguin merged). Let me list them for you.
Leaving My Mood on the Page
A dear friend asked if I was feeling blue.
My hubby said I seemed grumpy.
So I took stock.
Am I blue?
Am I grumpy?
It’s holiday time and I have a house full of puppies! How could I be blue or grumpy?
I’m not. I’m just in a non-writing funk.
When I’m not writing, I lose track of myself. My brain is jumpy and cluttered. I forget things. Even reading is hard because I struggle to focus.
The bottom line is that I need to write. I have to write. Even as a kid I had this problem. I filled journal after journal with all manner of angsty, boring drivel. But it served a purpose. Journaling allowed me to empty out my busy head onto a page. It helped me let go of emotions that were strangling me. And it let me sort through what was really going on. These days if I’m wrestling with an issue, I find myself reaching for a pen or my laptop. I’ll write myself through it.
As Julia Cameron says, “Writing connects the self with the self.” This week I think the problem is simply that my tether is slipping a bit.
But it’s break time. Time to focus on family, friends, food. Time to chill. And, hey, we’ve got puppies, so there’s that, too.
Still, I miss my writing. I miss the energy that comes from working on a story. I love escaping inside the head of a character. I love living a life in my dreams, even one I wouldn’t pick. Being so ever-present in my real life is exhausting and nowhere near as interesting as the life in my head.
But right now, for today, there’s no point in writing anything beyond a blog post or a journal entry since solid, uninterrupted time will be in scarce supply in the coming week.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m grateful. I’m all kinds of grateful. My cup is so full I’m drinking from my saucer most days.
So I’ll try to shake off the blue attitude and the grumpy fog. I’ll journal my way to a better mood or maybe I’ll toss this blog post out into the wide web of this world. I’ll leave my grumpies right here and go find the eggnog.
#amwriting #writing #drinkingfrommysaucer