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Thursday, April 26, 2012

COME ON. BREATHE.

Hello everyone Where am I?
In bed of course, with the laptop and wondering what to write for my monthly blog at Sweet ‘n Sexy Divas blog. This laptop and bed thing is becoming a bit of a habit. Somehow though, it works because each month I get an Oprah 'aha' moment and lo and behold words spew forth from my brain cell to my fingertips and finally the printed page. And each month I live in hope that on the journey those words join up in some semblance of coherent thought. And today’s coherent thought....a timely reminder about the journey we're all on. Specifically I’m talking about the journey of a writer, but it could be the journey to Olympic stardom, or the journey to get your exams at school. Just think of a child and the stages they take to getting up and eventually running. First it's actually sitting up, then shuffling on the bottom, and crawling. Then you get excited when you see them haul themselves upright, wobble a few times and plop back down on their well padded diaper clad bottoms, only to try and try and try a gain – a bit like that spider story and Robert the Bruce. Then the baby frowns, cries a bit, pulls a bit harder and hey presto they’re up, wobbling, but they take a step, then another and another and suddenly they're running, your baby is entering the school running races, marathons, they're at the Olympics. Good dream huh. In fact that trying stuff is just like a writer’s journey. Each book we write has a journey. Our characters journey, the way they cross the barriers of hardship and challenges to get the end desire (to run/succeed/fall in love). Then there is our own journey in writing that specific book, finding its soul and essence, falling in love with the characters we are creating, struggling through the dreaded sagging middle. It's a journey in itself. But what about the journey of a newbie writer. Once upon a time we picked up a pen (or finger to the keyboard) the moment after we’ve finished the best book we've ever read. It inspired us. Or maybe the book was the worst we've ever read – and that inspired us too. We can do this. We can write better than this. We WILL write a book. It'll be a best seller, the next GREAT (insert your country of choice here) novel. And we start...and stop and start and stop. But we do finish. We hit send and that baby flies off into the big wide world only to come crashing back to earth and us with it when we get a rejection. Oh, stupid publisher, what do they know? But silly us or hard-headed, determined us, we do it again, and again and yes, you guessed it, and again. And repeatedly those babies fall into oblivion of the dead manuscripts that don't get past first base or maybe they do, the publishers love the partial, they might even ask to see the full manuscript, ask for revisions – of course this isn't overnight as we all know this is over months and months and yes more months (years – eeek) and then the letter comes. It's not a thick envelope. I used to know if I had a rejection or a revision letter before I even opened it depending on how thick the envelope was. Thick was usually 2 page and rejections didn't take up more than a brief paragraph or two! So this becomes our journey – we write, we submit, we get hopeful, frustrated, cheesed off, and we keep going on the treadmill. Then hey presto we've got A CONTRACT. How exiting. The dream. The call. Success. But wakey wakey sweetie, you gotta get up the next day and do it all over again and again and yep again. Remember it's a journey. But what happens to real life while you're on this wonderful exciting and frustrating journey? Sometimes other parts of our lives get left behind, forgotten, as we concentrate on the holy grail of a contract, we forget about real life. The other day I was sitting in my office at home and outside I saw a Monarch butterfly float passed. I stopped, entranced by this vision of beauty. That boatful little creature made me realise what I had been missing. I had forgotten to stop and witness life around me. Then there were the family of qualis wandering around my yard. (oh they are sooo cute). Then there are the piles of books on my to be read pile. Why are there piles? Because I am a writer who ashamedly has forgotten why I started to write in the first place. I have forgotten to read books. I keep thinking I don't have time, that I must must must keep sitting at the computer and writing and wring and editing. I have forgotten to fill my well. Well...(pardon the pun) next week I go into hospital for surgery. I’ll be there a while (hence I wont be around to answer your comments as I’ll be under the surgeon's sharp blade), but I digress. When I got told the date of my surgery a week ago I thought great, I’ll take the laptop and I can write xxx number of words a day and that'll be bla bla bla... you get the idea. STOP JANE! When will you stop, breathe and rejoice in the journey.... So the laptop is staying home and instead I’m taking a pile of books and I’m going to go back to basics AND read – because reading was the thing that started me on this wonderful, exciting, rewarding, always challenging journey in the first place. But ...i must say, one thing i hope to get cracking on, maybe inspired by what i'm reading is the kind of sequel to He's the One. Zane Harper really needs his story told. Happy reading (and writing) everyone Jane Beckenham www.janebeckenham.com ps Many thanks to Abbey Macinnis who inspired this little post in a very timely manner when she sent me this link about our journeys.

5 comments:

Tina Donahue said...

Great post, Jane - a writer's journey is rarely an easy one.

I adore your cover for He's the One. It's so beautiful and sexy. Amazing. :)

Liz said...

Lovely post. thanks for sharing your thoughts.

stormiekent said...

Speedy recovery Jane.

jean hart stewart said...

Best of wishes on a speecy recovery. Hope you can read and read in the hospital....

Fiona McGier said...

Best of luck and may you have a skilled surgeon and tender, compassionately caring nurses to speed along your recovery.