Monday, April 17, 2017

The Noveling Journey

cr: Diter Laskowski
This past weekend I spent 10+ hours in a minivan with four small children. One of those children is only eighteen months old. On top of being squirmy, said child had started antibiotics for an ear infection only the day before. He can also scream very loud.

As one must do with such an experience, I tried to find the positive. It was either that or breakdown and sob which wouldn't do anyone good. What I came to realize in the anxiety to and from my destination, was that I had been going about noveling all wrong. And trust me, it wasn't a negative thought.

One thing I know about road trips is that if I want to get somewhere, I have to keep going. Stopping at Buc-ee's is really fun. It's great to stretch my legs and buy myself some beaver nuggets, but it's not going to get me anywhere. The longer I hang out at Buc-ee's, the later I'll show up.

Writing is the same. Not for everyone, but for me it is.

Social media is great. I actually love it. Getting to interact with readers, friends, family, and other writers while still in my yoga pants is a form of heaven for an extrovert who can't leave the house all day thanks to toddlers. But it isn't helping when it's time to sit down and write.

There's still time for it, and it is important, but not when it comes to actually working.

Every time I stop, I'm not getting any closer to finishing. That ten minute break I tell myself I'm taking on Facebook inevitably turns into a half hour and all my writing time is gone.

When I started this blog six years ago (six years ago today!) I named it A Writer's Journey because I knew that's what it would be. I knew it was going to be full of long stretches where nothing interesting happens, and amazing sights, and lots of bumps. Somehow I've lost touch with that feeling. It was all so new then and I looked forward to getting somewhere.

cr: Vladislav Zhuk
What I didn't know is that there is no somewhere in writing. If you think you've arrived you're at a dead end. It doesn't stop with being published. It doesn't end with making money. It's something that becomes part of a person and can only separated with emotional pain equivalent to chemo.

So, I'll keep writing, and from now I on, I'll try to make less stops.


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