Mental Shift

Mental Shift Blog Post

Writing’s a solitary activity. As Stephen King says, “Write with the door closed.”

That’s the initial process, at least. Close out the world and let the story reign. But then the book’s written and it either sits alone and unshared, or the writer must crack the door open.

With trembling fingers, she opens the door a bare inch and the feedback comes rolling in. Good, bad, ugly, tear worthy, but then, as before, the writer either sits on the feedback, letting it fester, or the writer continues forward, opening the door an inch wider.

On down the path the writer goes until she looks back and realizes, the door’s no longer on its hinges and the story can’t be shoved into the privacy of her room even if she wanted it to be.

This is the publishing process.

The scary, thrill filled process that takes a story from its initial secluded setting to something that can be enjoyed for years to come. Writing may be solitary, but publishing is not. And I’m coming to realize it shouldn’t be.

My stubborn side wants to resist, wants to insist that I, the writer, can do it all by my lonesome self. The world does not work that way, however. It’s an interconnected muddle of human activity that can be both intimidating and fulfilling.

As I’ve dug into the ins-and-outs of publishing so far, I’m coming to cherish the muddle. There are connections I didn’t even realize I had, connections that span more years than I care to calculate, that are now coming into play. People are insanely generous. They want to help, and my stubborn internal idiot needs to step aside, humble itself, and continue asking those people for their amazing talents.

In a nutshell, that’s how I’ve found my editor, both illustrators, the amazing woman who is working on my book trailer and so many other people.

Going from the solitary writer, drinking her coffee in her writing cave, to the socially connected Independant-publisher is a difficult shift, especially for a self proclaimed introvert. But as with all my dreams so far, I cannot achieve them on my own. And it’s wholly more satisfying to share the journey with others.

Share the journey, the adventure, no matter what your dreams are. What adventures have you experienced lately?




Meet Murphy

Meet Murphy. He’s a special kind of guy who doesn’t quite fit the acquaintance category but definitely doesn’t get put into the friendship realm. He’s like a house guest that you try to ignore because when you look at him he engages you in a long, drawn out conversation without focus. You see, Murphy’s last name is Law.

And if you look him up, you’ll find  he lives at the anything that can go wrong, will go wrong address.

A little over a week ago I wrote about being intentional with your time and I suggested an exercise in writing down your day to see where your time goes.

My exercise went like this:

I met a friend to walk the farmer’s market and eat breakfast. This took all morning. Considering I hadn’t seen this friend in over a year, this makes complete sense.

Then I headed home to work on writing. Except I got a call to pick up wax paper and crisco for my husband’s baking project. This should have been a warning to hide out somewhere out of sight but I missed it.

By the time I got home, my husband was on his second attempt of his cappuccino cake. I handed over his missing items and set up shop to write.

Couple sentences in I was asked to help mix something…

Let’s just make this story short and say baking at over 9,000 feet of elevation can do some wacky things. Six attempts later, my husband had a finished product to take to his work’s pot luck and I had two, two sentence paragraphs written. (To be fair, my husband also made a cake for the family, so he made two cakes. Yum=)). I closed my computer and gave up for the day.

Why? Not because I couldn’t have written more but because, at a certain point, you must breathe and accept life will throw you curve balls. Plus, I fully believe in Stephen King’s view on this. He says:

“In truth, I’ve found that any day’s routine interruptions and distractions don’t much hurt a work in progress and may actually help it in some ways. It is, after all, the dab of grit that seeps into an oyster’s shell that makes the pearl…” -Stephen King On Writing

So the thing isn’t to be hidebound to a schedule but to have a schedule but not beat ourselves up over the distractions that will happen.

Instead, keep the goal in mind with the steps to get there. A goal without steps is, after all, just a dream. So have the goal and steps and, when Mr. Murphy interferes, tell him ‘that’s nice’ and get back on the horse the next day.

Persistence is the thing I’ll add to being intentional. As William Feather said: “Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go.”

So here’s to hanging on and striving toward our dreams, I mean goals=)