Yes, you can write a book, or another. It really starts with desire, a strong sense of purpose and a lot of tenacity. I'm on the 'another' category and it's feeling really grand to be completing the project, although every day I say I'm done and it's never quite. But close enough tonight. I admit to a strong sense of accomplishment!
Sometimes you just have to test yourself, push yourself beyond limits. Some limits, maybe most limits are self-imposed. For example, I never got my doctorate. I had plenty of degrees and certainly, the degree of life. But I always wanted that doctorate and never did it. I had a bunch of valid at the time reasons. Until tonight I never considered that a regret, and still don't.
I was honored to be a servant leader, school principal in a very challenging, soul fulfilling situation. Grants, community boards. So busy. There was no nearby university program, I had four kids at home, etc. What I did instead was fulfllling to my strong sense of life purpose. I kept helping the kids! That's what I was supposed to do. And so I did. But now I wonder, despite the distance, despite the time away from our school and our home, why didn't I make that extra effort?
I always knew my primary purpose in life was to write. I wanted to be a professional writer. Back then women most likely had two careers to pick from, teaching and nursing. My mother, an avid reader, and father, a businessman suggested I should teach instead, for the security. Truth. Like watching an old t.v. show.
But I was teaching little kids since about six years old anyway, and loved watching Romper Room on Saturday mornings, with Miss Jo Ann the perfect teacher model. And so I did, too. I took my magic mirror and saw lots of kiddos through it. Those who can, teach.
I wrote a bunch of books along the way, not exactly at the level of Grisham, but pretty well received at the time, now all out of print. I've got my last book up on Amazon, and my new one on the way. I'm planning one more, my memoirs. But I am burned out and need a break.
To write, you generally need to team up with reading, as go-togethers. I really believe the more you read, the better you write. We write to inform. We write to persuade. We write to entertain. We write to share. We write to learn. We write for our own catharsis. We write because we have to. That's me.
Writing is like breathing to me. Mostly joyous. It can also be painful, challenging, like stepping on legos, barefoot.
Writing keeps me awake at night, wakes me up, keeps me up. Makes me want to grab one of my bedside pads of paper and a pen. Or I forget. I wake up and discover my great thoughts have drifted away like gentle wisps on leaves swaying in the breeze.
I decided to write another book, thinking it would help me recover from my recent illness. Not only that, but I decided one wasn't enough, two would be better. Right, And then I promised to write two titles in one year and complete both by right about now. Well, that obviously didn't happen. However, that kept me on a writing schedule, helped me budget my time, stay focused and goal oriented. It appears I will have one done in six months. And that dear readers, is a miracle. So I am celebrating. And if I can do it, so can you! For starters:
- Get organized, however it works best for you, but have a plan for your writing.
- I am not writing to suggest the routes you should take to publish your book, I am posting this missive to encourage you to follow your dream, writing whatever makes you happy and fulfilled. The rest, just details, important, yes, but details.
- The main thing is to just start writing. Now would be a great time. When you have something worth saying and want your voice heard, write.
- Purpose and passion keep you going when obstacles pop up. It's worth the effort.
- Make friends with a writing coach or mentor, online support. I have a community of proof readers, critics, mentors.
- Self-care and balance matter. I have an 'F'. Writing makes me really driven.
- Write every day, even for short periods. Take breaks. When do you write best?
- Set deadlines, to keep a target and on pace. If you don't meet the deadline, change it but keep going.
- Celebrate your successes, little ones become big ones.
- And if someone does criticize you, that's ok, part of the package, think about it, move on.
I love to write, to share my hopes and dreams, my shattered ideals taped together sometimes, like all of us in the human condition. I break some writing rules to fit my needs as a unique artist, Haiku fitting my style along with a staccato beat. Sometimes I write in complete sentences, with no dangling modifiers, probably not often enough.
What I hope I do is write my from my heart, offering hacks, success recipes based on a lot of life, breadth and depth of experiences. Looking at my legacy now, maybe you are too.
As I finish my book, I am filled with gratitude to the higher power for sparing me and shedding grace and light. I am grateful I am able to think and write on this old mac.
My #Oneword2019 is Celebrate, so thanks for putting on your party hats and let's rock! Your turn to write a book!
Leaving footprints on your reading hearts, Rita