What About Me?

January 19, 2006 | Writing

I’m enrolled in a Writer U’s class, entitled Defeat Self-Defeating Behaviors, taught by Margie Lawson. It’s a fantastic class, and she’s a great instructor. We’ve named and identified those behaviors that stop us from writing. Her lectures are clear, easy to understand, and hard to do. I say hard to do because, we have to be honest and confront what is really bothering us. Once identified, we have to plan how we plan to overcome these behaviors to be successful. Yesterday, I was considering becoming a used car sales person. I haven’t totally given up on the possibility, but I made a plan and a commitment to myself to use 2006 to push myself as hard as I can to be a published writer. I want to be published, I intend to be published, which translates into putting my ass in the chair, let it flow, and let it go. Writing is hard, it’s very hard. So is playing tennis at my age, but I do it. I do it well some days and some days I’m lousy, but I keep doing it. I have to concentrate, remember to keep my eye on the ball, remember to turn, remember to follow through on my shots, remember to keep my feet moving, remember that damn ball is 99% of the time coming back. Same with writing, I have to concentrate, I have to have focus on my characters, my dialogue. I have to remember to cut all unnecessary words, I have to remember that as many times as I submit, it’s probably going to come back.

So as I participate in this class and read what others are saying, I hear words my daughter often says to me. “What bout Me?” I hear these words when I’ve bought or done something that didn’t include her. “What About Me?” It’s not like this child has EVER been neglected or mistreated. If your husband, life partner, or children have never said this out loud, listen for the unsaid. I can guarantee you’ve heard it. I thought, “‘What About ME?” What about my writing? What about me having time alone to figure out a plot point? What about me trying to write a synopsis I think will truly engage an agent or potential publisher. What about you not going to the movies, it’ll be out on video in a month, and stay home so I can work?

I’m not trying to say we should totally ignore our families needs, but when you make your daily to do list, where does writing fall? At the top, in the middle, at the bottom? And when you cross off all the things you’ve done that day, do you cross off writing? Or do you put if off until the next day? Balance is extremely important in my life. My Change Coach from Margie’s class, sent me an article about how multi tasking does not make us efficient. It causes us NOT to give a particular task our full attention, because we’re concentrating on more than one task at a time and our brain can’t remember everything. I am trying to stop myself from muti tasking, I may not feel like I’m accomplishing as much, and it might take me longer, but I think my memory cells and brain will appreciate it.

However, I’m pretty sure I can not fold clothes and watch Battlestar Galactica at the same time.

Tomorrow is SCIFI FRIDAY!!

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  1. Yasmine: Karen Whiddon, author, spoke at the NTRWA yesterday. She said she was inspired to get tough with her family after she heard Nora Roberts say, “It all boils down to how badly you want a career as a writer.” Today, Karen has 17 books published (in eight years) and still works full-time at her family-owned insurance company.


  2. Thanks Maya, I think some times we don’t take ourselves as seriously as we want to be taken.


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