That empty…

… feeling you get when you think you’ve lost your way? Yeah. I’m feeling it right now.

It’s been three weeks since I’ve been able to do any meaningful work on my “book”. I have to wonder if this is the “old me” coming back. The one that never finished anything. I thought that me was gone, but I really cannot come up with the … the “oomph” to go back to my original piece.

People don’t seem to understand why this is distressing for me. I hear, “You have to put it in a drawer for a while.” I hear “It’ll be years before you get published.” I hear, “It’ll be years before you’re able to get this made into a movie.” I hear “Don’t use pronouns.” No, wait, I read that on a blog. Really, how do I tell a story without pronouns?

But, things like all of those above – they don’t help. Why would a writer have to step away? Why are we so obsessed with one-size-fits-all? And by that I mean, just because putting it in a drawer works for you doesn’t mean it works for me. For me, putting things in a drawer usually means they don’t come out for years. I don’t want to be 60 and trying to do my first book tour. I wanted to be 30 and directing my first movie but that didn’t work out – when I was 30 I was trying to get the heck out of the South. (Sorry, Southerners, but I really dislike that part of the country. Two things – humidity and tornadoes.  ‘Nuff said.)

Maybe the thing that’s bothering me about the drawer, the years, and the even more years is that everyone seems to assume we have oodles of time. Maybe my reaction to these tidbits of advice is the oncoming storm of my mid-life crisis. I could be here when I’m 92, like my Grandmother, or I could get hit by a bus tomorrow. I just think that telling people to sit back on their heels is dumb and maybe I should start telling people that. How does that conversation go?

Them: “Walk away from it for a while.”

Me: “Shove it up your ass.”

Hmm, that dialogue seems a bit uninspired…

Them: “You’ll be querying agents for months and you’ll paper your walls with rejection letters.”

Me: *Blink, blink* *Left eyebrow slowly rises*

Arrrggghhh, where are my snappy comebacks?! (See my post “Letting Someone…” for the meaning of the eyebrow. Fear the eyebrow.)

I know I can’t expect anything more from people than what they know, but I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – The world needs more Encouragers. Not Discouragers. 

The only time I tell people “You can’t do that.” is when what they’re planning will hurt themselves or someone else. And I’m usually fairly diplomatic even then. When my friend told me she was moving far, far away I didn’t say (out loud) “No! You can’t leave me!!” I said, “You’re gonna be great! You can do it!” even though on the inside I’m screeching “When are you coming back? When are you coming baaaaack?” I hope she’s skipping this post… even if she isn’t it is okay because she is being great and doing what she moved away to do. And the project she’s working on is going to be awesome.

I also have that sinking feeling that she hasn’t told me that she’s not coming back…

Cue crisis.

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