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Monday, February 24, 2014


The other day at our tax appointment, our accountant asked me what my long range plan was.  I think she was speaking in terms of my massage business but the only available answer I had was, "I want to write a book, have it become a best seller and get paid a lot to write."

I think she said, "Wow.  That wasn't exactly what I meant."  Or maybe it was, "Okaaaay."  Or perhaps she just mumbled, "CRAZY," under her breath.

Sandi and I have been talking lately about money, work hours, playing catch up after having almost no income for over 2 years.  We would love to build a house someday on the soonish side but to build the kind of house we would want to build would take, well, a sizable advance for, say, a book.  (Unless we want Sandi to work all hours under the sun which we, decidedly, do NOT.)

Now, I am only partly joking here.  Writing a book is something I have toyed with for a long time.  Writing feeds my soul like nothing else and writing a book feels like something I am destined to do.

I began writing my first book when I was eight.  I maybe wrote 30 pages. I started another one when Sandi and I were first together and I was sitting out on the rocks on Beals Island, writing longhand with a pen and notebook.  I worked on it sporadically, at times with more seriousness than others, and I got up to about 150 pages.

Which would have been awesome except it wasn't really awesome at all.

I have about 30 pages of another fiction story I started last year.  It has some potential.  Part of me loves writing fiction and part of me feels like a big faker when I do.  

I said I would write more when the kids were both in school. I said I would do it and not feel badly.  Everything I have read says you need to have a writing schedule.  But I feel like my time is needed cleaning out the house (which still feels like a mess) and doing stuff for the house, for the kids, for our family, tax prep, massage, grocery shopping, etc.   And guess what?  Just like time to care for yourself, there is no time "left over" if you don't carve it out.

There is an exercise I've heard about regarding time.  I think my physics teacher did this in a class once.  You take a big jar and put the most important things to you (symbolized as rocks) in first.  Depending on where you are in your life the rocks could represent school, family, work, self.  Then you put in pebbles to represent the second tier of important things to you.  Lastly you put in sand to represent the things that you care about, but not with as high a priority.  The idea here is that if you put the sand in first, there will be no room for the rocks or pebbles to be put in later.

I would say my rocks are my family, my partnership, being a mom and my own inner journey.  The pebbles are friendship, exercise and writing.  The sand is volunteering, social engagements, fun and having a clean house.

If I make writing is a pebble and I don't put it in before the sand, it will never fit.

We talked some more about getting serious about writing and Sandi encouraged me to find a way to devote 3 hours a day while the kids are at school to concentrated writing.  She also said maybe  I should consider writing more like I do here on the blog, about real things, rather than fiction and that might be the key to finding and sustaining a passion for it.  I think she is dead on.  When I sit to write here it is such a joy and I just write what is in my heart.  There are no rules, no one to impress, nothing to achieve. I just do it because I love it.  (And bless some of you actually read it....)

What would it be like to write a book this way?

I feel excited and relieved. I know how to write like this!  This is not the first time this idea has surfaced.  My mom has said it.  I know of many bloggers who publish books (mostly cook books but still) and that as a reader I gravitate toward real things.  I have also come to terms with the fact that I just may have some things in my own life worth writing about.  God love her,  Sandi even said that she sees me writing me like Elizabeth Gilbert does about her real life experiences and her journey.

(At this point it doesn't even matter if she is lying about that one.  It boosted me and made me feel like it was my duty to write.)

So I'm doing it.  I've sat down twice to write on this project and I have to say procrastination is beckoning me like never before.  Today as I thought about writing, I thought about running an extra mile, doing another set up push ups, cleaning the bathroom first, making a batch of granola bars, going to the school to volunteer at lunch to surprise Maya. I made myself sit down with a cup of tea in the chair and then I found myself checking Facebook and any new deals at Old Navy and finally I had to say out loud, "STOP!  Put it all down and WRITE!"

And I did. I wrote 2 pages.  Then I stopped to tell you about it.  Except I wrote it so I've now been writing for a straight hour.


Kristin said...

First of all, go for it! I always enjoy reading your blog, your writing style is one that I enjoy.

Second of all, I am not sure what you are planning on focusing on, but I do own

if you would be interested in borrowing it. I also happen to know one of the authors and might be able to help get you in contact if you so desire.

If you would like to borrow it, let me know and I can bring it on Thursday.

Darcy Grubaugh said...

If you spend all of your time writing your novel, you might not have the time to write here! I wonder though why she asked you that question. Was she planning something? Were there incentives? Or is she just picking your brain? Either way, it's good that she's interested in your business, so that she can plan her strategy in keeping your accounts; a long-term goal is helpful to prevent hiccups down the road.
Darcy Grubaugh @

Jeannine Hamlin said...

Do it, do it, doooooo it!! I would be one of the first in line to buy and I think you should write like you do in your blogs - soooo very entertaining and you make us all (or at least me) feel more human!

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