"By taking small, seemingly insignificant actions in the direction of our goals and dreams (baby steps), we can quickly create changes which not only lessen the symptoms of depression but can also bring more energy, hope and vitality into our daily lives." Michael Neill
"I write because I love it. I just think it's the most fun a person can have... I am not one of those agonized people who thinks, 'Well, I hate it, but I must.' I love it and I must." Ann Packer
On my annual New Year's Eve writing date with Ryan Seacrest (used to be Dick Clark), I convinced myself to start pitching to magazines again. This is about the third time in my life that I've made a serious decision to break into the field where I'm told the money is. I blasted off a number of e-queries this month, and was surprised how much I enjoyed coming up with the topics and crafting the letters. When I ran out of ideas, I decided to go to the library to search through the 2008 Writer's Market and the latest issue of The Writer magazine. My intentions were good, but instead of searching through all of the new markets, and jotting down contact information, I got caught up in an article by novelist, Ann Packer. Reading her personal account of how she spent a decade on her first novel, and how it went through a thousand revisions over that time, I began to feel like my true dream was not out of reach. She too gave birth and raised two children while she wrote and revised and pitched and revised and eventually sold and became a bestseller of The Dive from Clausen's Pier. She too stole bits of time whenever she could and struggled to balance the life of family and writing. I paused over the article, said a prayer, and pushed the reference books and magazines away. Then I opened my notebook to write a new scene for my second novel.
You see, I've known for a while that I want to write books and stories and personal essays, not magazine articles. I'm not the type of person to seek out medical experts or make cold call interviews. I am the type who, like Ann Packer, "likes to be alone and who loves language and is consumed with questions about how people operate." Regardless of this realization, as the quote of my website confirms, "Creating a dream is like raising a child." I know I have to support it until it can support itself, and this is something I've been accepting more and more in the last few months. As I wait for news from my agent, it feels like God has me in a holding pattern. Though I become impatient some days, I made a commitment a few months ago to fall back in love with my "working" life as well. I gave up my long term editing post (and the security CES provided), in order to make room for work that would stimulate my creativity. It was because of this risk that I found www.english-avenue.com, where the first section of my 36-part reading series for young learners is already published. Next month I'll be embarking on a new and exciting project for www.englishclub.com
And, with my revisions back in the hands of my agent I am happy to report that, The Guestbook, my novel-in-progress, is...back in progress.