Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Time for My Trial By Fire

Vase with flowers, Santa Fe
For many years, I've been saying I was going to write a book. In fact, I started gathering deep background as early as 2009. However, in the spirit of someone I quoted earlier, who advised me "don't quit your day job," I've dawdled, marketed other work, created two books that were definitely NOT mine, and acted as publisher for them.

Now, an advisor tells me, "you're always complaining that you're undervalued in the workplace, that people aren't fair to you. Maybe it's time for you to be fair to yourself." This individual, while he has done many other things, supports himself as an artist. I took his comment to heart and I've spent some time recently doing additional research to flesh out my book. However, prior to that, I'd agreed to help a friend with a project that is important to her. I was feeling uncomfortable about it, but I realized that in order to do what my advisor had challenged me to do, I would have to back out of my friend's project. I sent her a quick email before leaving town for a week, promising to explain when I returned.

Then, I went to Albuquerque to do some research. The research took only a fraction of the time I spent up north. The rest of it I spent visiting friends I hadn't seen for years and spilling my guts about  my book. I guess I'm thinking if I talk about it, that will help to make it real. I certainly hope so. Now, if I don't do it, I will have shamed myself in front of my friends! (But I do believe talking about it helps make it real. I just have to keep telling myself I'm a writer and act accordingly.)

My advisor told me to begin by writing for two hours a day. I didn't time myself today, so I can't prove that I didn't meet my goal. However, it's a start. Blogging had better count (and who's to say that I am not the one who should decide that?) This is where I get to share the frustrations I encounter along the way, the fresh hell of "auto-correct," and test ideas I want to include in the book. Which leads to my next blog post: using one's writing as a way to promote social change. Look out, guys, you could be the next target.

(c) Beth Morgan 3/3/15