Getting Down to Business

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Ah, the art of juggling too many projects at the same time.

Christmas is almost upon us and there is a lot to do; what’s new?

I want to go outside and enjoy nature, especially now that the frost is beginning to thaw and the sun is about to grace us with its light.

I also need to do household chores, edit my book and continue with my novel. Oh yes…and continue trying to build this platform, although I keep losing my hammer and my nails go missing.

How do we get that book written when there are so many distractions?

What do you do when you reach a plateau but you desperately want to move the novel along? How do you proceed if you are unsure of the direction in which the plot will go?

I am not a plotter, either in real life or in fiction. Okay, that’s not quite true. I do have a vague idea of where my new novel is going, but I must not make the mistake of having too many characters and too much going on in the story. This is my challenge; I am so easily distracted. In fact, it’s amazing that I have already finished two books, even if I haven’t attempted to have them published yet.

Perhaps I’m a perfectionist? I want them to be as perfect as they can be before I send them out there. Even choosing the artwork for the cover is no easy task for me.

I don’t know what you should do, but what I do is wait until the muse graces me with a visit. While that might sound a tad poetic, it is the truth.

We are living in times of over-stimulation of the senses. Never before have we had such a glut of choice. Live the dream, says the positive voice. But a whisper from another source tells me there are far too many fish in the pond. The top of the mountain is looming above me and the climb to the top is arduous.

And yet…we have so much knowledge at our fingertips. Research is easier than it ever was. The hardest thing is not to lose your own voice and to remain authentic, especially with all the do’s and don’ts of how and what to write. I swear, they can tangle up your brain.

One of the first books I read on writing was Write What You Know by Brenda Ueland. The message was simple and the book was inspiring. I often think of Bram Stoker writing Dracula. He had never been to Transylvania and yet, when he transported us to a world of his imagination he managed to create a truly spooky atmosphere. I was hooked. Or James Joyce…his stream-of-consciousness style of writing was new at the time, and he was rejected by many publishing houses. Now look at him…when I was in Italy back in the 80’s, when people found out I was Irish, they said ‘Ah, James Joyce.’ I cannot understand, for the life of me, how they managed to translate his works into other languages. But he writing is unique!

Maybe it’s time to set priorities. Speak to the hand, I say. Re-set the buttons every day. Take a few moments every morning to realign with your purpose. Jump into the vision of holding that book in your hand and step into the process of writing. Let the words flow and keep on going until you get back on track. Don’t listen too much to what others tell you. Yes, we must learn the craft of writing, but the voice must be our own.

No more wasting time, I say. I can do this. But first, there’s the dog to be walked, the ironing to be done, the Christmas cards to be made and written; I could go on and on.

But I have promises to keep
and miles to go before I sleep…

Excerpt of poem by Robert Frost