• If I Rush the Story, I Might Give up a Part of Myself

    When I used to write, I did it because it was a my little world to enjoy. I started young, I needed a place to escape and writing and reading provided me with a somewhere to allow my thoughts to roam and blossom. With reading, I traveled around the world, I lived through historic events; I felt the cold and hunger of those less fortunate and lived like royalty. There was a whole world waiting for me.

    Then I learned to print. I moved onto cursive writing, took typing on old manual typewriters that jammed the keys and had the ribbons dry out to become faded glory. When personal computers arrived on the scene, I owned almost one of the first models. I can't program my VCR, I don't want an I-phone because I don't have the time to figure out how to answer it. But I learned to operate a computer when the only way to communicate with it was using DOS language and Windows were still just something to look out.

    And all of this developed because I wanted to write. I endured countless recriminations for not focusing on proper letter structure because I could have cared less about the individual letters, I wanted to connect the words. I wanted to write stories. Expressing myself verbally was never a strong point since my reading comprehension exceeded my speaking ability. So I may have known that I could obliterate someone with my writing, but I was obviously incapable of pronouncing those words. So I took up the pen to celebrate the entire spectrum of vocabulary. I even read dictionaries for enjoyment.

    Yet writing is often the purview of the bright, attentive students, not the troublemakers in the back of the room, passing notes and shooting spitballs. So aside from one or two English teachers, who may have seen through my ruse of the class clown or troublemaker, no one took my passion for writing very seriously. It was just one more oddity added to my ever growing list.

    It did not matter all that much. I did it anyway. As long as I read, I learned, I researched. And then I took the information I learned turned truth into stories. Some came from my experiences, others from my dreams, and some came from my passionate imagination where I lost myself in a place in time, a situation, and told the story from the visions of it.

    So it turned out that the first book I published, was a little personal. It was part of my own experiences, enhanced by age and spiced with a little extra. But in publishing that first story, came the realization that I had to get word out about the book. I had to promote. A horrifying concept for a writer who was content with obscurity as long as I could keep creating stories. And the most frightening thing about that realization was that it required time.

    I don't have a lot of that. I abandoned television years ago. But I have to work, daily at a job that is best left without description. I have a huge yard, with gardens, lawns and all sorts of projects. I have my beloved pets, who I discovered were secretly plotting to take over the household. They have succeeded, I am getting well trained to fall for the look of pity and wistfulness, as they pretend their neglect. So they get more walks, scratches, hugs, brushing, etc. I surrender a little more of my valuable time.

    But I promised a sequel and though it was complete at one time, with some advice, I concluded it needed parts rewritten. That is always demanding because to change a portion of a story, means I must change my vision of it. I write from instinct, from years of placing myself into places and times. I live through the stories as a diversion from the day to day demands of life.

    So something has to give, and its a tough choice. Given a free choice, the job would go in a heartbeat. But unfortunately, I was not endowed with any great wealth and I am the sole income producer in my little happy world. So alas, that's not an option. One thing I will never give up is the quality of my work. I owe it to my readers, and mostly its the one thing in my life that I need to do for me. I have to give it my best because its been a part of me for so long. If I let my writing begin to slip, then it may be a sign of the downhill slope for everything else.

    And there are things that can't go untended in the homestead. Naturally the critters won't stand for anything less than full attention. The housework has already suffered--eh, just keep company on the patio. But when my little dog gets lost in the grass and the path through the garden becomes something more like a walk through the Amazon jungle, then I have to concede to those demands too.

    So I don't know what will be the end result. It may be nothing more than a delay in publishing. If so, then at least I'll be happy with what I put out. It maybe that something great will happen and somehow I'll find a willing hand to help put things in order around here. Or if miracles really do happen, maybe somehow, I'll get rich enough to take an early retirement. Yeah, well, its okay to dream about that too.

    The only thing I know, is that writing will be a part of me always. If it takes a bit longer to make myself happy with the end result, know that I have given it my best. That's my reward for writing, for having one little place where I can always grow and improve. The ultimate challenge because I always know I can get better, learn more, and hopefully pass it on to others. It is that place I need to reach for so that I never grow stale or become too complacent. Now if I can only be granted the patience to accept that, too.

    1 Comment

    • 1. Sep 29 2013 2:41PM by D.S. Taylor

      I'm very much part of the 'only publish when you are completely happy with it' school

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