Hard work is consuming all my energy. Fun seems to be stolen moments these days. There are so many different things to think about that at times I find myself double guessing every decision I make on this trip down writing career lane. It’s not the writing itself that concerns me but rather the constant accommodations I make for the writing and those that I don’t. It’s the same problem most people face when trying to fit in what they need to do in their working lives with their family and social demands.
For instance I just missed a wonderful opportunity to attend the RWA conference in Brisbane. This is the Romance Writers of Australia creating an ambiance of fun and learning and mutual support, a very rewarding experience. Of course I worried about the cost, the travel and accommodation and generally fitting it when I have children spread so many kilometres apart to visit, bills to pay, work, you know the usual. Suddenly this year became next year.
I have attended many workshops and gone to writers’ festivals but mixing socially and attending workshops for a couple days in one gigantic writing environment is on a different scale. So far in my writing, dare I call it career, I haven’t had the chance to attend a conference but just recently a post by Shayla Eaton caught my eye. She had attended a conference in Dallas and was thanking people for all the things she learned. . The feel of her post was very positive; of course it was because she’d had a boost of people in the same boat straight into her bloodstream. It, this injection of like-mindedness was running around, adrenaline directed, to become bee buzzingly motivating, and feeding writer strength and belief and confidence.
The strange thing was that as I read I realised her points applied as much to life as they did to writing. For instance, the fact that people “are looking for a novel that inspires them—not a perfect one” and that “perfect is the enemy of done” made a real impact. In striving for perfection in our lives enough is never enough. Having the home, the car, the toys, the travel, the kids activities, social media, attending the gym, meditating – goodness the list is vast, or should I say endless. These are just things to do, to have but do they sustain us? Don’t misunderstand; these are good things in their place. But, do they sustain us and keep us going? The older I get the more convinced I am that is inspiration that energises us and gives us balance. It pushes us to re-evaluate our decisions in terms of the real world constantly.
So if perfect prevents the doing then providing inspiration in our books is vital. Reminding people that living is more important than having is something to strive for and this slid right into the next point. “Don’t be afraid to show the world your book. They need to see it.” Remember this was a writer’s conference but writing is about life and all this means is we shouldn’t fear showing who we are and what we are capable of. If we have this courage then surely it will inspire others in their own fields. Too often we seem to be afraid to show people what we do because we fear their rejection, their criticism. We shouldn’t. The world needs to see the struggle and the end product. If it’s not to their liking it doesn’t matter. Accepting the challenge and getting to the finish line is what counts. The rest is individual taste and in this we differ.
And why shouldn’t we differ? It is natural to feel differently about things. It feeds the rhythm of our lives, keeps us moving to the beat. There is nothing like finding and being surrounded by like-minded people, exchanging ideas and sharing experiences to keep us up-lifted. I think my energy level would be higher if I had attended that conference.
Years ago I missed a dear friend’s wedding and I also missed the things she had planned us to share pre-wedding, silly things, girly things. Whilst I know she did understand I think I missed a chance to really connect in a way that was special. See I knew the rocky path it took her to get there first hand. I missed a rare opportunity for me to be inspired by what can happen. I missed a chance to sustain her buoyancy.
I have finally finished the editing bar some small housekeeping bits and pieces and am ready for my re-uploading. In fact I am hoping that the next two weeks will have the finished product out there in print as well as the polished version of the eBook. But I might have had the support of fellow writers and their advice had I gone to the conference, something I am sorely missing at the moment. Sometimes our choices are a quandary best not reflected upon.
I’d rather leave on a positive note and share some very good reading for you romantics out there. These are a couple of books that have kept my spirits up while I keep working hard. They have inspired me to choose inspiration every time.