Thursday, May 30, 2013

She Stood in the Storm...

She stood in the storm, and when the wind did not blow her way,
she adjusted her sail.
-Elizabeth Edwards


I remembered this quote after I wrote yesterday's blog post. I'd reread my words and realized that it was time to adjust my sail. I was already tired of feeling like the kid standing in front of a carousel, wanting to get on, but who can only watch the painted horses go round and round. I'd symbolically licked my index finger and put it up, searching for a breeze and yesterday, I didn't find a breeze. I don't do whiny and victim well, so writing out my feelings really helped me.

I decided that I would adjust my sail and find that damn breeze because I know it's out there. There's plenty of breeze to go around, I just have to find it and keep adjusting accordingly.

When I began my first novel, I was the kid who sits on a large piece of cardboard, giddy and eager to go down the snowy hill that glistens in front of her. The anticipation and adrenaline of seeing my novel published and read by family, friends and strangers really kept me going. I didn't know diddly squat about the publishing business, but I had high hope that my story was fresh and unique enough for publication and representation. The momentum was great.

But sometimes, we hit a patch of ice that derails us or we hit a patch where the snow has melted and the grass is growing, forcing our piece of cardboard to come to a dead halt. We keep scooting forward, hoping to find that momentum again and sometimes, we just don't find it. I'm not sure if my piece of cardboard came to a dead stop yesterday OR maybe I stopped it. Yesterday, I was frustrated and overwhelmed. I got tired of the false starts,  rejection and seemingly, dead ends with my novel.

In 2006, I went through a marital separation, a trans-Atlantic move with my kids back to the US, and I divorced. I'd turned 50 and worked full-time while going back to school part-time. I'm no quitter. I've come through adversity and challenges with flying colors (to me) and I don't shy away from the road less traveled. I finish what I start.

This sounds like a pep talk, doesn't it? Well, sometimes you have to talk yourself into believing that you can do it. Fake it until you make it, they say. But, I'm not faking it--I'm doing it. I do, however, have to remind myself that I'm tough, tenacious, and that I've accomplished great things in my life. I've lived an interesting life here and abroad and I still have visions of adventures, living overseas, traveling, sharing in my kid's happy moments, and of holding my future grandchildren. There's a lot left to experience and I'm excited for the future with my children and my future as a writer and published novelist.

The writer's life isn't an easy road to navigate and the publishing world is even tougher. It's a lonely life at times, but I love it. I moved to WV to be able to write full-time and I've done just that. I received lovely comments and emails after I posted yesterday's blog post and I say THANK YOU. Two friends, both published authors, came forward to give me encouragement, support and virtual hugs. I needed them!

I went out with a good friend last night who has come through difficulties and adversity in her personal and professional life. She called out of the blue and didn't take no for an answer when she suggested we go out. I tried to beg off, saying my hair didn't look great and that my jeans were dirty (true), but she ignored me. "Be ready in 10 minutes, I've already left the house," she said.  Okay, then! In that situation, I faked it until I made it. I really didn't want to go out.

During our catching up, I realized that my friend had needed the night out as much as I had. We kept thanking each other for the fun evening and vowed not to allow ourselves to get bogged down with the small stuff. And, that we have to get out every now and then!

This morning, I realized that I'd brought down my sail yesterday. I'd folded it carefully and put it away. Self-preservation? Perhaps it was. But, I've decided to unfold and raise that sail again today. I'm adjusting my sails toward small presses for my novel. I'm pleased that many big name agents have asked to see sample chapters of my novel. That shows me that I'm on the right path. I just have to keep adjusting my sails until I hit my stride by rewriting and making my novel the best it can be.

Good luck to all the writers out there! Hang in there, I know it's tough and you're not alone. Praying for smooth seas and lots of wind for us! I have renewed faith today. It's fragile, but it's there.

Thanks again to the writers who came forward yesterday, fanning my sails for me when I just couldn't catch a damn breeze :)

Peace and love to you,
Ellie


2 comments:

  1. Loved this encouraging post. Your quote reminded me of a similar quote by Louisa May Alcott -- "I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship." Sending hugs and love your way. Jasmine

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  2. Thank you, Jasmine! I love that quote, never heard it before :) I have renewed faith and energy this morning, onward I go! Hope you are well, girlfriend! I send you hugs xxx

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