Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Battle Between The Old, The New, and The Right Now

I love to build my life in The New.

I strive for it, in fact, because The New is where I'm most comfortable. All of it. I want it all from new pants to new zip codes to new story ideas. It's weird, I guess, that I like new more than old. But I think it's all part of my wanderlust. I like new places, new people, new adventures, new horizons to pursue. (I'll chase them anywhere! There's time to spare!) I need it.

When things feel old, used, experienced, I get bored. I run.

And then there are other times, like right now in my life, where I've been running toward The New for years and now I have it all (new agent, new books coming out, new projects to edit, new jobs, new people and place to live and new responsibilities and new events...so much new.) And you know what I'm learning?

I'm freaking tired.

That's something new for me right there: I don't really like to admit to being tired. To being run-down, or needing a break. And it's ironic that in the one moment where I can admit I do, I can't stop. I can't take a break. I have deadlines, crazy exciting ones, but deadlines nonetheless. And stress and normally, I'd run. I'd be gone in a second, but I have big ideas that make me stuck exactly where I am locationally for months more. And I can't run.

I. Can't. Run.

So there's no easy solution for me to seek out The New. No out. Except facing it, and not being sucked in to this trap of old and bored. And ultimately realizing that there's are lessons to learn from The Old. I may not want to see them, but I should if I ever want to learn balance, commitment and achieve comfort in The Right Now.

This feeling of The New being more exciting (or whatever) than all the rest. I want the new ideas, the new opportunities, the next step. I want them so much that sometimes it's hard to stop and really relish in The Right Now. Why?

Because The Right Now can be scary.

It is scary. Even in the midst of how amazing it's going to be later, it's hard Right Now.

I've been dealing with that in my writing life too. (A LOT.)

This month alone I have edited two books (not including my SHP/C projects) and am starting the third!

One is DAYS LIKE THIS, which I'm tweaking for my agent. I did that early in September and then just heard today that I have one more thing to flesh out. Something that I feel is a weak point of mine as writer, but that doesn't mean I can ignore it. It means facing it, and fixing it. That's hard for me. Especially because I don't like to admit when things are difficult. This is when, in other cases, I'd avoid or accept it as "good enough" because it's easier than admitting my weakness. (Yes, I know it's horrible but it's true.)

Then, I finished my third round of revisions for SALT -- and during that time, I felt like I was still fixing pieces that I'd been fixing since the very first draft. It wasn't new; it was frustrating. I understand the editing process, and I love it, but sometimes I hate it, too. Sometimes, I want to throw my hands up and declare that I'm done forever! But I know when I get notes back I'll apply them again. Because I want my book and my readers to have more than that.

After a one day break I got edits for FOLLOW ME THROUGH DARKNESS, and that book is certainly not new. That book has been with me forever. Longer than forever. And yet, I still have things to fix, and I will fix them. (This is editing, folks!) I have to do it -- and want to do it! And I have to do them while balancing New jobs and a New schedule and another edit!

See? This is when I'd dive into my glorious fall TV schedule and never come out.

I also have two more books due by the end of the year. Is that going to happen? It's hard to say. And I have one shiny new that I want to write but shouldn't. (and won't.)

In the midst of all that, two of my CPs have just had babies!! I'm so happy for them, I am, but the really selfish part of me misses them and needs them. I'm finding that I have to depend on other people, and even more on myself, which is something that I used to do a whole lot more before I had CPs or an agent or any of this amazing stuff I do now.

And it is amazing. I know it is. I'm beyond thrilled and sometimes I have to pinch myself because of all of it that's happening. That's the best part of trying to be in the Right Now: it's full of all these adventures that I'll never get to experience ever again. 

Basically, many aspects of where I am Right Now have been enlightening.

We (I) work hard to finish a book because "when this is done I will __" and we think that the revisions or the agent or the sale equals The End. It doesn't. It's just the beginning of a whole new process. One that is never easy and can feel unending, but one day, it does end. I can't wish it away because I will never get it back.

I guess that's the other thing that I'm learning (personally and professionally): I can build my life in The New as much as I want to, but if I don't accept The Old or The Right Now then I'll never enjoy The New. And I'll reach out for it, seek it, chase after it forever and never be happy.


Because there's only the Right Now.

And it's ours to do with as we please.

So I'm going to go do edits....

Where do you most comfortable: in The Old, The New, or The Right Now?

  photo 90e8891e-3b5f-4e5a-8ca7-70a9846bad3d_zpse6c804e5.jpg 


  1. Hmm, tough question. Not really sure...though I like to try and appreciate The Right Now, as who knows how long The Right Now can last. But looking forward to The New makes The Right Now even more fun. Yikes, now I've gone and confused myself, lol!

  2. I think writers often spend so much time living in the future that it's easy to forget to appreciate the Right Now. I'm trying to stop doing that and to stop and appreciate the moment - being intensely goal-driven, this is a bit of a challenge for me! It sounds like you've accomplished a lot! :)

  3. I love change. I embrace change. And yet, I'll be headed into a new writer phase (content edits!) and I'm scared and anxious about it. The new is scary, but that's what makes it fun.