It is so rare, but nice, to be able to update history. I wrote this five years ago and much has happened since. I was spurred to write this and to act on it because of the death of my writing partners wife, and years have passed, and a year and a half ago we lost Linda, my husband sister. After this post, I did finish my book, and Linda who worked as a technical editor, edited it for me…but please read the history of this entry first and I will add-on to it at the end.
Remember the movie Dead Poet’s Society, all the students quoting Thoreau about living deliberately and sucking the marrow out of life, standing on their desks in support of Robin Williams/John Keating and his effort to get them to “seize the day,” to write, to live. That is what is on my mind tonight.
Two nights ago my writing partner, William, lost his wife to cancer, and right now I resonate to his loss. Sharon was his love, his life partner, the core of joy for him and she is gone too young, too soon.
Her loss reminds me there are no guarantees for any of us. But so often I have watched friends and family defer their dreams, their ‘bucket list.’ They are ‘too busy’ in the everyday, lost in the weeds, moving forward, but not toward their dreams. I’ve watched them put things off until too late.
That is part of what drives me about my writing. I want this book done, not that being finished trumps being well done, but I don’t want life’s demands to get in my way. It took me years to see that the dream of ‘someday’ writing a book wasn’t going to happen unless I sat down at the computer and wrote a sentence, a paragraph, a page.
If writing is a dream for you, but one that you never quite seem to get to, Carpe Diem. I did. I am not done, but I am close. Ten chapters re-edited. Four more to go. And the secret I learned as I wrote this book was it’s not as grandiose as making a big production or standing on your desk. It’s not the times you pronounce you are ‘writing a book.’ That’s exciting, a real high. But what writing a book is really about is the quiet day-to-day discipline of sitting down and just doing it, a page at a time. The only thing that keeps a dream from becoming a regret, is making yourself live it.
And if your dream is something different, no matter! Carpe Diem, everyone, just do it! That’s write, (or do, or live), right!
…and now, as they say, for the rest of the story. The book is done and has been for a couple of years. But getting bogged down isn’t. Well, some of that has been significant, time spent improving the book. As a new writer, even if I had pretty decent writing skills, there has been a lot to learn.
But this year I told myself I was submitting it to agents. I started out doing that, and of course got a number of rejections…which led to second thoughts…and re-editing.
But time, once again, to climb back into the saddle of the horse that keeps throwing me! How about you? Dreams started but sputtering? They never will happen if we don’t try…let’s do it together.