Tuesday, May 21, 2013

You've Got Mail--Back to Basics

You've Got Mail is probably one of my all-time favorite movies. This movie got me through a five-week bout of pneumonia in 2001. I literally wore out my VHS tape so the kids bought me the DVD version. Every time I see this movie I come away with another new thought.

This time it was the scene where Kathleen Kelley goes into Fox Bookstore to see what it is that has put her out of business. She climbs the stairs to the Children's section. She sees the rows of books, pillows on the floor, toys kids can play with, and room to spread out. She looks around and is amazed and overwhelmed.

For the first time, I think I felt what she must've felt. The "there's no way I can compete with this" feeling. I think we've all been there.

I know I shouldn't compare myself to others. All of us have such differing circumstances that there's no level ground or even playing field with which to compare. Perhaps the fact that we all have things that pull us from our writing time evens the field.

I think what threw me was going back to work. It's only part time, pays really well and I now have benefits, but I have to sacrifice some of the freedom I had, and I stressed over all of things I thought I had to do to build my writing business.

So... I took some time off from my blog, from my self-imposed deadlines and assignments and started a new journal. It was a way of taking a step back and remind myself of the joy of writing.

Maybe I will never get to the publishable stage in my writing. It's a certainty I will never get there if I quit, but I think I put the cart before the horse. I spent too much time on social networks, giveaways, and reviewing other authors' works, and not enough time practicing the craft.

Seneca, a first century Roman philosopher once said, "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity." (Undoubtedly, that has been changed and retranslated through the centuries) For now, I will be happy in the preparation and someday I will be ready when the opportunity (i.e., stellar novel idea) arises.