The first part of this week’s Wednesday Whine is a love letter to all of my followers: you are wonderful and I treasure each of you. It may not seem that way based on my spotty response lately to those of you kind enough to consistently ‘like’ or comment on my blog posts. Still, I assure you that your support means the world to me. In fact, here’s a kiss from me to you.
Don’t I bear a remarkable resemblance to Marilyn Monroe? In case you’re wondering, Mr. Loveton looks a lot like George Clooney. And our overweight, miniature dachshunds look very much like killer German Shepherds. And if you believe any of this, I also have a bridge I’d like to sell you.
But I digress…
I’m not certain how much of my life I’ve shared with you. Those of you who have listened to me whine (something I tend to do a lot of) realize I have a very busy job working for the General Counsel of a large global company. I like my work; I find it interesting and rewarding. I also find that it takes away much of my available time for writing. At the end of a typical work day, I tend to fall into bed, exhausted from having helped put out ‘fires’ that flared up during the course of the day. I’m not griping. I’m blessed to have a wonderful job and colleagues who bring a smile to my face. And then there’s the paycheck… which also brings a smile to my face.
Even so, the past several months were very hectic as we prepared for our annual shareholders’ and board meetings. The months leading up to them were fast-paced and busy, involving a lot of pre-meeting work. It was a pretty demanding time for me.
While all this was going on, I was often too tired at the end of a day to do more than read a few chapters of a book before bedtime – or watch a Netflix episode of my latest guilty pleasure, the now-canceled science fiction show, Fringe. I hate to admit it, but my laptop stayed shut most evenings while my writing magazines gathered dust in what used to be loosely termed Kate’s Writing Room.
Malaise? I had it big time.
I became a walking and talking encyclopedia of whiny self-justifications for why I wasn’t writing. I blamed it on exhaustion; on the dismal, wintry weather we were experiencing; on a schedule that left me little time for anything other than work, chores and complaints.
Then I was taken in hand by a member of the Stiff Upper Lip Club.
During one of our SKYPE sessions, I mentioned (not for the first time) to Heather B. Costa that I was too tired to do much of anything. I’d stopped writing flash fiction on my blog and felt too mentally challenged to even draft a blog piece. All I wanted to do was eat cookies and watch old sci-fi shows. Oh, woe is me!
Dear friend Heather, staunch Brit that she is, gave me her best ‘Queen Elizabeth look’ and shook her head reprovingly. In a stern voice that would have made Winston Churchill weep, she looked me in the eye and said, “Maybe you need to get your finger out of your butt and just start writing.”
Actually, she put it a bit more colorfully than that, but you get the general idea.
Wow. Slap me again, girlfriend – ’cause I really needed to hear that message! As they used to say in my granny’s Baptist church, “Preach it, Sistah!”
Lord have mercy!
And you know what? Heather was right. (Just don’t tell her I said so… it may go to her head.)
But the truth is that sometimes, in spite of how you’re feeling and the circumstances surrounding you, you just gotta take your finger out of your butt and get back into the game.
The British understand this: after all, these are the people who once amassed an empire so great that the sun never set on it. They are also the people who stood up to Hitler when much of the world sat around twiddling their thumbs. So when Heather, staunch Brit and Stiff Upper Lipper that she is, offers me her best Sir Winston impersonation, saying, “Nevah give up, nevah, nevah, nevah,” I tend to pay attention.
So, finger out of butt, here I am, finally regaining my mojo. I’ve started posting flash fiction again on my blog. I’m trying to catch up with my book reviews. I’m setting aside time to work on stories that I hope to submit to publications. I even have a few projects planned with my favorite Brit.
Best of all, I finally wiped the dust off my writing magazines and I’ve found my way back to Kate’s Writing Room.
I’m feeling pretty darned good about it, too. So remember, when you experience a writing funk, you gotta pull your finger out of your butt and just keep on writing.
And nevah, nevah, nevah give up.