Trying to Find the Time and Motivation to Succeed:

With only six and a half chapters left until my novel is completed, the only thing slowing me down is time.  I guess as long as writing remains a second job, I will always find it difficult to “squeeze in” the opportunity to do so.  You would think it quite an easy thing to accomplish.  After all, you just sit in front of your keyboard and type.  Well I am here to tell you that it’s a lot more difficult than it seems.  

First of all, after eight to ten hours of work, commuting and all the stress it invites, you will find the need to de-frag your mind of the day’s assorted dramas so that you can clear your head to better focus on your story.  Add to that, family obligations, social functions, household chores, bill paying, errands, client dinners, health issues, basic distractions from those we live with and yes I’ll say it, times when you simply need to do nothing, and {{{POOF}}} there goes another day! 

That said, we all have a special moment of the day that is strictly our own, usually referred to as “me time.”  It is during that time that we collect our thoughts and if you’re a writer, you’ll find that your thoughts turn toward your story.  To some of us “me time” may be 6:00 AM, while to others it might come after midnight but we all have those moments.  They may not necessarily come on a daily basis, but they do come.  For me, I find my most productive moments are the early morning hours of the weekends.  I love to sit down at my desk with a freshly brewed cup of java on a Saturday morning while I welcome the rising sun to the sound of my swift, two-fingered typing. 

I must confess that I’ve been working on “Unforgettable (Trudy’s Story)” on and off for about seven years now.  Yes, I said seven years!  Granted, there were times that it was as little as two to three hours a month and also times when I had walked away from it for a year at a time, but still in all, I did start my project seven years ago. 

So you ask what, after all that time of goofing-off, inspired me to buckle down and get with the program? 

It actually came to me in two separate incidences’.   The first one was my sister Janice who, after decades of putting her dream of becoming a teacher on hold, went back to school at age forty.  Janice got her degree while holding down a full-time job as a waitress, not to mention being a full-time mother to two teenagers.  She went to school all day, came home and prepared meals, cleaned her house, did laundry, chauffeured kids to countless events and did her homework, all before heading off to the Steak House to wait tables all night long.   

Her dedication paid off, when she graduated Suma Cum Laude and at long last, landed a wonderful teaching gig.  I am more proud of my sister than I could ever pen on these pages and she is a total inspiration to me. 

The second thing was not so much an event as an awakening.  My dear friend Jeanne and I were out and somehow during the conversation, I mentioned that I was working on a novel based on my mother’s life story.  Jeanne showed great interest in perhaps reading a bit and I thought that it might be good to get some feedback from an outside perspective. 

You see, Jeanne knew absolutely nothing about my family life.  She had never met any of my family members and didn’t even know how many siblings I had.  I always knew that my mother’s story would be interesting to my own family.  In fact, I had started the project after she passed away as a vehicle for her grandchildren to learn about their grandmother and to gain knowledge of their family roots.  However if Jeanne who had no family connection (and who was the type of friend to be brutally honest) found the story interesting, than perhaps I was on to something after all.  Later that day, I sent my friend a chapter via email and expected to get her opinion on it the next time I saw her. 

About an hour later I received an email back from Jeanne that basically read, “OMG!! How come I never knew this about you and your family?  I am without words but full of questions.  How did you all go on?  What happened after?  What happened before? What led up to this moment?  You’re writing not only captures the reader’s interest, but pulls them into your story.  I MUST have more.” 

I had not planned on letting anyone read my book until it was completed but I must admit; Jeanne’s shining review caught me off guard and was the confidence booster I needed.  So I started sending her my book to read chapter by chapter.  To this day she is the only person who reads each chapter as I complete them.  She has told me that in her readings of my book, sometimes she wants to BE Trudy, other times she wants to KNOW her personally and still other times, she feels as if they ARE friends. 

Jeanne encourages me constantly to finish my novel and she is my biggest fan.  The best part is that it is not because of friendship that she believes in my book, but because she truly feels that it is a story worth telling and more importantly, worth reading.  

Once when I was having some self-doubt about my ability, I had sent her a chapter asking if it were worthwhile by placing the question “Fluff chapter????” in the subject box of the email.  The following is Jeanne’s actual reply cut and pasted here: 

Do you know how lucky you are to have had all of these wonderful stories told to you in such a way that you can re-tell them on paper and make them so much more than fluff?  I think that this chapter is very meaningful, and you must feel that too or you wouldn’t have included it. 

I wish I had her passion…and your talent for being able to re- create those moments as if you were there with her.    I only have one question?  What happened to you that made you loose your self-confidence?  You are Trudy’s son, with a God given talent for writing.   She would be very proud of you and I’m sure she always was.  

BTW…I loved this chapter.   I felt like I was there… in her skin.   It was like I wanted to be her. Maybe it’s because I felt her passion and the compassion between her and Mrs. Harris, but the last paragraph literally made the hair on my arms stand up.    I wish I’d have known your Mom. 

Xoxox

Jeanne  

So, inspired by my sister Janice’s dedication and success to her craft, as well as Jeanne’s constant encouragement to motivate me, I am finally nearing the end of my first novel.  I may not have the opportunity to sit and write anytime it strikes my fancy, but I do have the ability to write as often as I can, whenever I can.  And… I owe it to myself to do so.

Until next time,

Don

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

2 responses to “Trying to Find the Time and Motivation to Succeed:

  1. o.k i am jealous of jeanne. i want to read something…hahah kidding…cant wait though…what happens now??? its done right?? seriously cant wait…you know all i read is bio’s…..just finished shania twains, and ashley judd’s…love you dear don

  2. Lauri, I am 6 chapters away from completion (there are 31 in total). When it is finished, I will be devoting my LIFE to getting it published. I promise when I do, you will have an autographed copy. Better yet, would you come to my book signing?
    Love to you my dear friend.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s