It is far easier to get work accomplished when you have someone cheering you on. Or, nudging you along.
Me: I don't feel like writing.
Penny: If you don't write and finish this gosh darned book that you've been working on for 400 years none of us will get any treats or even dinner for that matter at the rate you're going.
(You can actually hear sad violin music playing in the background as she delivers her speech. Guilt works with me. They all know that.)
And so on I plunged and I am amazed to say that of all of the books I've started and stopped over the course of this blog (So many that one person said that I spent a lot of time talking about "the book" I was writing but never seemed to finish it. Ouch. The truth really kicks you in the keester!) I am finally cruising along with this one, thanks, absolutely, to working with SARK since last July. Her WINS (Write It Now With SARK) program is amazing, and I'm in WINS+ which means I send work to her each month which she goes over and sends an MP3 file back going over my writing, encouraging me, and oh, she is just a font of love and inspiration. Having loved her books for longer than I can remember to hear her voice talking about my work, saying lovely things, glowing things even, really adds fuel to the creative fire. And so this time I am letting nothing stop me.
My life is changing in huge ways, so much so that I haven't been able to write here, or even, the last few days, on the new little Joy-blog I started (I've realized that I just need to concentrate on this one. When you're bi-polar allowing your energies to get dissipated by spreading yourself too thin is not a good thing. There is strength in staying the course with what you are doing and not getting scattered, and there's no shame in admitting that you had an idea you liked, you tried it, but staying strong and steady with your central work so you can finally accomplish something is a good thing. It's taken me a long time to learn these things.) I haven't sent a newsletter to my newsletter list because I'm not going to just send blog entries and material that is rehashed from some place else and I'm trying to figure out how, when, why, and if to do one. I don't have anything to sell yet and instead of creating lots of little things that might make money here or there I have to finish this book and then I will see where to go from there.
I said "I'M FINISHING THIS BOOK AND YOU CAN'T STOP ME." (I'm talking to the Trickster, as I call him, the one who keeps stopping me when I'm moving along to convince me that it's a different book I should be writing or if I just start one more blog or one more this, that, or the other... meanwhile, nothing gets done at all. I'm wise to him now. He can't stop me anymore!)
So I have put aside my sweet little joy blog for now. I also quit Twitter. With over 28,500 followers it became a joke. Why do something if you can't really interact in a personal way with people, at least to some extent, which is why I am staying on Facebook but shut the Twitter account down. And people want LOTS of followers but what's the point when the tweets go by so fast you never see the ones you'd really LIKE to. No, I'm cutting away all the dross. Anything that keeps me from writing this book.
I am also simplifying my life. Making a conscious decision to live on less money so that what I have can last longer to see me through this next phase of changes, but also because while if you saw my cottage you would know that I don't and never will live Zen-spare, I have been too acquisitive in my life. The emotional roller coaster of being bi polar and being clinically depressed most of my life has not served me well when it has come to managing my money and more, buying way too much of everything to the point that a lot of it never even gets used. That's a kind of hoarding if you ask me and it's embarrassing. It may take ten years to pare down to where I'd like to be, but I am taking the first steps. I am clear-cutting a path through my life to make space for this book to grow, and what is here is beautiful and will be cherished -- the animals, the garden, the natural world, good books, superb lattes, a nice cup of tea. Good talk with dear friends, and the bit of time I get to spend here and there with my precious children who are growing their own lives and families in many directions and I am so proud of them all. I am growing my own life too, and I am fertilizing it with my dreams, not dollars. I am, in this, feeling a kind of relief and calm I hadn't known existed and I am feeling a kind of peace inside that is such a sweet balm I just cannot express, yet, what it all means.
Oh gracious, it is getting cold. In this warm coastal region where in weeks past the weather has been in the 70's and you could be outside in short sleeves the temps have been dropping quickly throughout the day and they have even predicted possible snow tonight. Now for those of you who are snowed in a good bit of winter (Waving to dear friends in Canada!) you can't appreciate how in a region where we seldom see any snow at all what a miraculous blessing a little snowfall can be, and little it will be if we get it at all, but even just enough to cover the ground just thrills me to my toes. I grew up in the Midwest and while I love many things about living in the south, besides having a very hard time with the long unbelievably hot summers, the thing I miss most is the change of the seasons, four real seasons, with snow in winter. We moved down here in November of 1992 and shortly thereafter I said to my husband, "There's something wrong with living some place where you can get your Christmas tree in SHORTS!" And so I will go out and gather kindling for a fire and, giddy like a school girl, look forward to snowflakes in the air.
It is blowing hard outside and getting dark and grey, the sky has that "snow is coming" look to it and here in my studio whose beautiful old windows all around two sides are one of the many things that I fell in love with when first seeing this place also mean that a lot of air comes in around the cracks and it is COLD in here. I will turn up the heat and put the little energy saver heater on next to Miss Scarlet, my nekkidy grey parrot whom I need to keep warm since she's a plucker, and I will go make some spicy hot tea, and go back to the next section of my book.
What a sweet Saturday this is, and how lovely to reconnect with you. I have to constantly reign myself in and bring myself back to priorities and the important central things in life that keep me stable. The miracle now is that I realize these things rather quickly and right myself so I don't lose my way. Oh, it feels so good.
I close here looking out as so many birds at the three feeders outside my windows I can't count them all. The birds are getting ready too. It's a cold winter's night and we will all hunker down and settle in and delight in the magic and miracles of life all around us. And there are so very many. I feel so blessed, as I know I am...
My love to each of you...
P.S. 5:20 p.m. IT'S SNOWINGGGGGGGGG!!!!!!!!!!!