Michael Mayhem moments of the week:
Friday night, he pulled Strawberry Shortcake’s legs off.
Thursday afternoon, he took a pencil to our bedroom wall. Deep, dark pencil. I trashed half a big pink eraser cleaning it off.
On the list of new experiences: being paid for a story in Euros.
In the category “what the…?”: The AARP is soliciting our membership. Um. Okay. I guess I really am an old fogey.
I read a blog post this week about how to distinguish professional writers from the amateurs. Routine was one of the biggies: pros have times set aside for writing. I have to admit, I sighed. How in the world do you establish a routine when you’re in charge of a pack of kids whose schedules are different every single day? In theory I buy into this, but there’s quite a gap between theory and reality. Life is life, and some of us have to squeeze in the profession around the margins of life. I’d say, instead, that that what distinguishes the professionals is the consistent effort to make it happen even when routines can’t be established.
Then again, maybe I’m just an amateur, despite the paychecks.
Have you ever had one of those Alexander days? You know, the terrible horrible no-good very bad kind? That was my Wednesday this week. I don’t normally dwell on things like that, but there are not very many days as bad as this day was. Some of it was big stuff, like babysitting falling through for the second time this week. A great deal of it was petty stuff, like my poached egg falling on the floor and splattering everywhere. Mostly it was just that things multiplied on each other, intensifying all the way into choir practice, the first half hour of which was lacking both husband and child care for the nine choir babies.
Some days you just have to write off.
On the other hand, I’ve been making good progress on rewriting my novel opening this week. Combining and compacting scenes, spinning out the conflict and mercilessly slashing things I spent days and weeks putting in. If it makes the book catch an agent’s eye it will be worth it.
Our CCL chapter is doing a big NFP push in our diocese this weekend–or more accurately, in the targeted parishes we can realistically get to. Prayers for open hearts would be much appreciated.
Good luck with the novel rewriting.
In general, routine may be an indication of someone who takes writing more seriously, but I would suggest that persistence is really the more important factor. It may not be consistent, but if you keep at it, it works. Really, the paycheck is all that determines “professional” vs. amateur, if you want to use technical terminology. Some “professional” writers only have one wonderful credit to their name, some may not even have that! I would say you are a successful, professional writer but most of all, you are a meaningful writer who shares your talents and brings new perspectives, insights and information to others. To me, this is your most important, valuable, successful professional contribution to all of us! Sometimes what pays the bills is not what feeds the souls, and sometimes it is! For you, you’ve got it all and so much more than just the legacy of your writing! Thank you for sharing it all with us! 🙂
I’m curious about your novel! I want to read it already! And I hope next week is much better.
Good luck with the novel editing and at this weekend at your speaking events.
In my experience, the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser does wonders for the…abstract art my kids have covered all over my walls. We have a couple of boxes under our kitchen sink. Their need for creativity is real. It has worked with pencil, pen, crayon, and markers…I want to say sharpies too, but don’t hold me to it. Clearly, I’m on top of my toddler supervision!