Mondays are always hard when I’ve taken a weekend off. The weekend was gorgeous, finally, with a warm sun and a dog, learning how to walk–she’s working on her leash manners, which means she leads, and we get dragged behind.
But that was the weekend and yesterday, it was Monday. Coffee in hand, I was determined to get back in the groove. Hah! I spent a few hours revising a previous scene because I’d hit the proverbial wall with the next scene. Then I wasted time reading Facebook posts, drooled over gorgeous premade and custom book covers over on The Book Brander. Unfortunately, the covers are for genres I don’t write, but I sat there thinking, oooh, maybe I could write a book to fit that cover.
I love how easily I can procrastinate.
So, I get up today, after scolding myself last night for not writing (only outlining, which is just as necessary, but hey, when I’m beating myself up I don’t follow rules.) And what am I doing this morning?
Posting here. But the reason is that I read a post from a writer in a group called Writers Helping Writers. She was giving up. You could feel her exhaustion and her grief over letting go of a dream. I know that pain. I’ve struggled through it. And while most of the posts were supportive, one commenter ripped apart her post with petty criticisms, and it reminded me about the risks we take when we write from the heart. How emotions are tender and exposed and honest to our human experience.
But emotions are necessary. Connecting through shared human experience. Touching empathy, exploring pain, working toward a better day. The essence of great storytelling, IMHO. And there will always be those who refuse to connect, who feel only their personal inner pain and strike out as if their failures and frustrations are the only things that matter.
That, too, is sad. How easy it is to become so inwardly focused, it becomes impossible to see the other humans who share this world. Who have dreams, hopes, passions, struggles, failures, and on and on…
The question becomes simple. The choice you make on how you choose to react, to deal with what you feel, and find either hope or despair. A struggle or a challenge.
This past year, everyone has faced some version of this struggle. Big or small. Life-altering or as petty as trying to get your dog to walk obediently on a leash when there are so many birds to chase.
And as cliche as it is, there is always the next morning.
The next promise to yourself.
The next dream to chase.
Don’t let the opinions of others become the leash that holds you back when there are birds to chase.