Chasing a Dream

In order to write a novel--meaning a first draft, several revisions, a final edit and then writing a synopsis and query to submit to agents and publishers--I need to stop chasing all the shiny new objects that parade through my mind.

While I have had this novel mapped out several times and gotten 130 pages of a first draft written, it still isn't finished. I refuse to admit how many years ago I began writing it, or how many iterations it's gone through. And I blame my own resistance to the hard work as well as the lure of those shiny temptations.

Shiny objects appear in the form of poetry collections to edit and submit, short stories, blog posts, a chapbook of short stories written specifically for a contest, which by the way I did not even place in. They also appear in the form of art journaling and other art forms I like to play around in. But I can't keep chasing these shiny objects and still expect to complete a novel, and then go on to write more novels.

But I am coming to believe the solution lies in ridding myself of black/white thinking. Too often I think I need to make a choice among my many creative interests and perhaps there is a better way. Why do I think I have to give up art entirely? Sure, novel writing takes commitment and focus, but I am retired and somehow I need to balance my life better. 

I can block out hours each day to get this novel down, but also allow myself an hour or two a few days a week to art journal. Just like I find time to eat, walk, workout, read or meditate and journal, I can art journal too. And art journaling is a purely visual, hands on process during which my brain can be sorting out character development and plot twists. Why deny myself either of these creative pleasures?

Maybe I don't have to deny myself anything and I can do it all. There is still time left, hopefully 20 years or more, in which to develop a novel writing career. As they say:

The time is now!

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