Thursday, July 30, 2015

I Want, I Will

My daughter and son-in-law are moving over 700 kms this coming weekend to start new jobs in a city much closer to family and friends. Changing jobs and moving is not particularly unusual, but the speed at which Daughter and SIL implemented change in their life, is.

They decided in late June they wanted to move closer to family. By mid July they had each interviewed for and accepted new jobs, resigned from old ones and gave notice to their landlord. The weekend after they accepted their new positions, their basement suite was devoid of their belongings save an air mattress and necessary clothing/hygiene items to sustain them until they find new lodgings, patched and painted (by SIL and his mother and father), and in the last couple of days they shampooed the carpets and cleaned the suite; tomorrow they depart. It took all of two weeks.

Two weeks from interview to gone, and only four weeks from the time they decided to make a monumental life-style change, to when they'll be living it. And that is the beauty of being young, childless, and mortgage-free. They have the ability to just pack up and go where the Want and Will take them. 

Want and Will, critical ingredients to making anything happen, whether it's a job change, house change, marital-status change, diet-exercise change, hair-style change. Without Want, there will be no Will, because Will will not flourish in lack of Want. But if you Want it...

Ever woke up on a Sunday morning to discover the coffee tin empty? Did you settle for sipping hot water while you flipped through the local hardware store flyer, or did you throw on a hat and sweatpants and drive as far as you needed to find A) an open coffee shop, or B) an open grocery store? (Guilty).

How about waiting in line, or redialing like mad, or taking a day off work just to grab tickets to your favorite concert artist? Ever pay more than face-value just so you could go? Beg, borrow, or moonlight to come up with the cash? Sacrificed lattes for a month, or girls' night to afford the price of admission? Yeah. Me too. Because Want gives you the Will to make it happen. But what if there's something you Want that just isn't happening, no matter how much Will you apply? 

You give up writing. 

Just joking!! (if you didn't snort or get the joke, you're not a writer, but that's okay).

Seriously, if you're not seeing results for something you Want despite pouring your Will into it, maybe it's time to step back and reassess. I've done that with my writing.

In 1997 I started writing a coming-of-age story set in 1912. In 1999 I finished it, all 1000+ pages of it, quite an accomplishment given I had four children aged newborn to nine at the time. I then spent the next year editing it down to 140,000 words. In 2001 I landed a literary agent who had me pare it down more. Though I wasn't happy about carving more out of my baby, and in some cases excising entire chapters and sub-plots, I did it. Satisfied with the 120,000 word result, said agent put the manuscript on submission. I wrote the sequel. Eleven editor rejections later, agent advised me the first manuscript hadn't sold, so to shelve the sequel and write something else. I did. Agent was not interested. Agent and I parted ways, and I started querying agents again. A few more rejections, and I shelved all three books. And wrote nothing else. That was 2005. (Four kids playing different competitive sports and a full time job kind of sucks the energy for anything but sleep in the down time).  

Fast-forward to 2010. Kids are older. Two have graduated. I revise and decide to start querying first book again, while I write something completely different. Different characters. Different setting. Different time period. It's almost finished when I develop a serious health-issue related to my full-time paid job. I step back, reassess, and decide to shelve all writing, and work, and focus on my health and family. Four years later, in a different home in a different city living a different life-style, the only thing that remains the same is my Want to write. So I am back in the query trench with book one, revising book two, and writing book five, again in a completely different setting and time period than either book one, two, or four (though they're all historical romances; the third is psychological thriller). Why?

Because when I stepped back and reassessed my writing goals, I came to the conclusion that I Want to write, but I am not as attached to a specific time period, setting, or genre, as I am to the craft itself, with the ultimate goal of being published. If that means I change genre, time-period, setting, my wardrobe, or the location of my desk in my office to make it happen, that's what will happen. 
Because I Want it, I will Will it. 

A day, a week, a year...what the hell, it's been 18 years, and the Want to write has not abandoned me. I will not abandon it. And it Will happen.


He that would have fruit must climb the tree. ~Thomas Fuller

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