#10 - Taking a Break

I am taking a brief break from writing in order to hopefully come back stronger and more ready to go than ever.

A while back I posted a comment on Shanna's blog about my messy desk and how it hinders my ability to write consistently. (It was on June 26 if you're the kind of person who wants to go and see what I'm talking about)

Since that time, the situation with my desk hasn't changed. If anything, it's worse than ever. And it's not just my desk. It's my whole life that's out of control.

As you can see from my last confession, I have a lot of junk in my life. One thing that I haven't confronted very well yet is paperwork. I have 5 filing drawers that are all stuffed to the gills, and I have boxes of papers that have been shoved and stuffed in there to deal with "later". Then I have mounds and piles of papers everywhere on and around and under my desk.

I have been getting a kink in my back trying to write lately because I have to bend over all the junk in an awkward position to get to my keyboard. In fact, I feel it coming on right now, so I'll be brief.

I need to get control of my life before I can be effective and inspired as a writer. I feel strong and ready to confront the problem and I can't wait to step into the rest of my much-less-cluttered life.

Wish me luck!

#9 - Collector of Junk

I'm a collector.

No, it's not porcelain dolls stacked neatly in a curio cabinet. It's not seashells placed nicely on a shelf. It's not stamps put into an organized little book.

It's junk.

Really, just lots and lots of junk. When it piles up on every horizontal surface in the house and spills out of every junk drawer I have, I start boxing it up and putting it in the basement. Then when the boxes start piling up, we buy more gorilla racks to stack them on. And when that gets to be too much, we start talking about renting a storage shed.

I've been confronting my problem lately and this blog is part of that confrontation. I need your help and ideas and encouragement. I'll tell you what I've done so far and you can help me figure out where to go from here.

First, I bought some of those cool storage boxes with the dividers in them. I've been organizing all the buttons and safety pins and screws from the junk drawer so I actually have a place to put things when I come across them instead of just throwing them into a junk drawer. I've been organizing larger things like the kids' toys into larger bins and boxes.

Second, I've been loading up bags and boxes with stuff to take to D.I. and throwing away things that are broken or no longer have all the parts.

Third, I've decided we need to have a garage sale. Somehow, the thought that we could even get back pennies on the dollar makes it seem easier to give up some of the things we have collected.

Fourth, I'm trying to get rid of some of our baby things even though I'm not positive we're done having babies yet. Some of this stuff we've had for nine years and if we were to have another baby in the future, it'd be nice to have new things anyway.

The culmination of all this work is that when we pare our stuff down enough, we'll be able to hire a company to come in and finish the basement. I can't wait for that project to get underway, so I'm right in the thick of paring down right now. It's nice to see a lot of junk go out the door and to know I'll never have to look at it and decide what to do with it again. On the other hand, it's hard to part with those things. I'm still not sure why.

#8 - A Brag

I'm going to use this blog for other purposes than confessing my shortcomings. For instance, today I'm going to brag.

I sent one of my children's books manuscripts off to 7 publishers today.

One of the agents I sent this to actually replied with a personalized rejection, stating that on the one hand my work had merit (hooray!!!) but on the other hand, it wasn't "fresh" enough and I needed to find a way to make the rhyming work without torturing the English language. (ouch!)

It's gone through several re-writes and I'm very happy with it the way it is right now. I'm crossing my fingers hoping at least one of them sees the merit now that the English language is a little less tortured.

Let's hope some future Confession will be a celebration of my soon-to-be-published picture book. :)

#7 - Not Submitting

I haven't sent any manuscripts out in months.

I have a children's book I sent out to almost a dozen agents and I've watched their rejection letters trickle back in over several months. I kept saying that I would send it to book publishers if I didn't get anything going with an agent, but there's still one rejection slip that never came back.

I should just get on with sending my manuscript out to some of the book publishers I had in mind. I'd like to get that done soon.

Besides that, I haven't done much writing lately either. I haven't worked on my book at all in the last few weeks, although I have started a new book for children and I've written some poetry and song lyrics.

To tell the truth, I've discovered lately that there are more important things than my writing. As important as it is to me, my health and the health of my family are much more important. I need to remember to keep everything in its proper place in my life. Then I think my writing will really flourish.