Dear friends and/or writers,
Happy Presidents’ Week, 20151
I feel like this is my “failure to publish” letter to people I may have disappointed (mainly myself, and possibly Mrs. Pearson, my 11th grade English teacher), but after reading on the Linked in “Books and Writers” site an author’s thoughtful essay on writers’ procrastination, I realize that I’m not the problem, but the end product of a system gone dinosaur and unwriter-friendly, or is it writer-unfriendly? You see, I wasn’t really procrastinating. I was waiting. I was waiting for the agents and editors, most of whom I have met at various writer’s conferences, to get back to me in response to my exquisitely crafted query letters and sample pages. The average wait time was never, as in no response, or three to eight months. I must say, two of the longer waits were well worth the time, although each editor had opposite responses to/advice for my novel.
So in waiting rather than procrastinating, I followed my own advice or muse or short attention span, and did a lot of other writing. Some writing was necessary, as in writing for freelance jobs or lesson plans. But I wrote essays, rants, poems, stories, etc. with no particular ambition on my part to publish them beyond posting here. Some I shared with a few writer friends. But I did not formally maintain this site, which I regret and blame on my own version of procrastination. So I do apologize. Now, I can’t go back in time (unlike my fictional characters) and write a bunch of blogs, but I will endeavor to post more frequently. Perhaps I will write something moving, or make you chuckle in an insightful moment of recognition about the human condition, connecting us both in the grand cypber-space or possibly spider-space of the space/time continuum, or, to be more mystical, the realm of the Infinite Ein Sof. If so, send me a thought, email, or post.
Just a brief recap (not to sound too much like PBS TV): a month ago I slipped on a stair at my son’s house and managed to fracture a bone in my foot. Okay, for dramatic effect I might say I broke my foot, but really, it was just the fifth metatarsal. This is astonishingly inconvenient, given that I walk everywhere and was told to stay off my foot. This lasted about a week. Now I am still hobbling around with this amazing cam boot that keeps the fracture stable, and crutches, which are more for dramatic effect and a seat on the bus, than anything. The pain: minor, thanks to homeopathy, natural anti inflammatory remedies, foot soaks in salt baths, various senders of healing energy, etc. The gain: more time to write, reflect, and read; the change of mind set going about my day; new perspectives and perceptions. The getting used to: Taxis, which I dislike taking. Jolted walking and bus traveling routines. Subways are still a distant memory.
The pain and gain part, finding out who my friends are: an unexpected and surprising tribe, people offering support, advice, a call or note, a writing date “Chez Sheila” (my apt.), flowers, lasagna, soup, husband Sheldon’s almost endless patience (and terrific cooking and healing talents). Conversely, the “oy veyers,” people who say “I feel so bad for you,” and then say nothing more, or worse, slide right into kvetching about their own tzuris (worries). I must work to clear these well-meaning but unhelpful sympathies from my aura and welcome in the thoughts and deeds that come generously from kindness. Small gestures go a long way.
As for procrastination, where we started. I’ll have to get back to that later. Thanks for listening, even better, responding, Sheila