Where Do I Start?

March 7, 2011

My name is Elley, and I suck at blogging. Really. Truly. I have a graveyard of blog concepts in various stages of execution littering my mind. And yet, I chose to start another one. Why? Because I believe this one to be different. (Don’t worry if you rolled your eyes—I did too. Cynthia, my blog partner, probably did too. She’s as bad as me when it comes to blog litter. But our excitement is real, and our intentions are good.) And this time is different because I’m not alone.

Cynthia and Tari will share blog duties with me. We’ll post a fresh blog daily (except Saturday and Sunday), rotating in order (Elley, Cynthia, Tari). At least, that’s the plan. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Plan shman. After fifteen years of marriage, three kids and a decent career as a non-fiction writer, I know all about plans changing. And you know what else I know? Sometimes when plans change, the new direction takes me exactly where I wanted to go.

I have to keep reminding myself of that.

A year ago when my division was eliminated and my job was transferred to another department, I lamented the change of plans. I’d been working and creating with the same core of co-workers for several years and suddenly they were no longer by my side. Three months into my new assignment, I realized that while I always said I was living and working my dream—being a writer—it was a big fat lie.

Writing non-fiction was never my dream, and I had to stop pretending it was. I had to stop worrying about seeming ungrateful if I admitted I wasn’t happy. I had to stop accepting “almost there” as reaching the top. If I ever wanted to achieve my dream of becoming a romance novelist, I had to be honest. I had to be focused. And I had to be prepared for a lot of hard work.

Every morning when I wake up, I wonder where to start. Should I spend thirty minutes on Twitter to keep my “brand” growing like I’ve read so many times in industry-related publications and emails? Should I blog to blow the morning cobwebs off my brain? Should I read to start the creative juices flowing? And then there’s the laundry, the grocery store, the bills, the cat, the exercise, the volunteer work, lunch with friends, a phone call from my mother…

Where do I start?

I know only one answer gets me closer to where I want to go. Write. No matter how tired. Write. No matter how busy. Write. No matter how unmotivated. Write. Because eventually the collection of words I sometimes force down on paper will tell a story. And the story will catch an editor’s eye. And the editor will call with an offer. And the offer will leave me speechless, wondering where do I start? What do I say? What do I do?

I like that scenario. I like the idea that as long as I keep writing publication will happen—eventually. I’ve run into people on the Web who are still waiting for their eventually decades after they first began writing for publication. “It’s a long, bumpy ride,” they say. In that case, I’m glad I’m not facing the road alone.

Sure we write alone—at our desks, in bed, on our laptops and in the front seats of parked mini-vans. And yet, we still write together, bound by similar minds and imaginations and dreams that won’t die. We share our stories. We offer advice. We build friendships.

This blog is a wonderful reminder that I’m not alone. And whether you stumbled here by accident or visited at the request of a friend, whether you’ve been writing with success for years or you just started to think about the stories in your head, I’m glad you’re here.

Let’s start together. 



3 Responses to “Where Do I Start?”

  1. taristhread Says:

    I like your scenario as well!! As long as we keep writing it will happen! It HAS to happen. And, if we’re writing together we can motivate, and inspire each other to keep those pens moving (or fingers on the keyboard)until it happens (and beyond)! Thanks Elley, Time for me to grab my pen…..

  2. Cynthia Says:

    Blog litter indeed. Wow, now I feel really bad about all those blogs I’ve abandoned. LOL.

    And then to all the rest of that I say, Amen sister.

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