Moving Write Along in ’11

Welcome to my New Year’s post for 2011! The next blog entry will be an in-depth look at procrastination and the havoc it wreaks on our society. In the meantime, simply pretend it’s not almost February and I’m not still mulling over edits to my 2009 New Year’s resolutions.

A bittersweet memory of the amazing space I once created. The hot chick on the right looks vaguely familiar. I think she used to drink all my wine.

In (belated) reflection, 2010 was a very transitional year for me – some good, some bad, all necessary. I closed my business in ‘09 and thought I had mourned its loss as briefly as possible, when in fact I had knit a cocoon the size of a doublewide trailer and
didn’t emerge for months. I had really tried to keep the momentum going and looked around for a new space, hosted an art show, made promises I couldn’t keep. I ignored how drained and demoralized I was until a few people and circumstances kicked my ass while I was already down. The cocoon was reinforced and a lovely therapist was enlisted to put up with my emo ass.
I was incredibly fortunate to already have a good part-time job while running my business, and my duties and hours at the newspaper expanded as I burrowed. My beautiful, smart, funny daughter also provided good reason to get up in the mornings. Then a funny thing happened early last year. My crazy community of Twitards migrated to Twitter and I gradually had new friends — friends who didn’t care what failures I was still bleeding over — friends who shared a glass of wine with me from six states away — friends who helped me give birth to my first novel. Priceless friends.
It’s too hard explaining fan fiction to someone who’s never heard of it, not to mention someone who thinks the craze over Twilight is incomprehensible (it is, actually, but after two-plus years, I’ve stopped worrying) so I’ll just direct you to their site if you’re not in the know. Long story short, I wrote a Twilight based story with an original premise called The Family Business. I finished it last November and I’m not going to spew false modesty: I’m really damn proud of it.
Writing that story was one of the best experiences of my creative life. It was a learning tool, a loving community project, an exercise in discipline and obligation, and most importantly, it was a catalyst for a new journey.
This new tease wooing my muse is the written word. The writer within me has flirted shamelessly throughout the years but I’ve studiously avoided considering it a serious suitor. Let’s face it, everyone thinks they can write and the statistics for being published are probably right up there with maintaining a profitable art gallery in the middle of a killer recession. *cough*
Besides The Family Business, I wrote a few other Twilight stories and came up with a half dozen interesting outlines for straight fiction. I returned to the novel I abandoned three years ago and am now approaching it differently, based on my experience. I’m writing more articles for the paper and I recently got a cool – albeit unpaid – blogging gig back in my former world of regional arts and culture.
I’ve since unraveled most of the cocoon and decided I’m still not strong or passionate enough to open another art gallery in the near future. That door isn’t locked but I’ve discovered that being responsible to my daughter and myself — emotionally, financially, and otherwise — is the best I can do right now.

Not the slippers I had in mind, but inexplicably inspiring. (Source: etsy)

Maybe a smart person would have licked their wounds, then went in search of a good secure position with 40 hours and benefits. Yeah, so I’m probably not smart, but I am creative. I write, I draw, I imagine, I tweet, I read YA fantasy, I revel in my kid and I most definitely do not color within the lines. I’ve unceremoniously tossed most of my resolutions in the dumpster and am focused on one: to someday soon work successfully and happily in my slippers. Cute slippers, without a hole in the toe like my current fugly ones.

Write on, 2011.

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10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Piper
    Jan 28, 2011 @ 11:06:16

    Write there with you. ;O Single mom, 2 kids, throwing all my trust, faith and luck behind a start-up business that plays on all my passions. I think I’m just crazy enough to make it work.

    2011 is the year whose ass we kick. #amiright?

    Reply

    • suzspetals
      Jan 28, 2011 @ 19:41:42

      You are so right. After 4 years in the gallery business I will say that sanity is NOT a requisite to start your own venture. In fact, the crazier the better. I look forward to sharing the highs and lows;)

      Reply

  2. Stefanie
    Jan 28, 2011 @ 11:43:17

    That’s awesome Suz! I’d link you to my 2011 resolution post, but shockingly, I haven’t even written it yet…

    I’m so impressed at how helpful writing TFB was for you personally. I think 2011 will be a fantastic year for you and can’t wait to see more of what you write!

    Reply

    • suzspetals
      Jan 28, 2011 @ 19:46:21

      When I think back to how resistant I was to reading fanfic, much less writing it, I have to laugh and kick myself. It truly was/is an amazing stepping stone. Even if it’s not publishable, I wrote an actual book that possibly thousands of people read (and hopefully liked). Invaluable. Thanks for the support and good luck on your own goals for 2011;)

      Reply

  3. Kristin
    Jan 28, 2011 @ 22:49:07

    Working in slippers is a good thing. Love that you published what was working so hard to get out 🙂

    Reply

    • suzspetals
      Jan 29, 2011 @ 15:13:41

      Thanks for the encouragement. Twitter doesn’t bother me, but if I start thinking about the millions of people out there (who could give a damn what I’m doing) I self-edit, censor and overthink. It’s cheaper than therapy, though;)

      Reply

  4. Hannah S-Q
    Jan 30, 2011 @ 18:40:35

    Hello Dearie,

    So nice to see you posting here. 🙂 I really appreciate what you wrote, and can relate on many levels (creatively, mother-wise, success/failure self-judgment wise, and all that crazy crap) and really, what IS more important than motherhood and creativity? Nothing, really. Damn straight!

    I also love you following your writing muse and interests. I need to take more creative risks, though again they don’t have to be financial. I remember thinking (not sure if I said this aloud or not) when I did a tarot reading for you quite some time ago that focusing on writing could be healing for you now.

    One thing I’ve noted as a creative person (in reality, we’re all creative in our own ways) is that when I focus my energy in one area (say, writing) it does feel finite and not available to all artsy parts of me all the time. There is a limit to what we can do and sometimes the most joyful way to go is to limit these things. I heard a long time ago that there really is no such thing as multi-tasking, only doing lots of things badly, and I’ve found this to be true! Haha!

    I’ve also learned that success is an extremely flippant and cruel mistress and so..to hell with her! Haha. 😀 Having a child with serious (though gradually improving) health problems has taught me that nothing else really matters all that much, so we may as well stay sane as much as we can, doing whatever the hell we want (within lawful reason) and love and support each other.

    Finally, I think all of us moms should get a generous weekly stipend, don’t you think?!

    Big Hugs,
    Hannah

    Reply

    • suzspetals
      Feb 01, 2011 @ 02:47:16

      Thanks so much for the comment. I don’t remember the reading but I’m not surprised – yours are always very perceptive. The writing has been there in one form or another for so long that it’s easy to take for granted. We’ll see what happens.

      We’re having our own challenges here but also gradually improving. I hope all is well and thanks for staying in touch!

      Reply

  5. dangrdafne
    Feb 02, 2011 @ 20:36:43

    I a proud of you. I am proud that you didn’t give in and look for the 40 hour week and that you fought for your creativity. I will say that I am glad your gallery didn’t work out because if it did work out I am not sure that The Family Business would exist and that would be a sin. You know how I feel about you and your writing and I am forever grateful for whatever brought us together in this great internet world. Please keep writing and know I am here to cheer you on in all aspects of your life whenever you need it.

    Write on!

    Reply

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