It was definitely an interesting summer. I wouldn’t say good as such. Nothing got written, words were not forthcoming. Life just carried on without a thought about being an author, or a writer, or anything much really. It just kind of carried on.
In the middle of August, our big ginger tom (called Thomas) got run over. Well, we think. He came home after our neighbour found his collar. He was bleeding from the nose and mouth and his tail was limp. He made a horrid gasping noise and we had no idea what happened.
He was also not insured.
Over the next few (very tense and expensive) days, we found out he had dislocated his tail at his lower vertebrae, cracked his soft palate from front to back, and broken his nose.
We figured he had his tail run over and went to snap at the car with his teeth, breaking his nose and ripping at his tail. He’s a lucky cat. Nerve damage was extremely limited and although he lost his tail (it had to be amputated) he’s now recovering well and pretty much back to his normal self. He can’t wait to go back outside and start terrorising the pigeons and mice and squirrels and anything else he can get hold of.
Why am I telling you about my cat? Because he’s a family pet and we love him and his sister dearly. Also, though, something struck me about him throughout his whole ordeal.
He was so placid. He purred and rolled over when he was clearly in pain before the cat-morphine hit on that first night. He purred the next day when he still couldn’t close his mouth and his nose was spread across his face. He cuddled up when the children came to visit him and when we offered tickles, he always took them gratefully.
On his first nights home he cried for us to be with him and even though he was uncomfortable and unhappy he wanted us to stroke him and he with him. He was calm and relaxed through everything. He’s such a beautiful cat and that’s part of it. That’s what makes him so lovable.
And I realised that there are simple things I can change to make myself more calm and relaxed and better at coping with pain or disaster.
So I went online and I found a goal based journal. And now I’m doing that. I’m doing it to make a change and to make sure I get things done. I’ve made it about the writing rather than work and I’m writing things I’m grateful for both morning and night, sandwiching my day in positivity. I already feel more hopeful and less depressed. I feel like I’m finally taking control instead of just going along with what other people say. I’ve watched so many of my very talented writery friends make their mark and even though I’m proud of them, I want my turn!
But life isn’t going to hand me this glory just because I want it. I have to work for it. I have to actually sit down and get something ready, send it out, publish it, whatever. Take each criticism as a point to be learned for the next novel or non-fiction book or whatever I choose to write.
So now I’m editing a second draft. I’m looking at pacing and trying to figure out where the story should start and whether it needs more here or less there. I can’t say it’s the easiest thing I’ve done but by the beginning of December, I will have a novel worth submitting.
How’s that for commitment?