Monday, April 2, 2012

b is for begin

When I retired and decided to “BEGIN again” as a wannabe writer, I had no clue what I was getting myself into. Had I known how hard this would be and how long it would take…and had I known that my retirement fund was about to go up in smoke…I might have had second thoughts about it. But then I wouldn’t be where I am today.

When I began writing, I wasn’t sure I had it in me to write a novel.

I didn’t know if I had any talent for this kind of thing…any skill, any hope of success, or the necessary dedication to it. Nevertheless, I put my misgivings aside, summoned up my faith in the benevolence of the universe, and cleared off my desk so that I was ready to BEGIN.

Since then I have learned that there are certain not so subtle signs that writing is my true passion in life. Is it yours?

In my experience, these are the top ten signs that you, too, may be ready to BEGIN:
--At any one time, you carry at least five pens with you (six to ten is even better). Go ahead. Check your purse or briefcase now.

--You have enough pens with you but sometimes you forget to carry paper. Therefore, sizable chunks of your manuscript are recorded on napkins, on the back of receipts, on cancelled envelopes…and when that fails—the back of your hand.
--You have perfected the ability to record plot points, dialogue, and gorgeous prose whenever and wherever the muse is kind enough to share them with you…and you can do it without taking your eyes off the road.
--Sudoku makes you cringe.

--You are reluctant but willing to concede that your laptop/word processor is a convenience, but you will defend the merits of pen and paper to the end. Remember the likes of Shakespeare, Dostoyevsky, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John?

--When you’re writing, you sometimes make yourself cry.
--Sometimes, you make yourself laugh.
--When you read what you’ve written some time later on…it happens again.
--You have made peace with the “delete” key.
--“I wasted the whole day,” is not part of your vocabulary.
--You make excuses (Oh, all right—you lie) so that you can stay home alone.
Oops—that was eleven sure signs…and omg, there must be hundreds more!
The point is that unless you BEGIN, you will never know what you can accomplish. You will never test your passion, exercise your creativity, improve your skills, or realize your dreams. You will never know if you have what it takes. And you will always wonder about it.

When do you plan to BEGIN?
“Inside you there’s an artist you don’t know about….
Say yes quickly, if you know,
if you’ve known it from before the beginning of the universe.”
In my next post, I'll tell you why we're in good COMPANY.


  1. Sometimes just starting is the hardest part.

  2. Great post. I really like the wording...begin again. As we get older, it seems like we do reinvent ourselves. What an adventure :) Best wishes with your writing!

  3. Lovely post and congratulations in believing in yourself enough to begin, thus proving that it is never too late.

  4. You know you love writing when you keep at it. Nice meeting you. :)

  5. I wouldn't consider you a wanna be writer. It looks very professional to me. I like your style. I'm a retired R. N. so am aware of how 'burned out' one can get. I'm visiting on the A to Z Challenge and am a new follower.
    Kathy at Oak Lawn Images

  6. You hit so many points that rang true with me. My children and husband have finally caught on why I like it when they ALL go golfing together. four hours home alone for me.

  7. Thanks everyone!

    Tracy--your macros are great! In my post tomorrow I include a link to my daughter's photography if you're interested.

    Kathy--have you read anything by Elizabeth Berg?? She was also and RN and I L-O-V-E her books!

  8. My favorite is making excuses to stay home alone. Nobody's yelling, mom, mom, mom

  9. You're right - it's never too late to begin again! How's it going, Jan? Are you enjoying this A to Z challenge? Busy, huh?
    Thanks for the advice - I actually needed that!

  10. I agree with everything except Sudoku. When I see one I'm compelled to stop everything and solve it. Why did you have to display one here? Now I'll be spending the next 15 minutes working on it!