Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Did You Think It Was Going To Get Easier?

So, here's what happened.

On Saturday, I dragged my butt out of bed at six so that I could be at THE MEETING by seven so that I could step on the SCALE and be found acceptable or NOT based on whatever number the scale spewed out.

So, I stepped on the scale. It spewed out a number. The cult WW leader said, "Wonderful! You had another good week."

And, I said, "No. I didn't. It was a hard week.Every week, I come here, and I think...next week will get easier. But it never does."

And this woman, this trained enthusiast, this constant source of inspiration and never-ceasing you-can-do-it attitude said, "Did you really think it would get easier?"

I looked at her with what must have been absolute horror, and I said, "Yeah. I guess I did, but I guess it doesn't."

And we both laughed, but I wasn't laughing inside.

Because I WANT it to be easier.

Seriously, Saturday was my 25th Weight Watcher's meeting, and I have lost over 46 pounds. Shouldn't it be easier?

Probably, if you came here to read about writing, you're wondering where I'm heading with this.

Well, friends, here is the deal. I've written eighteen books for Harlequin. Eighteen books. Now, I've launched myself into book nineteen, and I'm thinking, as I plod through one page after another, shouldn't this be getting easier?

I mean, in some ways it is. I understand the flow and feel of a story much better than I did when I began. I get it. I know how to create a story out of an idea, how to create likable (usually) characters, how to write chapter one, the end and everything in between.

Yep. That has gotten easier.

The other stuff has not.

I still struggle to balance my two very diverse roles. On the one hand, I am the traditional stay-at-home mom. I've added a twist to that by homeschooling my clan, but, in all other respects, I am the woman who cooks and cleans (sometimes) and does the laundry (usually) and scrubs toilets (yuck) and bakes cookies.

On the other hand, I am Shirlee the author. I have deadlines and copy edits and AAs and art fact sheets. I go to conferences and I try to connect with other writers. In the past couple of months, I've talked about the writing process at an elementary school, talked about achieving life goals at any age at a senior luncheon and talked about fulfilling dreams at a community college GED class. I love what I do, and I am passionate about it.

But it has not gotten easier, this balancing act. It is not a simple thing to stay on track with writing and while maintaining quality time with kids and husband and friends.

Maybe that is what it is all about, though. Not the destination, but the journey.

And this is my journey. Tough as it may sometimes be. Challenging as I might sometimes find it.

Does it get easier once you're published?

In some ways, yes. In others:

Did you really think it would?

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