Friday, September 19, 2014

Weekly Update: 9-19-14

Each week brings me a little closer to publishing my novel but also a little closer to my thirtieth birthday. At night, very often right as I'm about to fall asleep, comes this flash of anxiety. It literally feels like a light bulb going on and off, like a static shock to my spine that bolts me awake. It's this thought of: Is this where you really want to be? Is this really all you are? Is this all you're ever going to do with your life? It's the feeling of the yawning chasm of expectation I had at the start of my twenties to the reality that comes at the end of it.

This week as I scanning through my writing blogs, an article by Jeff Goins struck a nerve. It was called "What Unfinished Projects Teach Us About Our Life's Work," and it has to do with this fear of not accomplishing what you dreamed of achieving at the end of your life.

“We all die unfinished symphonies,” my friend told me one morning over breakfast. He was telling me about his dad who, on his death bed, made a half-hearted attempt to repent for his life of alcoholism and neglect. It wasn’t enough for my friend, nor should it have been, but he realized that he had to let it go. He had to be okay with a lack of resolution, at least in this life. [...]

When it comes to your work, there will be things you won’t accomplished. This is the work of an artist: bravely stepping into a creative field with bold aspirations, while recognizing that the work will never truly be finished. [...] The challenge for the artist — and we are all creating art on the canvas of our lives — is to do our work well while letting go of expectations and results.

Thirty isn't the end of the world, I suppose, but it is the death of my twenties, that supposedly golden era in a person's life where health, freedom, and passion all align; where you figure out who you are and what you're going to do with your life; where you fall in love, get married, have kids; where you follow your dream and either "make it" or fail. My twenties didn't go according to some ideal script, and sometimes I feel the loss of all the things I could not achieve, things I failed to pursue. I need to let them go.

* * *

I'm getting frustrated with my Three Floating Coffins novel, because I'm so close to the end, yet not close at all. With only 4 chapters left, I'm on the brink of completing the manuscript. But then I look back at my beginning chapters, which are awful, and think about how I need to re-write them all over again. 

I had an interview with Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District, and I think it went well. If all goes well, I'll be able to sub at different schools and hopefully get more jobs. I've also been starting on a self-publishing workshop run by Kitty Bucholtz (Little Miss Lovesick), in association with the OC Romance Writers of America.

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