Not a Valentine’s Day Blog

marigold bud

In case you didn’t get flowers

Let’s be honest here, as much fun as we have with what someone called “forced romance day” for many people February 14th is just another day.  Except for my brother…oops it’s his birthday.  Hang on, gotta call him.

Phew, glad I remembered before midnight. My brother flew all over the world for several communication companies.  Then he was caught in the downsizing selling out, good for the investors hell for the employees maneuvers. And saw his years of hard work go up in smoke.  Twice. Instead of looking for another high pressure job, he decided to put his years of experience keeping his house in good shape to use and became a handyman.  Not only is he constantly busy, he’s happier now than he ever was before.

We all deserve that sort of peace within ourselves, however we might find it.  For writers it’s a constant struggle to keep putting out words in a world of distractions, including the never ending self doubts. We look at those we think have it made and we’re sure they never worry about what their heroes say, and never delete thirty pages of their story because it’s one step away from puke on a page.  Same with celebrities…they get up there on stage and belt out their songs, living the dream.

Okay, we know that’s not quite the truth since the media has been all too ready to show celebrities crashing and burning. Once in a while we get to hear about the regrowth of a fallen idol. I came across this in An Interview With John Mayer on I think was the CBS Morning News. I don’t have the television hooked up so this find was totally by chance.  Seems Mayer got to the top of the success mountain, then stepped off the cliff with his attitude, and said some unforgivable things in interviews about the people in his life.  Here’s an excerpt:

“Taking every battle on, not taking a break, not looking at — not being honest, not saying, you know, Let’s admit that we don’t know the next step. It would have been a great Rolling Stone interview if I had said, ‘Here’s what’s going on in my life, I had a plan for myself, I have no idea where I am with this. My dream was to make records. Now I’m gonna make my fourth. And I never had a dream about my fourth record. I never saw it coming where I would be thought of as an infamous Lothario. I didn’t see any of this coming. I’m hugely uncomfortable with it and I wanna cry.'”

It’s always good to read about someone who has experienced self realization. I’m sharing this specific paragraph because of:  “My dream was to make records. Now I’m gonna make my fourth. And I never had a dream about my fourth record.” How many of us stayed up late, got up early, kept our eyes on the goal of getting our first book published.  Maybe even the second book. And never dreamed about the successive books. We might have had a vague idea about “lots of best selling books,” but deep inside never dreamed we’d get to the point of writing that all new not- dragged-out-from-the-depths-of our-computer book.

Our writing buddies crow about words written, scenes added, plots fulfilled, contracts signed. And we mess with new writing software, take workshops, read manuals, striving to get back that initial spark, the romance of writing. We want the gestalt we felt back when word came flying out of our heads and through our hands. And sometimes it’s just not there.024

For those who’ve made it through the swamp and are back on solid ground, what made the difference for you? It might help those still mired in the mud.


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9 responses to “Not a Valentine’s Day Blog

  1. Bookworm

    Great post!

    I always learn something new every day. Can’t answer your question…not an author…and I think I’m still mired in that swamp ….but I can relate to your brother’s story. I was always eager to keep going and then one day it all went to hell, and when I looked around and saw how better I was without what I had, I embraced it and am holding on to it… appreciating it more…

    HUGS for this …day of hearts!



  2. Interesting post, Mona. I’m still stumbling through the swamp as it seems, even with two books out there.

    Happy B-day to your brother, my little one is also a V-day baby. Figured my hubs wasn’t gonna take me out so I opted for a c-section, got yelled at in OR by the anesthesiologist for not doing a normal delivery, but by the end of the procedure, he calmed down and actually offered his chair to my husband. Oh, well people never cease to amaze me.


  3. Great post, Mona. Like Zrinka above here, I still feel like I’m flailing around in the mud, up to my neck soon to cover the top of my head! But ultimately, I keep going because if I stop, I might go nuts and we all know what a weird place the inside of my head is….:)


  4. Sometimes this swamp feels like there’s a bit of quicksand mixed in, doesn’t it? My bro’s b-day is Feb. 13th. In his youth, he got heart-shaped cakes. Fun memories.


    • My brother got those! And a later brother was born on Washington’s birthday so he got cute logs. For my oldest brother (April) and me (September) it was just cake. Still, it WAS cake and there’s nothing wrong with cake!


      • No, there’s nothing wrong with cake, but my Mom never had a birthday party, so she made a fuss. We girls (July and August) got “Barbie” cakes. The dolls were most likely from the five and dime store, but the cake ‘dresses’ were elaborate and beautiful.


  5. I can sort of relate to what you’ve said. I used to work in IT. I realised it was time to get out when I had what I thought was a heart attack. It wasn’t, just a stress-related episode, but something like that pulls you up short. Time to live life and do what I always wanted to do – write.

    I don’t find writing especially easy. The words rarely flow until I’ve sorted them in my head. But I have 7 full-length novels out there and the eighth is up there in my head, asking to come out. Having done all the courses, read the manuals, paid for the ads, begged for reviews, I firmly believe that if you’ve told a reasonable story here and there, the way to success is write another book. Even Amazon will help you out. It announced, by email (with cover) to anyone who has ever read anything of mine (I think) that my latest book was out. I couldn’t pay for that sort of advertising. I don’t want fame and fortune, but I do want to be read. I’ll be trying for a book a year, at least. That’s easily doable for me, since I’ve retired from the rat race. If you have a day job, that’s different, of course. But the principle remains.

    Valentine’s Day? Commercialised crap. I got a kiss from my husband. I liked that.


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