In honor of forging ahead with my new novel (untitled), jumping into my new stage of life (empty nest), celebrating the Jewish New Year (5774) and scheduling many new book events (calendar to be updated), Women’s Fiction Writers has a new post by me and—a whole new look (but no more parenthetical phrases)!
I hope you like the new digs as much as I do!
A Writer’s Ring Of Truth
It’s been a while since I wrote my own post on my own blog. I’ve spent the summer promoting The Glass Wives, writing my next novel (still untitled), working on freelance editing projects, looking for a job outside the house (I’m “opting in”) and mostly, getting ready to send both kids off to college. No, it didn’t take all summer to shop and pack and prepare the kids. It took all summer to prepare me.
And it will probably take a little longer.
It’s not like I’m new to life-altering changes, but each one seems to be like the first. Except for one thing.
This time I know I’ll be fine.
How do I know? Because I constantly remind myself that I’ve done this “starting from scratch” thing before. That writing and life is strewn with uncertainty. That there is no other option but to be fine. I remind myself often of how far I’ve come, how much I have accomplished, and how many choices I have (even when it seems I have none, which is often). I remind myself that there is more to be grateful for than not. And when I forget, I remind myself to remember.
I started this slightly obsessive reminder system when I received my first check for two essays published in a major newspaper in 2006, by putting a ring on my finger. That’s right. I put a ring on it.
I didn’t spend the whole check or bedeck myself with razzle-dazzle. I chose something I could wear every day, that would not distract me. I knew it was merely a symbol, a token, a visual reminder of the chance I’d taken in reaching out to an editor in a fit of confidence tinted with naïveté. In a matter of four years I’d been divorced, my ex-husband had died, I was raising two kids alone, and after years as a stay-home mom, a year of blogging and writing for ezines (remember those?) I’d sent an email to an editor at a major newspaper and after lots of hard work, I was forging a freelance career with no idea that would lead to more freelance writing and editing, and publishing a novel.
But I didn’t buy the ring as a reward, I bought it as a reminder. While rings are often the sign of a promise, mine was a proclamation.
I can do anything.
The ring may be subtle but the message is strong. And this is one that needs to be.
Years have passed. Stuff has happened. Big stuff and small stuff. Good and bad stuff. Writer stuff and non-writer stuff. I wear that ring when I write my novels and essays and I wore that ring when I went by myself to New York to meet my agent and editor. I wore it when my best friend was in big-time surgery and I wore it to an event where I’d see people I didn’t like (and had to be engaging and nice). I wore when I spoke to a hundred people about my book, (which I like very much).
See? I can do anything.
Probably most important of all, I have worn this ring to move each of my kids into college. Correction. I have worn this ring to drive away after moving each kid into college.
It might seem silly, my little ring of truth, but in its simplicity it reminds me of the power in an inkling, in taking a chance and what can happen when I do. It reminds me of the beauty in a small moment, that perfect word, a polished paragraph, a game of fetch with the dog. I reminds me that in every tiny achievement, every baby step, there is the possibility for something more. Something big. It reminds me that if I conquered the past I can handle the future, no matter surprises or hardships it brings.
Because I can do anything.
And if I can do anything, so can you.
I hope that rings true.