A friend asked me what my secret was to daily writing. How I found the time to participate in the National Novel Writing Month.
My greatest secret to writing is that I live alone. I don't have the daily responsibilities and distractions that others may have. My significant other lives 50 miles over a small mountain range. My son lives a 2-3 hour drive, depending on weather and traffic over that same mountain. He lives in San Francisco. Both of them work about 12 hours a day. My daughter and all the descendants live in Lost Angeles region. My other family members live half way across the country, as distant in miles as we are in knowing each other. Long story there. I have little social life to speak of unless you count the internet, facebook and my favorite forums. I no longer know any of my childhood and school friends. Nearly all my high school sweethearts died in Viet Nam. I'm not kidding. My girlfriends from high school changed their names to marry. I've changed mine. Haven't found but a few on Classmates dot com. But we've grown so far apart, reconnecting have not been successful. I have few connections friends from my adulthood. Never living in any one place for more than a few years, my life has always been in upheaval. Peer groups have melted away. A rolling stone gathers no moss, is me. A rolling stone leaves all the other stones behind, wonders where they are, and why they aren't at the destination with her. Well, not anymore. I've finally figured that one out. Watching a small landslide demonstrates that rolling stones roll in different directions seldom settling together at one location
I have more doctors, clinics and hospitals listed in my address book and cellphone contacts, than I do friends. That says a lot. Last year, I finally joined the local Senior Center and began participating in a crochet/knitting group. I'm the youngest. I'm their "kid". But, it is nice to have human contact in the flesh who are not in the medical field. Well, who are not presently working in the medical field. Since the senior group meets at the local hospital, about half are retired nurses. Like me, I guess they can't stay away from the place. Go figure! Must be my karma!
I don't feel sorry for myself that things have turned out this way. After all, I made choices that brought me here. And, yes, life has given me some circumstances (challenges? opportunities?) I would not have chosen for myself.
Life unfolds like a garden. You plant what you want, you arrange things as you will, and weeds will still grow into your plans anyway. Then, it is up to the gardener/author to make new choices separate from the plans. Does one allow the weeds to take over? keep the garden sterile yet pretty? or allow for symbiosis?
Me? I'm one who grabs the dead flower heads and tosses the seeds willy nilly. (Not talking about the metaphorical garden anymore.) If they come up next year, fine. They give the weeds some competition, in my opinion, and keep me off my knees. Thank Heavens!
Living where I do, with summer water shortages, I try not to have unrealistic expectations putting plants in the soil that can't handle drought. Living coastal, they must also be able to thrive on a lot of night moisture from fog, which would mold plants not acclimated to the region. I barely garden anymore. It all seems to take care of itself, though my fussier neighbors might not agree. My baby pine trees, from the after Christmas sale of a few years ago, are now nearly as tall as the house. My mini Myer lemon tree is abundant. Oh, how I love lemon in my tea! And it is giving one of the pine trees some challenge for space. I do get out there occasionally, and trim some branches so they don't get too well acquainted.
Now that I've re-read what I've written, I realize my non-metaphorically gardening comments about myself, are metaphorical... for the way I write.
Throw the seeds.
Don't pamper the flowers.
Let the weeds and the seeds co-mingle.
Trim only slightly.
Don't water too much except by mist.
Let things happen naturally.
Yup... that's my writing style. It will be my downfall. I've got no left brain!
I wonder where it went? Oh, there it is... right over there.
As for writing daily... I do write daily. Just not an ordered garden, which should be my goal. You know what I mean? If I am actually going to create characters and orchestrate them into a story, then it's time for me to focus on that one thing... New Year's resolution, I say!