Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Writer’s Life: No Time to Kill by Leona Beasley

I guess I never really lack things to write about—only the time to get them done.

Now time is a funny bugger. Even fickle I’d say. It sometimes likes me and other times now so much. Still I court it like a girl on a mission, a lesbian girl on a mission. Gay girls who read this page know exactly what I mean.

We, in this case—I throw a wide net to snare my pray. The pray being time to write, get myself focused and put pen to paper. I did this when I was looking for a girlfriend. Now days I’m married. I’ve passed on this skill to my writer’s life.

In math classes I liked long division even some geometry. Southern teachers, like southern folks loved to preach about the merits of the subjects they taught or the things they experienced. “The Pythagorean Theorem will come in handy,” Coach Brandon insisted with a southern twang.

In the case of writing time management long division have proven important to know. Dividing up my time between, tweaking my novel, writing art columns, searching for work, revising the second novel, reading works in progress in public, practicing reading, doing a workshop here and there, and simply thinking about putting words together.

And though it doesn’t directly correspond I like knowing that The Pythagorean Theorem is a2 +b2 = c2. Perhaps knowledge of this theorem helps create equal balance as I carve up my time.

And I don’t like to think there isn’t enough time. That thought is too morbid for me. What I will admit is that time is as nebulous as water,
fluid, ever flowing, doing its own thing without regard to what any of my wants, desires or needs. How liberating its must be to be time itself. Never having to be conscientious of the other. Always moving in the forward motion, never looking back.

If I were Time I’d be lousy at its job, too concerned about outcome, way to anxious and un-cool.

The best I can do is to make peace with time. To honor its process, not fight it at every turn, to take it day-by-day. Knowing somehow I’ll get it all done sooner or later.

Today I have twenty-four hours to divide up at will. And now that I completed my thoughts on time I’m off to write something else.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

A Writer’s Life: Into the Woods by Leona Beasley

The Rockefeller Preserve has become my sanctuary. I walk and run the wood in search of mostly exercise, but secretly I also look for inspiration.

I can’t say I find it, only that after I’ve spent an hour I’ve at least burned calories. But sometimes I tell the trees my problem, the challenges I face in working to become a published novelist.

I guess you could say I’m lucky and I do get Arts and Culture articles published online at AOL’s Tarrytown Patch. I could live a much more enisled existence. Still my heart wants more. And so does my soul. Doesn’t every writer?

In grad school I listened on as a professor rail on about his former colleague (a really famous writer at Princeton) inability to appreciate or see all of her success.

“You never heard such moaning, the professor complained. Meanwhile she publishes a book a year, gets advanced royalties and that’s not counting her short stories, and essays.”

To my first mind my less famous professor was being a hater. Yet it did seem impossible for someone so famous to be so insecure. But fame and fortune doesn’t fan the flame of insecurity. Insecurity is its own monster.

Insecurity isn’t my challenge mine is the getting and the knowing my novel is structurally sound, and landing in the right hands. It’s a bit of a crapshoot. And minus religion it’s all seems to be a walk of faith, chance, and happenstance.

You have to drive the publishing campaign like you know where you’re going. Momentum is your ally.

And until I’ve got a structurally sound novel in the rights set of hands I’ll have to keep it moving. Keep my mind focused, and my energy directed. And I’ll push against hope that all my good work, great training, focus and drive lands me published.

And then I’ll start all over again.