When the truth is a lie!

When the truth is a lie!

We make time for the things that are important to us.

I’m writing for the first time in my new office. Boxes are stacked almost floor to ceiling against one wall, and I have no plans for unpacking them anytime soon. Actually, I have no place to unpack them, even if I were so inclined. I need shelves, I need a desk, I need file cabinets … and the truth is, I don’t NEED any of those things, I WANT them. I want to create a Write Space, but putting off writing until that is accomplished is both self-defeating and unnecessary.

Have laptop, will write! Only the reality of that is “have laptop, COULD write”. But I haven’t.

So, if the first statement is true – we make time for the things that are important to us – what does that say about the importance I place on writing? That it is not important to me? And yet, I want to write and I want to publish books. So why am I not doing it?

I moved this month and that has been hectic and time-consuming. But the truth is, I’ve been telling myself LIES! “I’ll start again as soon as I get settled in,” I said. “I need to get my house unpacked; I need to get the old house ready to list for sale; I need to get my office Write Space organized”…the list is endless. All of these things are true, and yet they are also lies!

How can the truth also be a lie? When I tell myself, I don’t have time to write because “insert any of the above” – it is a lie. I don’t have time to write, because I don’t MAKE TIME to write. This blog and the challenges associated with it are the tools I have put in place to hold myself accountable. If I don’t start writing, I’m going to get a second bucket of ice dumped on my head. Well, at least this time it will be in August, not freezing February.

There is no right time – there is only now.

Terri Rich

Terri Richison (writing as Terri Rich) lives in Clear Lake City, TX with her husband and a giant Great Dane (giant even by Great Dane standards). She is working on self-publishing women’s fiction and avoiding getting a pie in the face if she doesn’t produce pages for every critique session! PIES OR PAGES! Terri started telling stories almost as soon as she could talk – she learned everything she needed to know about storytelling at her grandmother’s knee. Craft however, is something she is still learning – those damn commas give me nightmares!

19 thoughts on “When the truth is a lie!

  1. Thank for this posting, Terri. It’s very honest and true for a lot of us, I think.

    In the short time since I’ve read it, I’ve begun to wonder — and this is certainly true for me — is whether the lie is what I think it is… I wonder if perhaps the real lie that I’m telling myself is, “I want to write,” when what I really mean is, I want to be published.

    When I think about the “dream” I have of writing, I don’t normally think about the hours spent slogging at the keyboard. I don’t imagine myself tweaking and perfecting that synopsis. Or the hours spent editing a crappy first chapter so that it has the right hook.

    Instead, I think about seeing my book covers on Amazon, or receiving royalty checks, or being swamped at book signings. (Full disclosure: I have never been swamped by fans at a book signing, unless I happened to stand too close to Nora Roberts’ table.)

    Is that the real dream I’m trying to make come true?

    I remember years ago someone at an RWA conference quoting a statistic about the number of traditionally published authors who sell only 1 book. It was something like 75%. I’m not knocking that at all — being published is a worthy goal!

    But in terms of the long haul for us, and for our own sanity, I’m wondering now if that dream of publishing is really what we mean when we say, “I want to write.”

    Maybe starting from clarity around that question is a good starting point.

    I’m curious to know what others think.

    1. Kay – YOU ARE RIGHT! I DO write – and I will continue to write whether or not I ever publish – the REAL dream is to be a self-published author of multiple books. So, there. I said it ‘out loud’ – Thank you for adding clarity to my ramblings!

    2. For me, it’s a squeaky wheel issue, and my writing doesn’t tend to get attention until it begins to squeak and squeal as it rubs up against a deadline. Only then does it become something I prioritize. To be fair, this pretty much sums up my attitude towards EVERYTHING in life.

      My husband is always urging me not to let things become an issue before I address them, and I just hate it when the old man is right!

  2. Writing is important to you but like you said life gets in the way… Didn’t you move to the bay house to write??? But…Writing is important to you and you like it, it’s not your job. You don’t HAVE to do it to make money. You do it because you enjoy it. So you do it when life is not happening. Life in the big city (from Sargent) is going to get in the way a lot…that reminds me, can you pick up Reed 2 days this week…Oops, life just got on the way. We all know you can’t write with an almost 4 year old running around. Love you

    1. Crissy – yes, I will pick Reed up two days this week! And you make a good point – if I had to support myself as an author, I’ll bet life would interfere a lot less. So, while writing is more than a hobby – it is not a full-time JOB – its somewhere in the middle, where family will always come first!

  3. Even though I’m only working three days a week these days, I’m still only turning out a page or so a day. And I try to do it in the morning, so it’s “out of the way.” Right now it feels too much like homework, an obligation to get done and over. It could be because I’m trying to write the ending to the current WIP, and want to make it live up to the rest of the book (which is closing in on an unexpected 90,000 words). I haven’t set myself any deadlines, but when I finish this one and edit the trilogy, I’m hoping to join the Indie ranks, too.

    1. Kay – ah, for those golden days of blissful ignorance, when we wrote with fire, even if what we were writing was crap! Then we all started taking BK’s classes and discovered how much we didn’t know! I look forward to reading this trilogy! Good luck!

  4. This makes me think of exercising. I really don’t want to exercise, but I want the affects of it….write = publish; exercise = health. Terri, you ARE a Writer. There are just days you don’t write. Doesn’t change who you are.

  5. You are not alone Terri. I do the same thing at my office *every single month*. The first of every month comes with a vow that I will keep everything filed away in perfectly labeled files. (I already have the file cabinets and the organizational tools for success) I promise myself I will stay ontop of daily work so I don’t get stressed at the end of the month. It would be so much easier if I could run my life on a schedule. Monday, post payables, Tuesday, post checks and credit cards…. Unfortunately, life happens. The boss needs me… A project or a report… It never fails that 5 o’clock rolls around and I only finished 10% of what I intended to.

    Every month I have to pick a day or two, put my foot down and say today is a ME day. No, you can’t have your stinkin report, NO I won’t take on another project, NO. NO. NO. Pretend I am not here. Pretend Cassie is in a world where computers and cell towers don’t exist. I am unreachable. Until I get done what I need to you will have to function without me!!

    Maybe you could try a “me day” on a smaller scale. Perhaps a “me hour” to start and build from there.

    1. Cassie – what an awesome suggestion. A ‘me hour’ and work toward making it two or three – every day, five days a week. Otherwise, the last couple of weeks in July will have me racing toward this challenge deadline on August 1st – and probably not achieving the goal, because I have set myself up for failure. I’m going to try it – starting tomorrow. Thank you!

  6. Something Kay said not too long ago – something to the effect that she was wondering if she was going through some sort of mid-life crisis, hit me. It hit me then and it hit again when I read your post, because one issue I’m dealing with is the notion that as we age, life should get easier. Rebelliousness is supposed to strike in your teen years, but by golly, I’m dealing with this right now, as if by force of will alone I can change the nature of things.

    Yeah, tell me about it. They have little rubber room for people who do this!

    So my rebellious delusion stems from the belief that hard work is done when you are young, starting out, haven’t got things figured out yet. I know you can still remember back that far (hee-hee) when living in the now was infinitely more appealing than living for the future.

    So yes, I want to write, so that yes, I can finally have my stuff out there, but hell to the NO do I want to do the work. Work sucks. I’m already thinking about retirement, and I’m a solid decade away from that glorious moment. So I struggle, and I think it’s too much work having a day job, trying to write, and dealing with all the other life moments that come along. It’s just too fucking too hard, and I shouldn’t have to work that hard. Not anymore.

    It’s soooooo much easier to lounge around the pool, soaking up the rays, and daydream about being published. The reality would mean being inside, sitting at my computer, slogging through the countless dilemmas that plague our creations. Yuk.

    So I feel ya, girlfriend, wanting something and finding the will to actually do something are two very different creatures. But at least we are in this together, and we are offering ourselves some pretty strong motivation for getting our butts in the chair.

    And in case you really are too old to remember, think back on how slowly, how torturously I poured that bucket of ice over Dawn’s head in February. What I’m saying is you better get your ass in gear, sista girl, cause I’ve got a bucket with your name on it. And baby, I plan to be on the Dry Team this go around. Booyah!

  7. Lorinda, yes – we are in this together! And dahlin, I do hope, for your sake, that you are on the DRY team – because YES I do remember how slowly and torturously you poured that bucket of ice water over Dawn – and trust me, either one of us will be happy to return that favor. So, please, sit out by the pool, soak up those rays, and dream about being published and how refreshing that ice water will feel come Aug 1st!

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