Monday, January 30, 2017

Keep on Dreaming Even if it Breaks Your Heart



I used to own at least a dozen houseplants.They dotted the windowsills and hung from the ceiling in fancy baskets. I have zero left. They didn't all die. I gave some of them away for their own good. The problem was a lack of consistency. I'd neglect them until they were near death and then pamper them back to good health, only to let them languish again. It's an all-or-nothing mentality, and as much as I want to do better, this is how I continue to operate.

Look at this blog. I didn't mean to let it die. I only meant to take a short break. Then the reasons for staying away piled up and, well, here we are two-and-a-half years later.

On the up side, during that time, I finished another manuscript - YA suspense, which is new for me, and I've had a great time writing it. On the down side, I've lost touch with a lot of my fellow bloggers.

When I started Shy Writer six years ago, I admitted in my first ever blog post that I tend to isolate myself. This is another behavior I have to consciously work at overcoming. Because even though my default is to go it alone, life is just better when we have people to share the journey with. And that's what has finally brought me back here: you, my fellow writers. Because you are the only ones who truly get it. This crazy journey. The feeling of elation when you've worked for three years on a manuscript and you're finally sure it's done. The feeling of possibility when you send those first queries out into the world. And then the feelings of disappointment that turn to despair as the dreaded possibility surfaces:  maybe this one is going to end up in the drawer alongside all the others. That's a hard truth to swallow.

Photo Courtesy of Free Artistic Photos

Today, I'm not only trying to bring this blog back to life, I'm hoping to revive my broken spirit by reaching out, reconnecting with old friends and maybe even making some new ones.


I don't know about you, but it's often music that gets me through the toughest spots. So I'm sharing a song that fits this journey and always helps me to take heart.


How about you? Do you have a song that keeps you going when you feel like giving up?

37 comments:

  1. Glad you've started blogging again and reaching out. That's what's important. And congrats on finishing your manuscript. That's awesome!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Natalie! I know, finishing seems like the hardest part ... until the querying begins.

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  2. Ruth, I was so happy to find your comment on my blog this morning. I hoped it meant you were reviving your blog. I have a friend who is a really good landscape painter who just had a year of slow sales and is feeling much like you. A writer who is self-published and has a site you might find helpful is www.paulinewiles.com. Question: Have you had your finished manuscript beta read?

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    1. Hi, Jean! It feels good to be back. Thanks for sharing the link. I'll pop over and check out Pauline's site. To answer your question, yes, I've had the MS beta read. Twice. And it's been through my critique group multiple times. And I hired a professional editor this time around. I feel like I'm getting close. I've had some of the top agents in the YA field requesting the full, and yet, still no offers of representation. I received an R&R and spent months revising to that agent's suggestions, but again, no offer in the end. I just need to take a nice deep breath and then I'm going to plunge into another revision.*sigh*

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  3. Welcome back to blogging, Ruth! I have a whole play list of "pretty" songs that help keep me going. It's a somewhat random mix of all types of music that evokes a certain "pretty" emotional response in me.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Katie. I'm terrible at actually taking the time to put play lists together. I compile them in my mind all the time, but then never actually follow through.

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  4. Of all the folks who withered away from blogger and blogging, I missed you most. You made my day showing up again. Spring isn't here yet, and winter is just getting its mojo, but your resurrection feels positively springy to me!

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    1. Oh my goodness, Mirka. Is it crazy to say that your lovely greeting made me cry? It did. In the very best of ways. Thank you so very much for welcoming me back. I have missed you as well!

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  5. It's so great to see you again! :) I've thought about you and would stop by here off and on to see you, but figured you were on an extended hiatus. :) Kept thinking I needed to email you to see how you were (but we both know that hadn't happened yet...).

    Yes, I agree, the journey is much better with others, or at the very least, a faithful handful. More of a loner here too, so I can relate. It does take a bit to get me going and into the social media scene. Ah, it's so good to see you again! This post made me smile. :) Glad you made good progress with your writing in your time away. And really glad you're back!

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    1. Karen, Thanks for the warm welcome! How nice to hear that I came to mind while I was away. As someone who composes lots of emails in my head, and follows through with very few of them, I appreciate the fact that you even thought about emailing ;)

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  6. Good to see you back, and thanks for stopping by my blog! I hope we make you want to stick around.

    Music in general keeps me going - singing and humming while I'm doing something mundane helps to keep my house clean :-)

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  7. Glad to see you back blogging again! Haven't seen you or your daughter for a while. Was happy you left a comment on my blog so I could see if you were back. I tend to isolate myself too. Totally understand!

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    1. Hi Pat, yes my daughter has been away from blogging too. It's one of those things that once you give it up, even if you want to go back, you just can't imagine how you ever found the time.

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  8. Welcome back, Ruth! It's easy to get busy and let things slide. One of the things I'm trying to do this year is trade busy for productive. Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting.

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    1. I know what you mean, Susan. I find being busy stresses me out, while being productive is wholly satisfying. Good luck as you make the trade!

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  9. Welcome back, Ruth! It's easy to get busy and let things slide. One of the things I'm trying to do this year is trade busy for productive. Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting.

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  10. It's great to see you back again! Congrats on finishing a book, which is HUGE! I'm sorry the querying isn't going well, but it's a new day in publishing. Thee are scores of small publishers out there willing to take a leap of faith and there's always self-publishing. I'm a hybrid author and do both. Yes, sometimes it's depressing. So much work, so little to show for it. But if you enjoy thinking up stories and working on them, keep going! It takes quite a few published books before you begin to develop a fan base. And yes, I'd never have gotten anywhere without the wonderful community of writers we have here!!

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    1. Thanks so much for the input, Lexa. I know you're right, there are lots of different avenues of possibility. I'm not sure I'm ready to change directions yet, but it is good to be reminded that others options exist. Thanks!

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  11. Welcome back, Ruth! Wow! Has it been that long? The way my life is I realized a couple of weeks ago that I'd misplaced a whole year!
    Huge congratulations on having a book manuscript ready for someone to love enough to send it out there. It will happen with the right person. Continue to believe.
    Oh, music. For me it's different songs or instrumentals at different times. Often it's silence or nature soundtracks.
    I'm glad you're back.

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    1. Thanks for the warm welcome, Lynn =) I totally get misplacing a year. Crazy how life can do that.

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  12. Seeing your post in my inbox made me smile! I so get the isolation thing. That's my tendency too. It feels like I've been blogging though, mostly because I tend to draft posts in my head. But then I don't actually write and post. I do miss the connecting! I get a little via IG and Twitter, but definitely different than the early days of blogging. I'm getting lots of creative work in tho! :) Happy to see you here and big yay for your writing projects!

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    1. Hi Coleen! I've noticed a lot of people I used to check in with regularly who aren't blogging much anymore. I do love seeing your lovely artwork on FB (or is it on Twitter?) though. It always makes me smile. Thanks for stopping by to say hello =)

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  13. Hi, Ruth! I'm so glad you're blogging again; it's a great way to buoy your writer's heart. Congratulations on the YA manuscript - hope to read it soon! All the best ~ Victoria

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    1. I think of you often, Victoria. I received your lovely Christmas card (I didn't get any out this year) and I've been meaning to check in with you ever since.

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  14. Yay, Ruth. I'm forever dragging myself in and out of isolation - so I so get the disappearing thing. Glad you're back on the blog again.

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    1. I guess it is with life as it is with writing - everything goes in cycles. Thanks for stopping by, Trish =)

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  15. Congratulations on coming back to your blog - and more congratulations on finishing your manuscript!

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  16. Yah! I'm glad you're back!

    Often Stevie Wonder's optimism is just what I need: "As," "Happier Than the Morning Sun." Or The Beatles's "Here Comes The Sun."

    I have a playlist of upbeat songs for exercising. Here are a few to check out: "Rise" by Herb Alpert, "Bellavia" by Chuck Mangione, "Bumblebeat" by Govi, "Breezin'" by George Benson.

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    1. Thanks so much for the list, Barbara. I checked all of them about. Although most of the titles were not familiar, I was surprised by how many songs I ended up recognizing -- and the memories that they brought back. =)

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  17. It can be tough to jump back in after a blogging break, but the last time I did so, I didn't have a really strong group of followers in place. I had to start from scratch--and that's when I discovered IWSG. I think with IWSG, you can jump back in and you know we're always going to be here to read!

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  18. Hi Ruth! So glad to "see" you again! Congrats on your YA suspense - sounds awesome - and yay for you reaching out when you need friends! I think you'll find we're all still here for you :)

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    1. So good to hear from you again, Susanna. Thanks for stopping by.

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