INSANITY, TOWELS, AND SCISSORS


Okay, folks – I’m ready to throw the towel in! Not regarding everything – just a few things.




“It's often said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.” A quote most often attributed to Albert Einstein. This could possibly be why many writers feel as if we’re going bonkers! Same poop, different day. Thankfully, it’s rainbow-colored unicorn poop because we create “kidlit”. My goal is to inspire people, so I’m not saying to throw the towel in and quit.


Lifelong learning is lots of things: we learn from books, taking classes, from doing, from our mistakes, and from others – we learn just by living and observing everything around us. I totally understand that you need to keep going to stay in the game. That’s especially true with writers. “Just write something– you can’t edit a blank page.” “Quitting is one way to definitely not ever get published.” Now, I’ve heard it said that you can write for the sheer joy of it instead of getting published. I can only speak for myself, but getting published is the main goal! Most (if not all) of my writer friends feel the same way.


So, we attend conferences, workshops, take courses (online lately) critique each other, we get feedback from industry professionals, we write, revise, cry, revise more, scream, pull our hair out, and do it all over again. And again. And again. Are we crazy for participating in this hamster wheel existence? Probably. Most creative people are a bit kooky – in a good way! But something’s got to give.


What have I learned lately? I still want to be in the game. However, my preliminary artwork is just not cutting it. I’m not a professional illustrator – and won’t ever be at this point in my life. Do I still love art? Yes! Will I still paint and draw for myself? Yes! Will I still teach art basics and my passion for creativity to children? Yes! Have I removed the word “illustrator” from my website, and all social media? Yes! I am a writer – plain and simple. (It’s not really “simple”, folks.)


While I think it’s good for most people to simplify things in their lives - it’s especially important for those of us with chronic medical issues. Despite Parkinson’s, I can still come up with characters, stories, and I can still type super fast. But I will leave the artwork to the true artists. They are true superheroes. I gave it a try and I don’t have the super powers to create graphic novels. My children’s stories come out as fun chapter books. So…I will revise BUGS ON BROADWAY again, and cry, scream, pull out my hair, revise, and repeat. Then I’ll query agents and editors who work on CBs. Simplified? Yes. Simple? Heck NO! But I love these characters, and I’d love to share them.


You may be wondering about the mention of “scissors” in the headline. Sure, I’ve learned to cut out things that aren’t working. But in this case, I’m talking about a real pair of scissors. Scissors that my sister used recently to try to cut her own hair! Did you hear me? Cut her own hair! She called me on the way to a hair salon, fearful that they would need to cut it really short to straighten out her mess. I told her about the one time (one time!) I cut my own hair as a teen. I will never do that again. Then she told me about a time when I was two and she was eight years old. She had me in front of the bathroom sink, claiming she was about to make me “beautiful”. She cut off a big chunk of my hair, fairly close to the scalp. I have no recollection of this, but laughed hysterically at the story. She said our mom was not laughing – something about photos that were supposed to happen that week. Lesson learned. Do not cut your own hair, or let a sibling near your hair with a pair of scissors! (You’ve been warned) She can’t cut hair, but her paintings are gorgeous. Check out her work at: https://www.roemurray.com


I’ve learned it’s okay to give myself permission to get rid of what’s not working. So, I shall go back and simplify my manuscript. Have you learned ways to streamline or simplify your life? Thanks for joining me. Wishing you all success and happiness. Remember: There is always more to learn every single day.


“If we would aim at perfection in anything, simplicity must not be overlooked.”

- Henry David Thoreau






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