Margie's class yesterday was phenomenal. Truly, folks, if you haven't followed my advice and taken one, you are missing out.
Anyway, she arrived at my house at the crack of dawn, and we set off, stopping to pick up an angel bearing Sausage McMuffins. YUM! Imagine our surprise when we arrived at the classroom to find we were in a room of naked ladies. Yes, it was at an art school, and the current lesson/display was on nudes. You have to admit, it's a bit strange for a group of romance writers to be gathered in that setting. But hey, it'll make a great scene in a book.
I could tell you all about what I learned, but well, that would negate the reason for you all taking her class yourselves. ;) I did, however, get some really good things personally that I will share.
The best thing that came of it is that Margie (who is a psychologist-scary that I needed a shrink to tell me what I needed) told me I just needed to commit to something and forget about all the other stuff floating in my brain until I completed it. More specifically, I needed to commit to editing ONE book. And then, just because she's mean that way, she connected me with a friend in need of a change coach to yes, be my change coach. So, twice a week, I have a friend to make me be accountable to some goals. Why does the thought make me want to vomit?
The good news is that I am feeling like this is progress. It's weird, because I feel like I had a connection with those nudes I was surrounded with all day yesterday. It's like being naked-commiting to just doing it-not whining about making sure I'm doing the right thing-just putting myself out there and letting the chips fall where they land and adjusting accordingly. I don't know how those women were able to sit naked in a room as a group of artists sat there and painted all of their vulnerabilities. But do we do any less as authors, baring our souls to anyone who would venture to read our books?
At least-in terms of the author I want to be-I will be showing my stretch marks, the belly that never seems to lay flat, the gray hairs that pop out with greater regularity, and even that slight insanity that comes out when I least expect it. It's funny, in that room of naked women, I realized that they comforted me-while they were definitely the artist's view of the woman, they weren't the stylzed, perfect Hollywood creation. They were real women. And as I was reminded today in our small group, what I have to offer to the world as a writer is the real me, a reminder to others that you don't have to be perfect or have it all together.
Our topic of discussion in our small group was Calling-and what you feel called to do. I know I've been called to be a writer. It's silly for me to waste even a second worrying about how the specifics are going to work out. I need to just dive in and do it. God's not going to just toss me out there with nothing, right? But more importantly, and just as I was reminded of tonight, you can't steer a parked ship. To elaborate, if I'm parked in New York and want to hit England, but don't know how to get there, if I never leave New York, I'll never get there. But if I leave, it's the right direction, and I can always adjust my course.
All that is my long-winded way of saying that I have committed myself to editing AND submitting TMB. I will probably send it the agent route first, and perhaps even before that, send it out on the contest circuit just to see where it lands. I'm toying with entering it both in Inspy and Short Contemp to see where it gets the best response, but I have some editing to do first.