Blame the Tryptophan or Rewrite the Chapter!

It’s the last day of November 2015.  Could I have waited any longer to write my blog for this month?  Only if it were being posted a minute before midnight I suppose!  What is wrong with me?  Do you feel it too?  Are there things you had planned or wanted to do, but simply, didn’t?

Is it procrastination?  Creativity in a rut?  Lazy?  The effects of the tryptophan from the leftover Thanksgiving meal?  I’m not exactly sure, but I’m guessing it is a combination of all of the above.  Perhaps we’ve become creatures who look at the holidays as a chore instead of with cheer?  Geez I hate to think that is true.  Not for just those we share a merry moment with – but for ourselves first.

Last month, I wrote about waiting for my Editor to arrive.  My thoughts and feelings of this process of writing a novel.  It’s funny, and completely unplanned, but today, she is reading the rewrites from that post.  But the feeling is different.  I’m actually a little more excited than anxious this time.  Why?  I think because I allowed myself time.  Time to read over all the notes I took from our meeting.  Time to study and read other people’s writing much more experienced than I.  Time to walk away from it completely – then to come back to it and try again, actually seeing what I could improve, not so much as mistakes – but simply better overall writing.

Will I have to rewrite it again?  I don’t know, part of me thinks not, the other part goes, well of course silly!  Remember, my Editor pushes – she encourages and guides, but she pushes you to do your best work.  You can take this as motivation, or you can take it personal and waste time feeling sorry for yourself. The choice is yours.

So now going back to that feeling, that rut, that ‘Any excuse to do something, anything, but that!’  It’s not an excuse.  It is not being lazy or chowing down on tryptophan packed fowl.  It is time.  Look at it as something that works for you – and I bet you’ll look at it with new eyes.  A fresh perspective and an anxious with excitement instead of dread, glow!  Just like you can choose to do with the next holiday.  It’s not sitting around a dark corner waiting to pounce on you!  Unless that is how you want to view it.  Seeing the reasons for the seasons, whatever faith you carry, or spirit you hold close to your heart or not at all.  It doesn’t mean you cannot enjoy the lights sparkling on the tree limbs outside.  The smell of evergreens inside.  Favorite recipes, and the smells those memories take you right back to where you were making memories as a child.  Take the time and enjoy this moment – you can’t get it back, so why not choose to enjoy it, instead of feel an overwhelming sense of loss and doom.

I also know, the holidays can be a terrible time of loneliness.  The loss of a loved one, or for myself – loved ones in multiples.  It can be sad.  You can mourn to the point of missing the sparkles all together.  You can walk through the season in the dark instead of the light.  Again, that is your choice.  But I humbly ask you – if you do choose that path – be kind to yourself.  Do not stay in the dark too long.  Feel the sorrow – say a prayer if you wish, or meditate.  Speak out loud to those you lost, or write a letter and tuck it away with all the things you wished you’d said, or wish to apologize for.  Then take just a little time, and toast the memories, those in our past, and those waiting to happen in the future.  May they include good health and safety and a little love tucked in too.

So how did this blog post turn from writing about the process – the writing of my novel? To the excitement and the joy, the anxiety and the doom – end up with inspiration, a message, a little bit of spice and joy?  Because it is that ‘time’ of year.  It is the time we give something or the time we choose not to give anything.  It is the time you write your own story, or read someone elses.  It is the time you take to do the work – feel the process – and enjoy it, or not, but keep moving forward!  Sometimes you need to write and walk away.  Give it time to settle and simmer and brew.  Give yourself time to clear your head, think about something else, then return to it.  You may be very surprised and pleased with what you find.  Or you can say to yourself, “What the heck was I thinking when I said that?” And the rewrite, rethought, refocus begins again.  Don’t fall into the rut of the past.  Get up!  Get going!  Enjoy the process!  You can’t change the past, you can’t even touch the future, but you can, right now, this moment do what you wish to do and find the joy in simply doing that.

Now, if you will excuse me.  There is some leftover turkey in the fridge, and a nap with my name on it this afternoon – and then the next three chapters to give time, effort, a fresh set of eyes and the hope for something wonderful to happen in the rewrites!

Breathe Deep, Think Peace



About Patricia Young

Patricia Young spent most of her life in the Northeast. Before the casinos arrived and many of the safety rails installed, she would hike Bushkill Falls and enjoy time in a little cabin by Meadow Lake near the Delaware Water Gap. The school year was spent in New Jersey, but many summers were spent in Mississippi where she wandered in the woods, rode horses, and read piles of comic books with cousins. After graduating from college with a degree in education, she taught fifth grade in Bayside, Queens. When rent climbed to high for her salary she working for the defense industry in Yonkers before starting a small business called, The Giving Tree Day Care. For fifteen years she was "held hostage by two-year-olds!" Writing every day in a notebook for each child to keep communication open to each family. Fast forward to the spring of 2013 diagnosed with severe carpal tunnel syndrome (she does NOT recommend having both hands done at the same time! Often wondering "What was I thinking?!") Physical therapy and time slowly began the healing process and gardening strengthened her hands. After an unexpected, but a deeply personal journey to Montana in the fall of 2013 she decided it was time to reinvent herself and embrace her fondness for writing. With renewed confidence, and a plan to do the work necessary to become a writer, she began writing every day (with the help of - thank you Kellianne and Buster!), submitting to a variety of magazines and contests to practice the craft. Attending writing retreats, workshops, lectures, taking classes, reading and immersing herself in the process. She began to work with writers and authors in the tri-state area. Currently living in Westchester New York Patty lives with her husband of 32 years, two dogs, two fish, and one cat in a little Cape Cod. The laughter, love, and support are plentiful. Patty has completed her first novel presently called "Northeast of 80". Working with her genre editor, she hopes and dreams and keeps fingers crossed to find an agent in the fall of 2019. You are invited to join her on this journey of a writer. To experience her trials, successes and stumbles along the way. Please share your own stories and maybe we can untangle some of the complexities of this writers life together. Breathe Deep, Think Peace
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