The racket was driving me mad. Or, madder, I should say.
With every new Hootsuite, StumbleUpon, Branch Out, Pinterest, Triberr or LinkedIn tidbit shared by the multi-quadrillions, the sound increased. I covered my ears.
I yanked my hair until the roots (which needed a little color, I might add) ached.
My throat growls were more wild than civilized.
The noise reverberated in my wetware *brain* constantly.
What was it?
Swoosh! Kerplunk! Ping! Ahghhh!
Swoosh. The sound of a heavy rock hurling through the air.
Kerplunk. A rock falling dead to the ground.
Ping! A rock clipping the side, top or bottom of a target.
Ahghhh! Unhappy groan of a defeated rock thrower.
What in the world am I talking about?
Pretend you have a stack of rocks. The rocks represent:
DUTY, EFFORT, TOIL.
Several yards in front of you are a row of targets. The targets are:
- Writing bazillions of words. Making them brilliant, diverse, accurate, breathtakingly grand.
- Flitting effortlessly through the columns of Twitter (Triberr, Tweetdeck, Hootsuite, Tweetle-Dee-Dum) and the pages of Facebook like the flawless social-media mavens we are.
- Blogging like there’s no tomorrow. But there is a tomorrow. And another blog to write. If we write it, will readers even bother to come?
- Publicity, platform building, conferences, improving our craft, writing groups.
- Everything else in life!!
STRUGGLES! FRUSTRATION! WAILS! That was the racket I heard from my fellow bloggers, writers, and social-media pursuers. And in my own mind…
Fear that perhaps not all the blood, sweat and tears in the world would be enough to get us where we needed/wanted to be in our writing worlds.
Fear morphed into resentment – resentment into the sting of realizing the days of blissful writing by the sea or in a quaint mountain cabin with no worries about platform, social media, Google Analytics, Dashboards, etc. etc. etc. were gone forevermore.
“I must do something!”
I cried out, scaring my three Standard poodles and two rescue cats. And maybe my houseplants.
“I will invent an elixir to free the masses from this endless target-missing guilt!”
My eyeballs did socket circles as I conceived a name for the elixir.
SQUEEZE – the perfect name.
Why? Because my elixir would literally squeeze thirty-six hours effort from a mere twelve-hour exertion!
“Do not follow me!” I hoarsely commanded my pet entourage, retreating to my lab. I vowed never to emerge until SQUEEZE was ready to market.
I tore off my clothes and dressed in sackcloth. I sat in ashes and scratched my boils.
Wait. Sorry. That was Job, the Patriarch from the Bible. I get us mixed up sometimes.
Actually, I happened to glance out the window. Birds jabbed their beaks into my winter lawn. A crisp blue sky with pillow clouds winked at me.
Inside, my kitchen twinkled like an old friend. My houseplants seemed two shades greener than usual.
I am in charge of ME!
Who said I had to turn out 2,000 words by evening? It was my own Sunday afternoon goal. I set it. I could break it, couldn’t I?
If I wanted to take weekends (or a day or an hour or two weeks) off and be a regular human being, I could!
I shook my fist in the direction of my home office…
Do you hear me, blogs yet unwritten?
Do you hear me, Work in Progress?
Do you hear me, computer, you greedy gateway to the social media universe?
I am the one in charge of my schedule…NOT YOU!
I think I must have passed out about then. When I came to, I was making potato soup, jalapeño cornbread and coconut pound cake. I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening with family (who sort of remembered who I was). We ate, talked and watched one of the very long Lord of the Rings movies. The best part – no guilt!
It’s hard to hit a target with a lopsided rock. Balance your life, and you’ll hit the important targets straight on.
How do you keep balance in your life? Please share. We’d love to hear about it!
Of course, a visit isn’t a visit without a two-way conversation. I really want to hear from you.
I truly hope you’ll pick up a copy of my novel Silki, the Girl of Many Scarves: SUMMER OF THE ANCIENT. The print version is on sale at Amazon for only $9.85!!! For your convenience, it’s also available for Kindle, the Nook and for most other eBook readers. If you love the Southwest and kooky little characters that make you laugh aloud as authentic danger and mystery swirl at every turn, you’ll love this novel! The second book in the series, CANYON OF DOOM, debuts in early 2013.
While you’re here, please have a look around my website. To sign up to receive notices of my new blogs, recipes, appearances and media news, just leave your email address above. I’ll take care of the rest. Y’all come back soon…I miss you already!
Jodi Lea Stewart grew up smelling cedar berries and cow manure on a mega-acre Arizona cattle ranch wedged between the Navajo Nation and the White Mountain Apache Tribe Reservation. Her friends were Native American and Hispanic, with a few Anglos thrown in for good measure.
Her pastimes were singing to chickens, climbing giant petroglyph-etched boulders, hanging on for dear life in the back end of rattley old pickups driven over terracotta roads so washed out they qualified as mini-Grand Canyons, and riding one of the orneriest horses God ever put on the planet.
Traumatized beyond repair, she now writes novels in the hope of neutralizing all that craziness.
Before giving her heart to full-time fiction, Jodi cattle-prodded herself through journalism, western magazine writing, college humor writing, album-cover design/liner notes, electro-mechanical drafting, and into a position of managing editor/chief writer of a Fortune 500 corporate newsletter.
Oh, she went on to earn that dreaded BS in Business Management too, but she was pretty much an expert on one part of that degree already.
Jodi Lea Stewart now lives in Texas and New Mexico with her husband, two standard poodles and two rescue cats.
Silki, the Girl of Many Scarves: SUMMER OF THE ANCIENT is Jodi’s first novel.
Book Two in the series, CANYON OF DOOM, debuts Summer of 2013. Book Three in the series, VALLEY OF SHADOWS, hopes to come out of hiding sometime in 2014.