Well, it's been a hectic couple of months with many stops, starts, and sputters. I'll spare you the gory details and get right to lessons learned.
One, life is tricky, messy and unpredictable. (Yeah, you'd think I'd know that already, but I seem to keep needing reminders.)
Two, sometimes because of number one above, you just have to hit the reset button and start over.
Three, starting over can be a good thing.
The whole Maine move is on hold right now (job description & funding changed, they offered the possibility of another one in a few months - but too late for me due to lease renewal dates.)
Soooooooo, that gave me a little more time to think about things and where I *hope* to be headed over the next year. (Notice I said "hope" - not plan. I'm done with planning for now. I'll just hope, try to do what I can, and see what shakes out, because really, we don't have nearly as much control over things as we'd like.)
Thus, saddled with my "what now?" funk, I had a little more time on my hands last weekend and attended an intense online workshop with Cobblestone Press on creating cover art. At the end of it, they chose to contract three new cover artists - and one of them was me. That was unexpected and exciting. :)
At some point during that weekend, I had mentioned to someone how once, after reading a story I'd written, a friend of mine made the comment that I should stick to painting. Ouch. Then, after seeing 5 new reader reviews of Managing Maggie on Fictionwise (the scale being great, good, ok, and poor) - one said great, one good, two just ok, and one said it was poor. Ouch again. Even if you take out the cheerleader and the hater, you're still left with just one "good" and two "meh, it was ok. Take it or leave it."
It made stop and think about what I was doing, what needed work, and whether I'm really cut out for this. I have to admit I felt like throwing in the towel. But after a few hours of feeling sorry for myself, I decided to use it to my advantage. It made me even more determined to prove them wrong, just like I did with that "stick to artwork, babe" friend of mine. (Just for the record, I was published before she was, so *there* pfft.) ;)
It also made me realize I was shortchanging the readers who kindly took a chance on me when I didn't give it everything I had. So now, I'm back to the drawing board. Lots of work ahead of me. I just hope I'm up to the task.
Any insights into your own life/writing lately that you'd like to share? Anything in particular you do to pick yourself up and start over?