Once again, it’s time for the monthly blog hop from the Insecure Writers Support Group. On the first Wednesday of each month, writers gather to commiserate, support each other, and laugh over shared foibles. Join the fun here: http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/p/iwsg-sign-up.html or here: #IWSG. Thanks to Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh and this month’s hosts: Julie Flanders, Shannon Lawrence, Fundy Blue, and Heather Gardner.
This month’s question: As you look back on 2017, with all its successes/failures, if you could backtrack, what would you do differently?
The time portal glows–an eerie, pulsing green light that pierces the midnight mist. From within its swirling depths, a seductive voice croons, “Step through. You can undo it all, start again.”
An icy finger of hope and fear tickles the base of my spine. “How far back?” I whisper.
“Dang. I was hoping for pre-election—”
The voice cuts me off, harsher now. “January. Take it or leave it.”
I gulp a lungful of air, squeeze my eyes shut, and step through.
I’m holding a phone in my hand. The nice lady has offered me a job, one that involves a commute, not much pay, but the chance to use my skill set again—one that’s rare and in demand, unlike writing fiction. But now I know how much time and energy that job will drain, how my writing will languish, how I’ll writhe with frustration as I prepare yet another lesson plan.
“No, ma’am. Your offer is tempting, but I’ll have to pass.” While I’m at it, I resign from my other time-sucking, low-paying, part-time job and settle in to write full time. Okay, I’m not being paid yet, but I know I need to build up my stable of stories before I can generate an income stream from indie publishing. How lucky am I to have that opportunity!
I smile and turn to the pile of writing craft books before me. Now I know that Lisa Cron’s Story Genius will streamline my revision process and make my next manuscript sleeker, faster, a purring Ferrari rather than a breakdown-prone old Ford.
Now I know that I actually have a knack for writing romance, and that I’ll really enjoy the process. Who’da thunk it?
And then my timer dings, and I get my widening butt out of my desk chair and go for a twenty-minute walk before resuming my work. After all, the brain is an organ of the body.
When my manuscript is finished, I pop over to the UPS store and have the whole thing printed and spiral-bound, then tackle final edits with pencil, highlighters, and sticky notes—because now I know I’ll notice details on paper that I wouldn’t on a screen.
What a productive, satisfying year I’ve had, now that I’ve been gifted with hindsight. As 2017 draws to a close, I strap on my tool belt and return to the time portal to tinker with those controls. If only I can adjust the target to October of 2016…