Sunday, January 12, 2014
What would you do if you had more time?
In a fast paced world, it seems we are always so short of time. I find that I am chasing after the clock most days. I rush around trying to fit in housework, shopping, laundry, and the multitude of other things I have to do in my day.
It doesn't matter what you do for a living, there still seems like there isn't enough time to get everything done. You may work full time like I do, or be a stay-at-home mom, or a working mom, or work from home, and still struggle with finding time to get it all done.
It's exhausting really.
For me, I find my day is so consumed with work that I have little time for me. When I was younger and a stay-at-home mom, it was the same. My days were filled with running after the kids, wiping noses, changing diapers, cooking, cleaning, and all the time consuming stuff moms do to ensure their home is a happy one.
I didn't mind putting myself on the back burner because I loved being a mom and figured there would be time for me once they grew up. Then the kids became teenagers and I realized I wasn't quite done. Yes, I had hoped I'd have a little more time for myself by then, and I did, but most of my energy was still spent elsewhere. I had a new role. I became their personal taxi, counselor, teacher, and referee. It was a challenge, but I don't regret it one bit. As I said before. I loved being a mom period. It was definitely worth giving up my time over.
Then they moved out and the whole game changed. The me time I had anticipated didn't exist. There were bills that needed to be paid; bills that crept up from raising three well rounded individuals. Time and money well spent, but debt non-the-less, and someone had to pay them.
So off to work I went. Sure we had a dual income with my husband working as well, and you'd think that would be enough, but the way the world is right now, everything is expensive. Old bills blended in with new bills, and it became evident that working full time was my new normal.
But what about me?
For the longest time, I pouted and dragged my feet around, barely getting through my day. I felt sorry for myself. I spent a lifetime waiting for me time that would never come unless I did something drastic.
My drastic move was a big one.
While my kids were in school, I squeezed some time out to write. Yes, I figured out that I love to write. I wrote my heart out and managed to get two novels written. But then what? I didn't know. I sent a few queries to publishers and got rejection letters back instead. Fine, I could accept the fact that I was a newbie. After all, I was just trying to make me time in between the laundry and housecleaning. I didn't think I was some big-shot writer.
I was just a mom, just a woman trying to make time for me.
So, my two silly newbie novels full of mistakes, became permanent residents on my bookshelf and collected dust over a period of ten years of my life. It was a shame that I didn't have enough confidence to pursue my dream at that time. I let everything hold me back. Publishing was hard to break into for the best writers, and the internet market was very raw and new, not like it is today.
Embarrassment washed over me that I even thought I was good enough to publish. And then everything changed. As I said before, I did something drastic. Call it a mid-life-crisis, call it arrogance, call it whatever you want, but I resurrected my dusty old novels and decided to dance.
If I was ever going to have me time, I realized I was the only one who could make it happen. With all the kids living on their own, I found I had to re-create myself. A better word for that would be 'find' myself.
What I didn't realize was that I was there all along. Just hidden. I allowed myself to be last on the list because of time restraints and things that were more important than me. It's a common mistake done by most mothers out there, but because of it, I lost myself for a time.
Well no more.
I forged myself forward into a unfamiliar realm - the wonderful world of self-publishing. I realized I didn't need a big fancy publisher to tell me that my writing was good or bad. To me it was good, typo's and all. No, to me it was my life, and it was time for me to live it.
Challenging as it was, I worked on my writing two hours before work almost every day. I edited and formatted, researched and pushed forward until my two novels were ready for self-publishing.
Today, I have three full length novels and eleven other stories and plays published on Amazon, in print and ebook form. I am proud to call myself a published author and am currently working on my next novel.
I look back and I wonder why it took me all those years to publish. I let everything distract me from my goal. I forgot about me. I forgot to dance. Life isn't worth a thing if you forget to take the time to dance.
You may have dreams that you think you can't achieve; You might be punching the time clock and stuck in the rat race of life; You might be thinking there is no time for your dreams, but that is wrong. The only person who can make time for you is you.
Take the time to dream, to achieve your goals. Don't make the mistake I did by putting yourself last on the list. Maybe you can't be first priority, but you can certainly be better than last.
It may be hard to make time for yourself, but even if it's just a night out, or a relaxing bubble bath, it's something. We women need to make time for ourselves. It makes us better moms, better wives, better friends, better employees, and better people overall. Even with time restraints, we can't neglect ourselves.
Find what you love to do. Make time for your happiness no matter how busy your life is. Fight with all your might to find some me time, and don't let the sun go down until you've done something for yourself for a change.
This big fast paced world full of technology and instant everything won't stop and wait for you, so you must do it for yourself. Dream, love, live happy...and take the time to dance!
(KATHLEEN MORRIS YOUTUBE CHANNEL)
CHECK OUT MY SHORT INSPIRATION SERIES
Sunday, September 30, 2012
As an author we are responsible for the birth of a character. It's something I can relate to as a mother of three. Birth is a beautiful thing. It usually takes nine months to make a human being. That's not long considering the amazing genetic code that goes into this new being.
But the characters in a story are slightly different. You can't exactly hold them in your arms like you would a newborn, yet there is something so similar that pulls on your heartstrings. Really, when I create characters for my books, I don't just pull genetic code out of a hat.
How does it happen? Well for me, it's all about people I've met in my life. The good the bad and the ugly. Now that's not meant to be an insult. I use everything from hair color to temperament and I usually do it blindly. Yes, that's part of the fun.
When I start a book, I usually don't have a clue what it will be about. It's like tapping into some foreign part of my mind that is seldom used. Birthing characters fall into that same category. I never know who will be the lead character, or the villain, or who will fall in love.
I guess you can say I study people and then I store them in the back of my mind so that one day, when it's time to write that book, out pops the correct character. And I do think there is some divine intervention. I don't mean to be arrogant about that either. I don't think I'm God or anything like that. What I do think is that all my stories belong to Him, and characters are born out of His will not mine.
I think the hardest part of birthing a character is watching them grow up. Like my own kids, it's hard to let them go. When I talk about them growing up, I mean finishing writing a book or series. I miss them. I find myself thinking about where they are today. After all I am their mommy. I birthed them and I presented them to the world. It's sad really.
The worst is when I have to kill a character off. It sounds morbid and I never know who that will be when I start a book. It usually shocks me and brings me to tears especially when I like the character.
I guess that puts us writers in a kind of mental category that only other writers understand. Yes we are all a little wacky and probably a bit insane. But really, it's the only way to write. At least that's what I think. If part of me wasn't slightly crazy, I don't think I would be able to birth the kind of characters that people love to read about.
My favorite part of writing is the birthing process of both a character and a story. And for me, I have always been an odd style writer. I write by the seat of my pants. Always a thrill, always a surprise, always a challenge, always a privilege to present that story that needs to be told.
So the next time you read a novel whether it be mine or someone else's, consider the birthing process and what it takes to make the story. My 'literary newborns' may have your blonde hair and blue eyes or your German accent, or your sassy personality. You my dear readers, and all the people I know in the world contribute to the gene pool of my characters. I value you and the God who made you and I look forward to creating and birthing all those future characters to come.
If you would like to know more about creating characters for your stories, please check out this ebook on Amazon.
Thanks for reading!