Neglect

Okay. I admit it. I’m guilty. I haven’t been back since Monday. Why?
Neglect, pure and simple. And not just neglect of my journal. I’ve neglected my story-telling too. And my family. And my friends.
The only thing I haven’t neglected is my day job. Not exactly the way I try to keep my priorities.
I’ve learned a lot over the last eleven years teaching and eight years writing. The biggest thing I’ve learned (other than teenagers will be teenagers) is life works a lot better if I live my life God first, family second and my job third. God first: He’s in control if I want Him to be. Family second: Sure quality is better than quantity, but that doesn’t cut it if the qualtity is one hour and a quick kiss good morning and good night. Job third: Okay, that’s the hard part. My day job is awesome. It was my dream job and I had no idea how fulfilling it would be. I love it and I love my students. We’re on major deadlines right now, so I spend a lot of my life in the newsroom. And that’s a good thing because my kids understand their paper is the voice of their campus. They understand that they have a responsibility to their peers to show what’s going on around the campus. A couple of them are even working on a first amendment piece after a study showed 1/3 of high school students think the 1st amendment is dangerous. Both the reporters lean to the conservative side and both believe the first amendment is essential to democracy. I’ve definitely done my job! My yearbook kids understand the importance of documenting the year as they see it and talking to people other than their “friends” or the “popular” kids.
BUT
then there’s my other job. Right now that job is a dream. The closest it is to reality is the handful of contest finals I’ve collected to take off the sting of the file full of rejection. Unpublished, multi-rejected writer is DEFINITELY a job. It’s a hard job. It’s a heart-wrenching job. It’s a totally crazy job because it’s unexplainable to people who don’t write. My extended family sees me at family reunion and asks “So you get a book published yet?” and I just sigh and say, “Nope. But I’ve got something in New York right now.” Or like right now, I can say I’ve got two somethings up there right now. And that’s not even the job part of it. That’s just the sigh-inducing annoying part that keeps me going because the family means well, they just don’t understand.
The job part is making myself sit at the computer and let the story flow. Let it flow in spite of the nagging doubts of rejection. Let it flow in spite of the way the cat gets upset and flops across the laptop keys. Let it flow even when the work week’s long and crazy.
Because the only way I’m ever going to sell a book and then another and then another is to find a way to ignore nagging doubts and write the stories I love, even when rejections come along. Even when the day job is busy. Even when the cat, or dh or dd get upset because I haven’t given them enough of my time.
And that leads me right back to the beginning.
God first. Family second. Job third.
It almost sounds like I’m going to say I have to realize there’s just no way I can fit in the job of unpubbed multi-rejected author along with the rest of my life.
And you know what? Sometimes that thought’s almost tempting.
But it’s not right.
Because I know beyond a shadow of a doubt there’s a reason these stories burn to be told by ME. God gave me my talent and He wants me to write stories that end in HEA, that provide a little fun for people in the midst of their busy lives possibly an escape from desperate times and emotional upheaval.
So getting back to the beginning instead leads to the only conclusion possible. getting my priorities back in order is the one way I can guarantee I’ll find a way to work it all in.
No more neglect. Not for God. Not for my family. Not for my job. And definitely not for my dream.

PS: H/S bought THREE new authors this week! If they can do it, so can I! Woo Hoo!

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