This post is part of the Elephant Coffee Klatch series, where I get to know the creative “elephant in the room” of my subconscious. My “elephant” is a looming, unrealized dream that lingers in the back of my mind, the one I try to ignore but that won’t let me be. The Klatch is about making friends with that elephant and then either pursuing the dream or letting it go, with love. Read more about the Klatch here.
Lately I’ve been mulling over what direction to take this blog. I’m still not sure what I want for it. I’ve got a few vague ideas, but nothing has really called out to me yet. I could ramble about my days, but blah, who really cares about that…I could ramble about my latest creations for my shops, and I will do that when I’m ready to show you what I’m up to, but those would be sort of “asides” and not main blog content. What to do?
I’ve considered posting some excerpts of stories I’m working on, as a way to prod myself into working on them more often, and then…
…I remembered that I’m past due for this month’s Elephant Coffee Klatch.
The elephant in the room knows best
But my musings gave me this month’s focus: Try Something Different.
My elephant, Erma, who sits in the back of my mind and tickles the inside of my head with her tail to remind me that I have stories to tell, reminded me recently that I have some very silly, very whimsical kids stories started. I said, “oh yeah…” to myself, and went about my business.
She tickled again, a bit insistent.
And then, as has been happening all year, I came across more author sites and more ideas of how to develop and share my stories. I saw how other people are doing it. And I again saw other people being successful at it, and I got that twinge of annoyance and frustration and dare I say it…jealousy…because I’m not being successful with my stories at all.
Of course, I have not finished any of my stories. That could have something to do with it.
Oh wait—I did finish one short story. It needs some revision, of course, but it’s done.
As I mull all of this over in my mind, Erma stamps her foot three times, and the sound it makes clearly sounds like “diff-er-ent.”
I got the message. Do something different.
As I contemplate this particular dream of mine, and how I’ve been stuck for literally years with it, Erma tells me to do something different. What I can I do, right now this month, that is different about how I approach the dream? About my next step with the dream?
What have I not done in the past, that I can do now?
Because what is certain is that what I’ve done in the past, what I’m currently doing (or not doing), isn’t working. Or isn’t working any more. Is keeping me stuck here, my elephant swishing and stamping and generally making noise to get my attention. Remember the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results?
Yes. I must be insane.
So it’s time to try something different this month, and see how it goes. Does different cause me to see my dream differently? Does it help me make progress? Does it hinder me? Does it just make me procrastinate more?
I’ll worry about all those questions next month. For now, I’ll jump on this “different” bandwagon. Erma is waiting to pull it.
What I’m doing differently
Ok, so what am I going to do differently? These things:
- I’m going to start posting my cute kids’ stories, a little at a time, so that people can read them. I am going to do this to motivate myself to finish them—hopefully, people will like them and want to know how they end, which will help me overcome all ridiculousness in my head that stops me from continuing. Why is this different? Because I’m putting my stories “out there”…which scares the bejesus out of me.
- I’m going to pull out that finished short story, edit & polish it, and submit it somewhere to be published. I have no idea where yet, but I’ll find a place to submit it. And it doesn’t matter what kind of place…online or not, big or small, etc. The point is to submit a piece of my writing for publication. Why is this different? Because I’ve never, ever submitted anything to be published (my Master’s thesis and two published scholarly(ish) items do not count…I’m talking about fiction here, about my dream, which is to put my stories into the world; scholarly rubbish writing is something I have happily left behind).
Hmmm. Wonder what else I can come up with.
Here’s to baby steps forward,