Making someday today – Allison Morgan
By Allison Morgan
I attended four funerals in three months. The youngest for a young man barely out of college and the oldest for a new retiree celebrating her first grandchild. The surviving family members talked a lot about the things their loved ones wanted to do someday, but fate never allowed them the chance. Life is short. ♥
So, questioning my own mortality, I went home and wrote down my “somedays,” a bucket list of sorts.
I listed three things. Run a half-marathon, get SCUBA certified, and write a book. Challenging, but doable. I trained for the race and six months later crossed the Las Vegas finish line with a very sore body in 1:59.59. I studied atmospheric pressures and ratios then dove in 40 degree murky water, touched the lake bottom, swam through a rock arch, and received my certification. I enrolled in writing workshops, attended conferences and critique groups. I devoured book after book on writing advice and tips. I read novels I liked and novels I didn’t, learning equally from both.
With detailed notes of all my new-found knowledge, I wrote and wrote and wrote. I worked on several different projects until coming up with The Someday Jar, the story of a young woman who after a near-death experience throws caution to the wind and chases her dreams, even if it means leaving her perfectly “perfect” life behind.
I submitted the first draft along with my fragile self-esteem to my online critique class. I was complimented and criticized, praised and pummeled. This was the way my story progressed. A couple years later, I finished the novel.
Fast forward another year — maybe two — and with enough rejection letters to wallpaper my kitchen, I let my husband read my opening chapter, hoping for clarity as to why I wasn’t getting a contract, an objective opinion. Boy, did I get one. I sat beside him as he read through my hard-fought written words, waiting for the enlightenment in his eyes. He finished, massaged his temples, then stared at me with a look of utter confusion, as if standing in the middle of a corn maze, lost. “Who is this person?” he said, pointing to my main character. “What is she doing? What are any of them doing?”
After silently cursing his name — okay, not so silently — and shedding a few tears — okay, a lot of tears — I realized what I was doing wrong. I was writing in someone else’s voice. I was following too closely the criticisms and critiques, the workshops and guide books. I wasn’t writing for me, from me. I rewrote my book for the umpteenth time but with a feisty new spirit. Yes, all the writing courses were valuable, the critiques helpful, and my husband’s dazed face constructive, but what I gained most is the confidence to believe in myself. Writing is my dream. My someday.
If writing is your goal, do it.
Don’t put it off.
Make your someday – today.
Allison Morgan lives in sunny Arizona with her family. She loves the messed up morning hair of her kids, Baileys in her coffee, and watching Arizona Cardinals football games (except when they lose) with her handsome hubby. The Someday Jar is her first novel. Visit www.allisonmorganbooks.com where there’s a “someday jar” for people to click for ideas.