My mug collection is extensivce. I have some in Florida, where we have our rentals, in the Vrbo we have here in California, and, of course, my place. Oh yes, there are boxes of mugs in storage and they are going to be repurposed soon.
But this one I will keep because I need it. I need the coffee inside as well. When I’m caffeinated, I can write better, and compete more with all the crazy forces out there. I have a very sensitive inside that needs constant protection. Not a snowflake, but I have a tremendous amount of empathy for those people around me, and those I hear about.
I have to turn it all off sometimes and go back into my mythical worlds to get away and let time heal the ache in my soul. These violent times might be great for some. They are not for me. I feel afraid more than I used to. Is this progress? I wonder.
But it’s clear, I have to filter out most of what comes at me in order to be able to write. During times like these, I value the connections I’ve made with my readers. I seem to give away more swag and books, because it’s all I can (or am willing to) do.
Being prepared is like the director I once heard about who saved money so he didn’t have to work for people he didn’t agree with or support. He calls it FU Money, which allowed him to choose what projects he worked on and what ones he’d pass. Or, projects, if he was blindsided, he could buy his way out of so he didn’t have to compromise his beliefs.
Being focused on my job, writing romance, is all I can do in times like these. Not that nothing else matters, because it does, I celebrate the freedom to be able to write novels I like, and to find the audience I want to sister to. Like many other writers, I get up at odd hours of the night, pound away at the keyboard, listen to music and burn candles, and stay off the news. I’ve disabled my news flashes on my phone and all the pings.
My goal in each and every day is to find that slice of life that literally makes me want to giggle my way off the chair, that I’m begging to share, or makes a reader stay up all night long to finish my book. The work comes first.
So I prepare by staying off FB feeds, Twitter feeds, IG feeds, since those are automatically populated and preplanned. I’ve learned that “I just have to check my email,” means I’ll be late for a dinner, a family appointment or bed. Not a little bit late. An hour late.
When did we have to wake up to see what was going on in the world? I meditate, thinking about what I could create rather than what I need to react to. I’ll let my coffee, my one of two vices I can’t live without, do the stimulation, thank you.
I’m much happier listening to an audio book about someone falling in love than hearing what the news media decides I need to know. I’ll bet you’re the same way.
I’m preparing also for the letdown when I discover that all this political speech and opinion screaming is far from over, and won’t be over after November, either. Because I’m prepared, I know it’s only the beginning.
Time for more Happily Ever After.