"The reason 99% of all stories written are not bought by editors is very simple. Editors never buy manuscripts that are left on the closet shelf at home. -John Campbell"
So the birthday was fantastic. My parents surprised me with a slew of golden things from the house of Spade, including an amazing necklace, gold sequined jacket and amazing purse that will bring me into my next 25 years. (Thanks Mom and Dad for running into the Kate Spade store in NY!)
My mom said that she remembers turning 35 and that everyone deserves an appropriate purse to mark such a milestone, which is one of the many reasons I love her. I've worn it for two days. (It really is perfect. Not only is it pretty, it's functional -- zipper and strap, excellent for travel.)
There were also many special greetings from friends, which meant a ton. I ate a ham and cheese pressed sandwich at Fon Fon and went to Urban Standard and wrote in my journal and felt loved.
During this mega-writing session, I composed a list of goals for this year. At the top are writing goals, the kind of things that I can't and don't want to put off any longer.
So, in that spirit, comes the first big symbolic move of 35 -- the purchase of a MacBook Air.
It's beautiful. I'm in love. And after having a long hiatus from having a Mac laptop, it's been a most welcome return, the feel of the soft tap tap tap of the keys. (Though I am spending time re-learning some things. Oh you cheeky Mac, you.)
But now the real work begins. What will I write on it? I can no longer make excuses. "I need a new computer." "I don't have time." "I've used up all my words during the day." "Lame, lame, and lame.
I'm cleaning out my home office, painting it, setting up a new desk and getting to work. I also realize that none of these new things does the real work of writing -- that can be done with a pen and paper. So I can't congratulate myself yet -- after all, anyone can buy a computer and set up a new work space.
But to sit down and do it? That's another story. Luckily I'm supported by good friends, especially writer ones, who know just how hard it can be to begin and begin again. We talk about the process of writing, those of us who are professional writers (and boy do we love to hear ourselves). And I ask them, "should I go to such and such workshop," or "what genre do you think this is" and "God, it's excruciating to sit down and start."
They remind me that it is but it's necessary, and that workshops, while helpful, won't do the work of sitting down and doing the work. And that yes, getting away to write is good (who doesn't want to be curled up in a cabin in the woods somewhere, or on the beach, oooh). Truth: the stories are with us everywhere. No fancy retreat necessary.
I know that these blog posts count, and in the next year I am going to post more frequently, even if they are just snippets. So that's one thing. What else will I write? I have a whole lot stored away to get to work on, and only time will tell where it will lead.