Get Fearless. Go Public.

Get Fearless. Go Public.

Years ago, I was a committed aquafit attendee. Underwater lunges, leg lifts by the jets, jogging through chlorinated pools—it all turned my crank. I went twice a week with my best friend, Linda. We had a blast, challenging each other to push harder, harder. We churned up big waves with our enthusiasm and built up some wonderful stamina and energy. Aquafit helped keep me healthier and decidedly thinner.

pensive-female-580611_640But life got in the way. I lost interest. And, you know, aquafit just moved to the backburner of “I’ll sign up next year.”

Several years and pounds later, I find myself back in aquafit. A new year’s resolution I opted to actually keep. But man oh man, what happened to make water churning so much harder? Linda and I were iron-women back in the day. Now, I’m feeling far more like rubber-woman. Sometimes even like sopping wet cardboard-woman. I swear they added molecules to the pool.

But I will say that several weeks in, I recognized some of the old iron-woman coming back to me. And by the end of June, I had more energy and fewer pounds. Don’t get me wrong. It will be a long time before I can jog in the pool like a whirlpool on steroids. If ever. But my confidence is up. And I’ve managed to keep a quasi-schedule over the summer with a less strenuous program in the cottage river. I’m looking forward to signing back up in September at the local pool.

And that, believe it or not, gives me hope on an unfinished manuscript that lingers in my computer. This 79,000+ word novel started out like most of my writing. I always write because I want to know the answers that I set up whenever I start a story or poem. And I set up a lot of thematic questions with this one: gender, politics, genetics and nature versus nurture. I was pumped to explore them and it was going great.writer-1421099_640

But sometimes —just like why I had to give up aquafit years ago—life gets in the way of writing. And sometimes, a writer can lose confidence. And then lose the connection to the heart of the story. And finally, simply lose interest. And that combination is deadly. My poor muse has been whispering in my ear for weeks and I just kept shrugging my shoulders and looking for distractions.

Man, I sure needed a kick in the pants. This post is my public announcement and thus, my self-kick in the pants. You, dear Top Drawer reader, will hold me accountable. Like my return to aquafit, I’m diving back into the pool of novel completion.diving-885906_640

I’ve given myself a deadline. September 30: a complete manuscript ready for beta readers. Until then, I’ll be doing the backstroke, butterfly, crawl, freestyle…anything I can do on the keyboard to swim to the finish line. And the only record I’m looking for is to achieve completion on or before September 30.

I’ll let you know if I make it.


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20 thoughts on “Get Fearless. Go Public.

  1. Hi Ruth,
    Just read this…life, you know. It was just what I needed as I decided between writing the next chapter or checking Facebook.

    1. Thanks Barbara. I was reading my emails which is how I knew your comment had come in. While I can’t be a hermit, and I do have business responsibilities, I have to carve out dedicate time to write. My thanks to YOU for reminding me to sign off the Internet and get writing.

  2. Pesky life, but sometimes, this is what will make the writing richer when you finally get back to it. Now may be the right time for you. Looking forward to seeing the finished story.

    1. Indeed, life is pesky. But it also can make “later” too easy. I sure hope the writing is richer because that deadline is not going to move. Thanks Cryssa for the encouragement. I look forward to reading your book — I love historical fiction when it’s written well.

  3. We’ll still love you if the manuscript is ready Oct. 2nd or 3rd.
    I have a poetry manuscript that I sent off to a contest to no good end and another book contest deadline is approaching. I’ll go public! The manuscript needs a tiny bit of work and I will do it, and I will send it off. And I will have my friend Ruth’s blog to thank.

  4. I will start to hassle you October 1st. Mark my word! And I’m in the mood for a good hassling so imagine how practiced up I’ll be by Oct. There will be no safe place to hide.

    1. Hi Ms. Baker. My goodness, I know that when you are in the mood for a good hassling, I’d be wise to keep my nose to the creative wheel. Thanks for the warning (encouragement) — I’ll be keeping it in mind as I get my novel shipshape by September 30.

  5. Ruth, if it’s you that wrote this…bravo on publicly throwing your hat over the fence! Best of luck with both goals, but especially finishing your manuscript. I tried aquafit a few years ago and nearly expired in the water…it was more challenging than any aerobic activity I’d ever done. I have a question: how do you select beta readers and is there compensation involved?

    1. Hi Heidi. It was indeed me who wrote it. And just to keep me honest, I went to aquafit this morning as a drop-in to see if the muscles could still take it. And they did so my summer in the river has been worthwhile. Let’s hope the muscle in my creative heart can do likewise with the manuscript. Thanks for the encouragement.

    2. One more thing on beta readers, Heidi, I have a few readers who are anxious to read this manuscript. While they won’t be paid, I’ll be acknowledging their support in the published work. (how’s that for confidence?)

  6. Ruth,
    Thank you for the kick in the pants this morning. My unfinished manuscript has whimpered from my beneath my computer lid for days. Your encouragement is exactly what I needed to open it and answer the cry.

    1. Hi Susan. Glad to be of service, Ma’am. In fact, very happy to hear I helped your whimpering ms get your attention. Sometimes, all we need is a wee nudge to get us back where we belong. Let me know how it turns out.

  7. Thanks for this post. Great analogy. Just what I needed to read this morning. I believe in you! Now stop reading these comments and go finish that MS.

    1. Hi Sylvia — I couldn’t resist checking to see if I’d replied to you. So thanks for the encouragement and I will be finishing that manuscript now. Very limited Internet for the next few days will get me over the hump.

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