Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Now that the honeymoon is over . . .



by CiCi Barnes


It’s June 30th, the end of our wedding blogs. We’ve planned, we’ve laughed over snafus, we’ve made it through walking down the aisle and taking the vows. Our bloggers have shared their ups and downs, compared the whole shebang to writing and our lovely followers have added their spice to the mix and we thank you. I feel it appropriate to talk about the rest of the story.

What comes next?

Of course, after the wedding and reception, comes the honeymoon, whether it take place in a motel 20 miles down the road, a Caribbean cruise, a cabin in Gatlinburg, Tenn, or a condo at the beach. It doesn’t really matter where you are. You’ve started a new life with the man of your dreams. The landscape while you’re honeymooning is inconsequential. The time spent in euphoria for those few days lives with you in your happy place for a lifetime. The love, the perfect bliss, the exploration of two minds and bodies melding to one.

Then you come home.

Mortgages, jobs, insurance, in-laws, toothpaste tubes squeezed from the top, wet towels on the bathroom floor, and dirty, smelly socks by the bed. You’re not in each others arms in wedded bliss every second of the day and evening. You come home from work, tired and numb. There’s dinner to fix, dishes to wash, clutter to put in it’s place. The cute puppy you just had to have to make your little home complete has pooped and peed in five different places around the house while you earned money to buy outrageously-priced dog food to suit his delicate tummy so he could poop and pee some more. We won’t even speak of the pitter-patter of little feet to come.

The honeymoon is over. Life has blossomed and taken control.

So goes the way of entering into the wedded bliss of writing.

You cross the threshold into the world of words, pecking out ideas that have sprouted in your mind. You’ve researched and found a glorious group of other writers working toward the same goal. Some have achieved that goal and are gracious enough to help you do the same. Others have just started out and are desperate to commiserate with those in the same position. It’s still new, exciting, fun, and you love the challenge.

You’re in love with writing. The honeymoon has begun. Maybe you transformed a spare bedroom into an office. Hubby supported your interest and outfitted the room with a brand new desk, a standout computer and all the little essentials. Maybe you scraped by to save money for a small laptop, or even to buy notebooks and pens to write the old-fashioned way. It doesn’t matter. Ideas are blooming, words are flowing. You’ve joined the world of writers and love the camaraderie.

Before you know it, the honeymoon is over. The computer crashes, swallowing up your precious words, digesting them into the great beyond. You’ve sent out your work to a contest only to be told you’ve done nothing right. Your critique partner constantly points out places in your manu where you are telling and not showing, and somehow you can’t seem to grasp the difference.

The daily grind of writing creeps in. Outside life want to take over, but you know you must persevere. The euphoric edge wanes.

Just as in the daily grind of marriage, there are spikes and perks of that wonderful glow of love. Your hubby takes you on a vacation, just the two of you, or a night out on the town. He does little things around the house without you asking, to show how much he cares. He compliments your looks.

Writing sends you to a conference to hobnob with the published, to learn the difference between show and tell, to hear other writers with the same problems you’ve experienced and how they conquered them – or if not conquered, coped. Hopefuls just like you get ‘the call’ and bounce around like Tigger on his coiled tiger tail.

You know the work and valleys are worth the peak that sits there waiting for you to complete the climb. You can deal with the bad days, because you know the good days are heaven on earth.

The honeymoon doesn’t have to be over. You can live it with your hubby and your writing everyday in some small way . . . or big! Just vow to make the honeymoon last. In your marriage and your writing.

I leave you with that thought. Words are whispering sweet nothings in my ear.

13 comments:

Debbie Kaufman said...

Morning CiCi! Oh yes, and then the work begins. I've been outlining what I've already written so I can see the scenes, adjust their order to match the proper time frames, rewriting the killer's pov cause he changed when Dianna Love and Mary Buckham's Break Into Fiction workshop got ahold of me and amped up my ideas,etc. You get the idea. None of it is the "fun" stuff, but I'm pretty married to the story!

Sandy Elzie said...

CiCi,

Fantastic blog. So relevant to where most of us are in our writing careers.

I remember the honeymoon of writing, the first fight, the second and third (as I got rejection after rejection) and now that I've moved to Georgia, joined GRW and are with a great PF&HT group of ladies (and all those in GRW) I can truly say I'm back in the honeymoon with no intentions of straying. It's a nice place to be.

Sandy

J Perry Stone said...

"Just vow to make the honeymoon last. In your marriage and your writing."

You know, you've really hit on it, Cici.

A honeymoon state of mind is a decision. We have control over whether we want to see everything from that perspective or not, so why choose anything less?

Terrific!

J

CiCi Barnes said...

Good morning, Debbie, Sandy and J:

Yes, Our honeymoon with words can last if we make the commitment. As you said, J, it is a state of mind. With ladies like us, I know we can keep that state of mind glowing.

CiCi

Dianna Love said...

Nice way to end the month, Cici.

I like the way you're encouraging everyone to keep that glow that drove them to write their first story.

It's so easy to find yourself at war with writing when things get difficult. If that happens, pull out your first pages and look what you've written since then and reflect on how your writing has changed. I still have the first scene I wrote that was all single spaced because I counted the number of lines in a book and the number of characters in a line to be sure I was doing it just right. "g"

I remember that no one would read my pages (you know how everyone wonders how you find a critique partner?)until Mae Nunn and I decided to exchange pages. We were both unpublished at the time. I don't think any of you know Martha Kirkland unless you were here back when I joined. She was published in Regency and her critiques were legendary. After chatting at one meeting she handed me her business card and said to send her a partial to read. I still have that card.

Every good marriage takes work and so does a serious writing career. It is a state of mind to decide you are going to nurture your writing career just as you nurture any other important relationship.

Debbie - Yay on things falling into place and getting amped up in your story. That's definitely the way to keep the excitement in your writing.

Maxine Davis said...

CiCi,

Great blog for the end of the month - and the way it ties into writing - you are good.

Still honeymooning with my laptop; hope it continues.

Tami Brothers said...

Great end of the month post, Cici!!! You really captured the point we were all trying to make and tied it in nicely with our writing... Kudos!!!

Tami

Linsey Lanier said...

Cici,

Your intro and that photo gave me goose bumps! Your post is right on and very insightful. I remember well that honeymoon feeling when I walked into my first GRW meeting.

"You can deal with the bad days, because you know the good days are heaven on earth." Ain't it the truth? And as J said, we just have to make the decision to stay in the right state of mind.

I can definitely relate to Dianna's counting the lines and spaces on her first ms. So funny! We've all come a long way.

Thanks for a nostalgic end to Brides month, Cici.

Linsey

Cyrano said...

I enjoyed this post Cici. Loved how you tied the birth and "death" of the honeymoon into our problems with writing.
I'm certainly grasping at the honeymoon of writing with both fists, hoping that ethereal new story idea feeling doesn't slip away with the onset of day in and day out story telling.
Have a great evening,
Tamara

CiCi Barnes said...

Thanks to all of you for responding and the nice words.

Dianna: Ah, those first rosy days of writing, and look how far we've come in our progression. Fond memories, but it's nice to know we have those out there to help make us better. I certainly appreciate all you do with your Break Into Fiction Workshops to help the unpubs grow and enjoy the journey.

Maxine: What would we do without our laptops? Thank goodness we don't have to slave away with old-fashioned typewriters and ink erasers. Keep up the good work and positive thoughts.

Tami: Thanks. Now I have to think of something for the end of July. How on earth did I get the 30th both months!? (jk)

Linsey: I'm glad you liked the pic. My two wonderful granddaughters playing flowergirls at a friend's wedding. Aren't we lucky to have GRW to help us along.

Tamara: Hang on to the feeling, deal with the ups and downs, and dream about the day you get 'the call'. We love what we do.

Anymore 'innocent beginnings' writing tales out there? I loved Dianna counting the lines.

Have a great writing day, one and all.

CiCi

Marilyn Baron said...

Great post. I guess I'd better renew my writing vows. I like the idea of the honeymoon phase in your writing.

I just got a NEO so now the honeymoon (I hope begins) anew. It's still in the box and I plan to take it on my vacation tomorrow to write in the car and out at the pool.

Marilyn

CiCi Barnes said...

Yea, Marilyn. You're going to love it, and what better time to try it out than on vacation. Let the honeymoon begin.

CiCi

Sally Kilpatrick said...

CiCi,

I loved your analogy--you really gave me a lot to think about, and I kinda wished I'd read your post several years ago when my writing honeymoon was over and my writing marriage was on the rocks. Now, I've settled into one of those writing careers you want to last forever, but I could've used your musings a few years ago.

Thanks,
Sally

(Oh, and sorry I'm late today--usually I read PFHT with my coffee, but today I had to take the birthday girl to Six Flags.)