Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Big Bang Theory


Ooooh, Ahhhhh, Amazing...
Sure, these are exclamations one commonly utters with wide eyes and a thundering heart during a fourth of July fireworks display, but wouldn't it be cool if some eager reader, winding her way through a book store, ends up choosing your novel off the shelf and later in the comfort of her own home, with her pulse beating like a drum, whispers the same three words as she devours your prose like it was a plate of double stuffed Oreos dipped in fudge?(Long sentence, huh?)

I, myself, would love for that to happen. I'm sure all you unpubs out there would like that little scenario to come true as well.

Thing is, us unpubs have to get...well, pubbed first. And unless we can get over our fears, get past our insecurities and embrace positive change, the stories in our minds may never make it to print.

Like a well crafted story, a writer's life consists of goals, motivations and, of course, conflicts. My life as an author is no different.

I've been writing since I was ten. My first work was called A Day in the Life of a Tennis Shoe. It was an assignment and I not only received an A+ on that 20 page manuscript, but it was entered in the Broward County Youth Fair and won first place in the creative writing category.

I was hooked.

My goal was set. I wanted to be a writer. My motivation, after my teacher encouraged me to enter more contests, was winning. Every time I earned a blue ribbon, an A+ or a hearty congratulations from a beaming teacher, I got a rush.

I kept on this way through high school, even earning a few scholarships for my creative use of the written word.

Then conflict reared its ugly head in the form of college swimming. My dreams of sharing ranks with Johanna Lindsey and Constance O'Banyon were smothered beneath the wet towels in my locker as my over taxed muscles exhausted my ability to form coherent, creative thought.

I suppose I had an excuse back then. I swam 4 1/2 hours a day and lifted weights for another hour. I was exhausted for Pete's sake. I barely wanted to do the endless homework I was assigned, much less pursue my passion for writing.

So what's my excuse now?

I'm through with college. I don't work. My kids are teenagers and can fend for themselves (at least as long as a microwave and a Hot Pocket are handy). I have oodles of free time and should be using it to complete the nine partials I have languishing within the electronic grey matter of my lap top. But I haven't written a single word in two months. TWO MONTHS.

Again, what the hell's my excuse?

There are no outside variables holding me back anymore. No homework. No swim meets. No energy sucking practices. The only thing keeping me from writing is...well, me.

That being said, I'd like to tie in the title of this post now if I may.

The Big Bang Theory.

The term Big Bang generally refers to the idea that the universe has expanded from a primordial hot and dense initial condition at some finite time in the past, and continues to expand to this day. Basically it started out really friggin small. Something jump started that minuscule speck, shocked the sucker into action if you will. The speck exploded, expanded and grew, stretching beyond the horizon into infinity.

Now let's analogize "my on again, off again writing style" with this theory.
I'm the speck.

Or at least my desire to succeed is the speck. Right now it's tiny, insignificant and barely registering on any scale.

It needs a jump start, an explosion, a kick in the ass in order to alter its state of being.

Scientists disagree on the catalyst that initiated the big bang, but here are my two cents. I believe that hot, primordial speck expanded all on its own. 14 billion years ago that tiny particle was sitting there, all by its lonesome and suddenly decided it had had enough. It didn't like being a speck. It wanted to change. And though it was scared of...um, rejection (specks are quite sensitive you see) it took a deep breath, crossed its little speck fingers, clicked its tiny heels together three times and BANG!!!!

So, you see, with the help of the science channel I've learned that the only way to succeed is to become your own catalyst, your own Big Bang. Thank goodness that speck took the proverbial bull by the horns and did just that. Otherwise we might not be here. We all have the power within ourselves to adjust, improve, overcome and shine. We just have to believe in ourselves, take a deep breath and grow.

Basically we can learn alot from the heavens. We only have to look up, say a prayer and be willing to change.

May you all be your own catalyst.

Have a lovely day,

Tamara






24 comments:

Linsey Lanier said...

Tamara,
Great post. You've given me a new slogan: "Become your own catalyst."

Or as the Nike ad says, "Just do it!"

Now let's all get to work! We all have manuscripts to revise, pitches to hone, and contests to enter, so there's much to reach for.

Thanks for the kick in the pants. :)

Linsey

Cyrano said...

You're very welcome Linsey.
Thanks for commenting you very early riser. Are you like me, a bleary eyed, no sleep, catch up on your favorite Tv shows in the middle of the night, kinda gal? Or was this 3:21 am response just a fluke?
I hope it's the second. I'd wouldn't wish eternal insomnia on my worst enemy much less one of my sweet blog sisters.
Have a lovely morning,
Tamara

Sandy Elzie said...

Well done. Humm, never thought of myself as a small speck, but that's exactly what each of us start out as. Guess the difference is that some specks reach the "need for expansion" point sooner than others and with the help and encouragement of their sister specks, they muster up what's inside and go forth and Bang!

Great, motivational article that challenges each of us who have ever procrastinated to get off our duffs and "just do it". (You can't steer a parked car to get you anywhere)

Loved it!

Sandy

Cyrano said...

You're right Sandy,
A parked car just stays parked. We have to turn that key to get things moving. And having some great blog sisters close at hand to help you turn that engine over doesn't hurt at all.
Thanks for stopping by and have a lovely Tuesday!
Tamara

Susan May said...

Great post. Makes me remember that we all make time and work hard at what we really want. Thanks for pushing me a little harder.

Cyrano said...

Your welcome Susan.
Thanks for the comment.
Have a cloudy but productive Tuesday,
Tamara

Pamela Varnado said...

Tamara,
Great post, but it means nothing if your don't take it to heart. Even when you don't feel like it, you have to sit yourself down in your chair and write. It's a conscious decision.

You made the effort to write this motivating post now put that same effort into pulling your dreams from the heavens into the realm of reality. You can do it! You're an amazing writer.

Cyrano said...

This is why I love my critique parters so very much...you're tough and straight to the point, but still sweet and supportive.
You're the best Pammy. I love you and will take my own advice as well as yours.
Have a wonderful, productive day.
Wanna see your work too!
Tamara

CiCi Barnes said...

Thanks for the proverbial kick in the ass. We all need it from time to time, sometimes from minute to minute. As Yoda said, "Do or do not. There is no try." Trying is such a broad word. You can sit in the chair and try to write a sentence, but only doing it gets the job done.

I think one of the things that discourages unpubs sometimes, is we think we have to have it perfect as each letter is typed. Not so. Sit down, write. You can fix it later after you've written "The End".

And the nice thing about belonging to GRW and this blog group is we have so many around us encouraging us. We all need that little push.

Go for it.

CiCi

Sally Kilpatrick said...

Tamara,

Maybe you'll be the catalyst for someone else today. Great post, and your honesty is encouraging. I have gone through so many of those dry spells. My conclusion at this point is that we have to keep on picking ourselves up and starting again--whether it's writing, praying, exercising, or anything else that requires continued efforts.

Thanks for giving us all a push in the right direction.

Sally

Tami Brothers said...

Definitely, great post. You guys bring to light exactly what it's like to be a writer. I hope other newbies are reading these posts and maybe not feeling so alone in this great big ocean.

Thanks for the words of encouragement. So true and like Pam said, defintely something we need to get out and do.

Thanks, girl!!!

Cyrano said...

Picking ourselves up and trying again is a great motto.
Thanks for the comment Sally and thanks for the encouragment.
Have a lovely afternoon,
Tamara

Linsey Lanier said...

Tamara,
I'm a night owl, and that comment time was definitely a fluke, LOL. I've got a few days off from work, so knew this would probably be the only time I'd be first in line. :)

Keep writing!

Linsey

Mary Marvella said...

Good job, kiddo. I will be looking for new pages Thursday. Come empty handed and I might just kick your skinny butt. Shall I bring my stool so I can read it? \

Mama Hen

Marilyn Baron said...

Great post. It really got me thinking. I didn't know you were a Floridian. I was born and raised in Miami and went to school in Dade County, not far from you. Thanks for the motivational advice.

Marilyn Baron

Cinthia Hamer said...

Tamara, loved the post. I feel your pain, truly. This little speck has a boatload of excuses why she hasn't written much lately, but really, that's all they are...excuses.

Waaay back, long before you joined us at GRW, I was at National and noticed this group of women who had T-shirts that had the letters B*I*T*C*H across the front. Close up you could see that the letters stood for Butts In The CHair. Those crazy shirts were a mantra for this group. They would just keep their butts in the chair and write. To this day, I wonder how many of them became published and how many of them fizzled like a spent firecracker and were never heard from again.

I've heard that in AA, each new member has a "sponsor", someone they can call when they feel the urge to drink. I wonder if that same idea would work for us procrastinators?

"Hello, Tamara? It's Cinthia. It's already nine-thirty and I still haven't sat down to write. I have this uncontrollable urge to weed the flower beds."

"Okay, Cinthia. Just stay with me here. Walk over to the desk. Are you walking? Good. Now, sit down and start typing. Even if it's just the alphabet. Call me if you get the urge to step outside again. I mean it." LOL!

Hope you had a wonderful Independence Day holiday and that the muse comes and sits on your shoulder tomorrow.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Hey Tamara, a day late chiming in here, but the lure of the beach is just too great!

PICK ONE and FINISH! NOW!
Love ya girl.

Cyrano said...

Ahh, the beach. It lures me like a siren's song too. Sun, sand, the tide lapping at the shores, hell, I'd be a day late too Debbie.
Thanks for the comment and I plan on learning alot at the conference next week so hopefully I'll be able to pick a novel and finish it.
Have a great Wednesday,
Tamara

J Perry Stone said...

That was fabulous and just what I needed, T!!

I vacillate between believing I need something huge to motivate ... or something small. Initially it's the huge kick.

Lately, however, I've been telling myself, "just sit down and write a page. Maybe two Have fun at it. Don't think of the big universal getting published/sending out proposals picture."

Making it small has helped me rediscover the enjoyment again. But then I'll freeze and need the big bang theory. Either way, you are damn right. I can be my own catalyst whether it's a pissy little match or big explosion.

Cyrano said...

What a great comment J. I agree, looking at the big publication picture is daunting, and maybe that's my problem. One day at a time, one page at a time is much more unnerving.
Have a great Wednesday,
Tamara

Nicki Salcedo said...

Better late to the catalyst party than never! This is great. I love the analogy to the big bang.

I will be my own catalyst, but Tamara, I think you are helping be our catalyst, too!

Cyrano said...

Hey,
I don't mind that you're late. Not a bit!
Be the catalyst baby! Be the catalyst!!
Thanks for stopping by.
Have a brilliant Thursday.
Tamara

Sally Kilpatrick said...

Just wanted to add that the only way this post could have been better was to reference the show The Big Bang Theory, particularly Leonard and Sheldon. : )

(That comment really wasn't worth the slice of cyber space I just took up to type it, was it?)

Cyrano said...

It certainly was worth the room in cyber space. I actually loved that particular show Sally.
I watch the history, science and discovery channels like they're going out of style.
Thanks for the comment!!
Have a great evening,
Tamara