How do you measure success? As an author, do you measure it by the number of your published books? Do you measure it by the size if your Social Media platform?
I am a writer/divorce/brain tumor survivor/child of God. God has blessed me with experiencing many avenues of pain. I pull from these experiences every time I speak to others about the mercy and grace of my Heavenly Father. I understand many of these people. I’ve experienced lots of their types of pain. I know these feelings–as well as the comfort and healing power of God–are real.
Having the right tools for writing always helps the process go smoothly. Tools can be anything. Did you start with your favorite pen when you began jotting down your thoughts? Or what about reference books–I thoroughly enjoy thumbing through them even when I’m between projects, just to get the feel of what’s out there. Do you have your favorite software? Do you support Microsoft Word person or Google docs?
August 1983 The cool air and the long rays of morning sun greeted the three of us as we traveled the long driveway. It took everything in me not to start crying.
“Today’s a great day!” I said, with too much pep in my voice. I wanted to make sure I told him all he needed to know for this special day. “You’ll meet new people and it’ll be terrific!”
We continued to walk, hand in hand as we always had in the past. He stopped, looked up into my eye, and with a sober voice, “It is a great day, right, Mommy?”
Little Sis skipped along singing Great day, It’s gonna be a great day … She had no idea the somberness of this moment. But how could she? How could she know what it felt like to lose a baby into an Unknown World?
Writing is wonderful. And there, you will find darlings–those phrases and word pictures that you dearly love. But we need to watch our relationship with these darlings.
Variations on the “murder your darlings” saying, including “kill your darlings” and “kill your babies,” have been handed down in writing workshops and guides for decades, and almost every major 20th century English author has been cited at one time or another. In addition to the common attribution to Faulkner—“In writing, you must kill all your darlings”—which seems to have been popularized in guides to screenwriting in the 1990s, the advice has also been attributed to Oscar Wilde, Eudora Welty, G.K. Chesterton, “the great master Chekov,” and Stephen King, who wrote, “kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.”
Definition: a state or condition permitting clear perception or understanding
Watching as the US hockey team beat the USSR’s team (Miracle on Ice) at the Lake Placid Olympics in 1980. I was focused.
Watching my firstborn pick up a leaf for the first time. He looked at it, turning it over and over, taking in all its splendor. I had never experienced anything as sacred. I was focused.
Having a doctor hold my hand and say, “I’m sorry, Mrs. Luftig, but you have a tumor on your brain about the size of my fist. Do you want a priest? Could I get the hospital chaplain for you?” Focused here, too.