Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Gift of Coming Untangled

There are two kinds of people in the world, those who can untangle things (string, necklaces, Christmas lights) and those who don't.

I no longer assume those who don't do this CAN'T do it. Some can't. They try, the nearly drive themselves crazy with the trying. Then they give up. They cut their losses, literally. Or they pitch the tangle. Or they put it back where they got it and hope the untangling fairies pay a visit before they need the thing again. Or they take it to an untangler.

I have always been able to untangle things. Well, almost always. In fact that's one ways I look at writing... you get the frame work, dump the elements out, untangle them and put them in an order that completes the story. Ahhh. It feels good to work that way and it's clear to me when it's working. Once in a while, though, even something gets so twisted and tied up that I can't even see where to begin to sort it out.

Every day life, for example.
It works me into great big unbudgable knots.
And I just can't see where to start. Everything seems to be equally as important and/or as ignorable! I wanted results, I lived in fear that I was losing out on opportunities, so I tried to work on a dozen spots at once, and the tangle tightened.

What does this have to do with writing? Well, recently I got so frustrated I just grabbed a spot and pulled. And you know what happened?

What happened doesn't matter.

It's what DIDN'T happen that made the difference. The world didn't fall apart. That tug (in my case the decision to let go of my former agent) loosened things up enough for me to start seeing things as separate not just one big blob. Next, I got a job which meant certain duties had to be done on certain days - another thread slipped free. I was beginning to see forms and possibilities.

Then I began to blog for work and from that blog here. WOW. Having to sit down and take the time to think about what WORKS writing wise helped me focus on what needed to be done.

I sold a book on my own and love it and realized that I could do that.
I got a great new agent.
I cleaned my HOUSE.

Each effort eased the pressure somewhere else. This year we had out Halloween party without me going crazy the day of, trying to get everything done. FUN! I have been able to work on a special project for Christmas that I have wanted to do for YEARS.

I have writing to do and I know there is time to do it.

That's the lesson, the gift in coming untangled. Time.
And here we are - I have a blog and I'm blogging, I am not frantic (most of the time).
And it all started by taking a risk and giving the tangle a tug. Try it.