Monday, April 4, 2011

Change: Courage vs. Control

Whereby you see me wax philosophical...

This month I am mostly being light and fun, and I promise not to drag on for too long, but there are a couple topics I've been thinking about for a while and so when the letter hits, I think I'll go with it.


Change is Coming

The publishing industry is going through major, wacky changes... I don't see that they know where they are going, and I think writers risk being swept away. There was a time when due diligence was our best friend. Know everything you can about what is going on and how the industry is going, and you had your best shot at catching the golden ring.

But friends, the horses have left the carousel. This is very hard for control freaks (of which I confess to having a healthy dose and married what I lacked for good measure). This is not a time for followers. Writers with the COURAGE to take a chance... to CREATE something truly innovative or tap something nobody else thought of... THOSE are the writers who will catch, NOT the brass ring, but the tail of the shooting star. The potential prizes, I think, are bigger than ever, because we define the rules, but I think it will just be harder and harder to be noticed from the growing array of people who are trying.

It is exciting if we are willing and able to let go of that control thing... And if we Commit to Craft, so that nobody ever can call us a fraud when our feet finally hit ground again.


Speaking of Courage

I talk about it in our writing world, but there is a woman in my building who humbles me each time I see her. I suspect she has some sort of nerve disorder, though the only interactions we've ever had have been me helping her into a cab and holding a door. She walks with a walker, but walking is a great exaggeration. When I left work one day, I passed her in the hall, stopped at the bathroom and did my business (which I do daily, as I have a 45 minute walk ahead and HATE to be walking and hafta go (sorry for the TMI). When I came out... call it 90 seconds... even with the hand washing, I'm efficient... but I think she'd walked 20 yards.

What courage every act takes when life throws something like that at you. So while I am calling on all of you to have courage, also keep in mind what REAL courage looks like and how lucky we all are to only need the kind that is 'facing the unknown, but able to act'.

And for my finale... Cali the Cat...


From her perch above me... always ready to pounce... those are the first drafts of my books below her... (I wish she didn't always close her eyes for the camera...)

We have a wall in the basement we had to take down to access a leaking pipe... the funds have not been around to put up a NEW wall, so I hung some old curtains across it... there is a shelf in there and Cali likes to get in there and peek out at us (this is behind the table where our desktop sits--the computer hubby and son share--daughter and I each have our own laptops)


and here she is in her favorite spot... okay... so it is tied with the bathtub... but she loves to be IN something.


And FINALLY... My C blogs to share...

Clarissa Draper is a mystery writer from Mexico who is doing a FABULOUS series on forensics. If you are plotting a real murder, I'd rather you didn't go there, but if you want to write about one, she is a GREAT resource.

And Constant Revision. Simon is my Man Tart twin. He is full of snark, but is ALWAYS good for several laughs.

48 comments:

Crystal Pistol said...

Courage is found everytime a blogger hits "publish" and bares her naked soul to the universe. One never knows how she will be recieved, which is at once terrifying and thrilling.

I'd love to be The One who comes away with a golden ticket but finding joy in the journey is half the battle.

Wonderful, heartfelt post!

Wonderful, hairy cat! :)

Niki said...

Great post Tart. aww I love your pussycat's whiskers. She is beautiful.

Siv Maria said...

We have the same word today. Loved your post on change. I too believe a big change is coming but not only in the world of writing. I will thinking alot today about the woman and her walker....That would be a nice story :)

DCAllen said...

The courage to try something new and get it published unconventionally is what I want for 2011.

mooderino said...

Nice selection of C words.
cheers,
mood
Moody Writing

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Cali is a pretty girl!

Good point about the need for courage in this business, particularly in the face of change.

bendedspoon said...

My deep respect to the courageous! Battle on with grace! :)

damyantiwrites said...

Your cat is a looker :)....

I like all your C-words...all the best for A_Z!

Hart Johnson said...

GAH! I just responded to everyone and then crashed... so I will just say a sincere THANK YOU! While I curse AT&T...

Gina said...

What a great post... I hope we all find ourselves catching the tail of the shooting star some day soon :) And C is also for contest- I'm having one on my blog today if you're looking for the chance to win some great ARCs and books!

Tundiel said...

Cali is awesome. *nods*

I think I quite like the idea that the publishing industry is changing. I definitely like the idea that they might be embracing the idea of trying something new. It's always good to have a shake-up now and again.

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

So much to think about -- thanks for the food for thought. I was especially moved by the nerve-damaged neighbor. Love the lesson she demonstrates!

Love seeing your kitty cat!

Renae said...

Great post. I loved your cat pictures!

Old Kitty said...

Yay for a special mention of Cali your beautiful cat!!!

Let's all get some Naked Courage to face Change!!!

Take care
x

Ellie said...

Loved this post - so positive and inspiring. Thank you!

Ellie Garratt

Katie Mills said...

change and the courage to face it! I've been following the changes in the publishing world. IT's a lot to think about and your neighbor sounds like a very strong and courageous woman.

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

1st off, LOVE LOVE LOVE that carousel picture!
2nd, am i the only one trying not to think about how the publishing industry is changing? It scares me, and makes me wish i hadn't taken those few years off as a break from writing...

Ann Best said...

Facing change, facing physical disabilities does take courage. I admire those like the woman you describe who plod on, step by difficult step.

Excellent post. I'm happy to meet you through the A to Z.
Ann Best, Long Journey Home

Elizabeth-Kate said...

Love your post! Courageous people are all around us. My 10 year old son is one of the most courageous people I know. He was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was only 5 years old. He has to give himself insulin injections everytime he eats. In my opinion that is courage. I don't know how he does it.

TS Hendrik said...

Change, courage and ending with a cat. That's well rounded post if I ever read one. Your neighbor certainly sounds courageous.

Laura Josephsen said...

Courage is called for over and over again in so many things in life. In writing, it's the same. Courage to start writing, courage to keep writing, to put your work out there, to fix it, to submit it, to blog, share thoughts, etc.

Thank you for the post!

And your kitty is beautiful!

Ella said...

Great C's and I love your cat!
She knows how to move on and be clever about it~ I need to learn that lesson ;-D

RosieC said...

Such good points about the writing industry. Even if we know where we've been recently, it's hard to see where we're going. Courage is paramount.

Super cute kitty, btw. We have a see-through laundry basket, and one of our cats loves it when I run string under the basket so she can see it but can't get it. One of these days her nails will go right through the plastic (which is probably 1/2 in thick), but until then, it's a blast :)

Rosie
East for Green Eyes

Nicki Elson said...

Oh goody, so now I don't have to feel guilty about all I DON'T know about the publishing industry. :)

Cute, cute kitty cat!

Marjorie said...

Love your cat, Tami! Courage? I feel like the biggest coward in the world sometimes, but I hope I really am brave enough to face the unknown when the time comes.

Spacerguy said...

Write long and Prosper.

LTM said...

the Courage is the one I need right now in this decision-making time... And waiting, being deliberate is hard for Control freaks like me. :D <3

Debora Dennis said...

First, your cat is adorable! Second, you are so right about the face of the publishing world today. All we can do is rush forward into this brave new world!

hsoister said...

Maybe every single day I see people dealing with personal struggles that humble me. And about cats -- what is this thing they have for hiding places and bathtubs?

Pen Name: Imogen Rayne said...

Beautiful cat! Love the blogs you shared. I found you through the A to Z challenge.

Respectfully yours,

Crystal

Michael Di Gesu said...

Well said, Hart.

Love the pic of the kitty and the German Shepards!

Sherrie said...

Hi!
Great story on courage. Not all of us have it on a day to day basis. But when called upon we can dig deep enough to find it. Beautiful kitty. Thanks for stopping by my place. Have a great day!

Sherrie
Just Books

Holly Ruggiero said...

Now more than ever as wanna-be authors we have to watch the industry and keep up.

Cricket McRae said...

Definitely a C-rific post! So glad to discover your blog. The changes in the publishing industry used to freak me out, but then I decided it was like so many other things in life: learn what I can, show up often, and do the best job I can. Things do have a funny way of working out.

Margo Kelly said...

Wonderful post! Happy C-day! :)

J.L. Campbell said...

Interesting range of C subjects. I have been watching the many interesting things going on in the publishing world. I am even more committed to being a better writer after watching the dust up with a self published female writer who didn't get the review she wanted.

When I look at people who are physically challenged, I often wonder how I'd manage emotionally if the places were exchanged.

Your kitty does hang out in interesting places. :)

J.L. Campbell said...

Forgot to say, I also find Clarissa's posts fascinating. I know where to go when I'm ready to write a murder mystery or just plain old kill someone in one of my romantic suspense novels.

Hannah Kincade said...

I'm going to try not to think about the industry changes for now...argh.

Great post as usual, lady!

Alison Miller said...

You've left me inspired - not a follower. I'm going to take control!

Ciara said...

Love the C-words. The cat picture with the dogs was perfect.

Cheeseboy said...

I have someone very similar that works with me. Everyday she puts aside her personal pain to help the kids at our school. She is a true hero and has real courage.

Kari Marie said...

Courage is a great word for today. I've been walking around with blinders on about the industry changes, but I'm going to need to buck up eventually.

Doreen McGettigan said...

My favorite 'C' post so far for sure. I am so tired of feeling and being treated like a loser because I chose not to fit in the very cramped box of traditional publishing. I fear the middle folks (the agents) are not going to be with us much longer.

http://www.doreenmcgettigan.com

Lynda R Young said...

LOVE the pics :)
Great post. It's courage we need

Jo Schaffer said...

(= Wonderful food for thought. Thanks for your keen observations on Change and Courage.

B. Miller said...

I always love reading your posts, Hart. It's like visiting with an old friend. Thanks for sharing your life with us.

Margaret Hall said...

Love the post, the courage to write, the courage to keep on and love the cat~!! Such an interesting post for the Challenge, and sorry to be late, playing "catch up" again!
Now, on to "D"...

Simon C. Larter said...

A shout-out! And it took me till Sunday to discover it! That, m'dear, is the kind of week I've head. Le social media took a back seat.

(But not as fun a back seat as you might remember from prom night. The unimportant kind of back seat. Y'know.)

So thank you, semi-good lady! You're a dear, and a better blogger than I. I toast you with my evening pint! :)