As many of you already know, I am a new author. My first fiction book was called Chloe, which I self published. In hindsight, I wish that I would have made it longer and edited it better. The temptation to go back and redo or fix those imperfections is strong but I remember why I chose to publish it when I did. I had been working on it off and on for quite some time, often blank slating it and starting over from the beginning once I spotted errors. I’d be 15,000 words into it and find it less than perfect and just hit delete. I hit that button at least twenty times before I decided that I had to persevere through the process and just edit what went wrong. Once I made that decision, I learned that I could keep going with what I’d written, that I could do the edits and tweaking of the story without having to completely start over. So, my first book is less than perfect and not as well written as I had hoped to accomplish however I learned that I could write a book. I learned to trust the process.
Life can be much like writing a book for the first time. You start out unsure in your steps and go through experiences that shape you into who you are. Sometimes you look at your life and you want a do over. You wish you could ‘blank slate’ it and rewrite your life from the beginning. We all have things that we have gone through that we wish that we could forget or rather, never have experienced in the first place. Often, these things are situations that caused you gut wrenching grief maybe it came about through your own actions or maybe it was something that was done to you. Whatever “it” is that makes you feel this way, you have to trust the process and get through it because with life you don’t get a complete do over. You can’t change the past, or how you coped with the past when you were living it. You can only look at your present and focus on what you can control. You can change how you think and how you react to current situations in order to not repeat past imperfections.
As I sit here drinking my morning coffee I think about the experiences that have shaped me in life. I realize that most of those situations made me the strong person that I am today. Do I wish that I hadn’t of had to go through some of them? Yes, but I also know that I wouldn’t be where I am today in life if I hadn’t of been in those situations. My life is far from perfect and some days, just like everyone else…the struggles real. However, no matter the difficulty, I hold onto the fact that I’m blessed with a wonderful family and am getting the opportunity to start a new career in writing. There’s always reasons as to why we are trying something different but the outcome is that we grow through the process, editing as we go. Does that mean that we don’t look back and wish we had done something different? We will always look in hindsight and see imperfections.
Currently, I’m working on writing two different books. Each time that I sit down to write I have to make a decision as to which one to focus on. I find that my life is much like writing a book. I’ve discovered how outlining my books chapter by chapter helps me to stay focused. It’s the same thing in life, I plan each day carefully trying to ‘write’ in every event I want to do or chore that needs done. But just like the shift in characters interacting in a book you’re writing, sometimes you have to edit your outline, or chapter accordingly. Just like editing the outline of your book, you have things in life, situations that arise that aren’t scheduled on your daily calendar where you have to rearrange your day to get through it. It’s how you respond to any situation that arises that is important. Will you always react perfectly? No, because mistakes happen, emotions can be turbulent depending on the situation that arises, which can cause you to over react or not be able to react right away. You can’t control every situation that rolls your way and you can’t expect yourself to know how to get through something you’ve never experienced before. All you can do is look forward and edit as you go on what you can change along the way. There’s always going to be imperfections; it’s how you choose to see them that matters as you keep walking forward. Maybe choosing to let yesterday’s imperfections and situations be where they are and simply live today in the confidence and strength that yesterday helped shape.
I don’t know if my next book will be perfect but I will certainly try for perfection. A book is easy to edit before your hit the publish button after that, well the book with all it’s perfections and imperfections becomes yesterdays creations. I can edit what happens in my life today as long as it’s something that I have the power to change. For those things that will crop up that are the repercussions of others actions, I can only put one foot forward and deal with the ripple effects of the choices that others make that effect me in some way, whether good or bad.