Catch Me if You Can wonder most days about the next task on my to-do list. If a Facebook page for this anxiety (never-ending concern), existed, it would have at least a zillion and one likes, and indubitably be the most talked about page on Facebook. The members of the community would chatter endlessly and long into the night about their infinite list of chores. On the page, you’d see things like…

“Oh man, I don’t know if I’ll get to that today, in this month, or next year.”

“I can’t keep up with the list. It’s never ending.”

“I had a list, but stopped adding things. It depressed me.”

“I only add to the list. I can’t seem to take anything off.”

“It stresses me out when I think about all the things I’m not doing.

“I used to dream of writing a novel, but I can’t find the time with all I have to do…”

If I had liked the page, my comment would be, “I’m behind on my life.”

I see my life free floating off in the distance, as a cluster of spring clouds drifting over the San Francisco Bay in the late afternoon, does. It’s close but out of reach. I can only sigh. I console myself with the knowledge it’s at least close by, and within viewing distance. It’s strangely comforting.

IMG_0391Like most, I have one of those lists that multiples. It’s kind of like the dust bunnies that reproduce exponentially if left to their own devices. I do wonder about the next task on my list, but these days if it involves rushing somewhere or vacuuming, I leave it for another day. What matters to me are those clouds floating overhead and the blank page I fill with my words.

I am behind on my life, and there’s not a damn thing I’m going to do about it. What matters to me now is that I carry on chasing my dream of living the passionate life of being a writer. I am many things to many people. To some, I am a wife, a mom, a Chef, a CFO, a Princess Warrior, Drama Queem, a Domestic Goddess, a sister and in the day job, a consummate professional. But, in my heart and when asked, “What do you do?” I say I am a writer. I wear the label as if it were a badge of honor. I’ve earned both a Silver Medal of Honor for bravery (standing up against doubt), and a Purple Heart, for being wounded in the line of duty—the submission and rejection process. I’ve even won Gloria Gaynor’s, ‘I Will Survive’ honorary Grammy. All awarded for sticking it out through the highs and lows.

There’s no point in lingering at the deep end of the teaspoon. The lows were and are horrible. The doubt that accompanies a writer throughout her days can make or break her. Is mine gone forever? No, but I’m cool with that. Being humble and a little doubtful makes me work harder. Am I famous yet? And has Julia Roberts opted to my book. No, and no. Have agents said no thank you, Dear Writer? And, did I cry myself a river when they did. Yes, and yes. Have I given up? Hell no. Do you want to know why? I’ll tell you, but only because we’re BFFs. It’s because I am committed to living a passionate writer’s life.

Over the course of the next six weeks, I have five short stories hitting the press. Yikes! That’s something to shout out. On top of that, one Editor is reading a novella I wrote earlier in the year, and another is reading my first novel. The odds of both or even one being opted are not on my side, but getting this far tells me I’m doing something right.

I’m struggling to keep up with the little things like dusting, cleaning the shower grout, and social media, but when it comes to writing, I’m exercising my right to write.

Life, I know I’m behind, but damn, girl, I think it’s your turn to catch up with me.

What is your plan of action when your life becomes too big for your reality? Do you exercise you right to break free?

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I’m a writer and hoarder of one-size-fits-all panty hose. Until the hose fits over my bum, I write to provide an alternative view on writing and perfection.

24 thoughts on “Catch Me if You Can

  1. You keep chasing that dream of yours, B.! I’m so happy for you about the stories hitting the press, and about the editors reading your novella and novel. As for the rest on that list, you’ll get to them bit by bit (or not, but it won’t matter that much). Our dreams are real. So they must be a part of our reality-to-be. They can get as big as they like, just as long as they trust that I am still going after them.
    Claudine Gueh recently posted….The Django ~ Who Always Seems to Find TroubleMy Profile

  2. You’re a terrific writer and you will come through. Congrats on those stories and on having a editor showing some interest.

    As to dust bunnies, they multiply under our beds as well. I haven’t vacuumed the upstairs all summer I don’t think, and on my to -do list today is at least to change the kids’ sheets. I can’t imagine what is crawling in them by now. OTherwise, yes. I’ve let it all go. Really, just to keep my sanity. That for sure is highest on my to-do list.
    sandra tyler recently posted….Tale Tues: Midlife Crisis With Breast CupsMy Profile

  3. Oh, wow, Brenda! You’re so close to being published!
    And, I’m so with you about letting those non-essentials go when it comes to writing, even when my dust bunnies multiply. You just keep on doing what you’re doing, my dear, and your life will one day catch up with you. :)
    Oh, and forget the list . . .
    Blessings, my friend!
    Martha Orlando recently posted….Saying “Yes” to RestMy Profile

  4. Brenda, I’m happy for you. Yes, I’m happy you’re behind on life for all the right reasons. I’m not happy, however, that were so behind we haven’t seen each other since February or so! When can we be behind together?
    Jennifer Wolfe recently posted….An Early Morning WalkMy Profile

  5. I’m so excited for you! You’re doing amazing things. Fuck the dust bunnies. More than anyone I know, you’re a born writer. I’m glad you honor that.

    Life getting away from me? Ha! I could write a book just on that. Overwhelm dogs me. I have no idea how I’m supposed to do this all. Prioritizing is a bitch! What’s really priority? What can I let go of? Never, ever do I feel on top of things.

    You are an amazing writer. For that, too, I’m happy for you!

  6. Brenda, I can’t remember the last time I dusted and tile grout? I have yet to scrub in this life time. Lady, I admire you for taking on these endeavors but methinks you also deserve to practice the art of dolce far niente. You deserve to kick back, laze in the sun, whilst sipping a Mai Tai! If life has taught me anything, it’s that sooner or later, everything comes full circle–even those dust bunnies! hee hee! Loved the energy of this piece! :)
    Bella recently posted….Where, oh where is the one that got away?My Profile

  7. You’ll be published so soon…..then hire someone to clean those dustbunnies for you so you can continue writing. Oh and let your assistant do up your to-do lists then also! It’s right around the corner for you.

  8. Your post is quite refreshing for me today. I actually let the laundry go and there are still boxes that have to be moved to the basement and put away, but everything is at a stand still because I chose to write. As authors, we must remember what is most important to us which is to live up to our responsibility. The responsibility of writing! It’s what drives us, makes us passionate and credible when we dream BIG. I know it’s easier said than done, but everything will balance itself out. And I will continue to try to convince myself that I have balance as I juggle laundry, cooking, tweeting, working, running, spending time with the ones I love and most importantly; writing! Congrats on those five short stories & I will shoot over some positive vibes for your novels.
    gina stoneheart recently posted….New Territory For a New LiverMy Profile

  9. Congratulations, Brenda, on getting published but where are you getting published? Do tell! Love your list, I have one, too. In fact, I decided to take a whole week off from work to see if I can catch up on it, but I already feel like I’m going to fail. Lists can be so daunting!
    monicastangledweb recently posted….Love That Bob!My Profile

  10. Hmmm – what a familiar refrain, Brenda. Take heart that you are not alone! Go forth and write … and let us know about those short stories and the novella. It’s all going to happen and the dust bunnies will applaud!
    Patricia Sands recently posted….Choices …My Profile

  11. I love coming here to read the things we don’t always write ourselves, but which we so often can relate to. I had that feeling (being behind in one’s life) walking home from taking my son to the cinema today and having spent time with them both over the summer and letting the dust pile up on the housework and the stories and the novel and other works that today knocked on an internal door and cried, “can we come out soon”. I hear you I replied silently, and since then I’ve been seeing little markers all day, your post being one of them, signs of encouragement, of perseverance, of the support of others; true, it can seem like we are behind on our life – or is that just the strength of the feeling of anticipation of where we want to be – because in order to get there, it is necessary to know how it’s going to feel in advance, to look ahead and see the next milestone approaching.

    You are not behind in your life, you can see that next milestone and it sounds to me like you are about to to reach it very soon.

    And then there will be the next one…
    Claire ‘Word by Word’ recently posted….AmericanahMy Profile

  12. How wonderful about your stories! First time here and your blog artwork alone… WOW.

    I exercise my right to break free most weekends through the fall going to my Mom’s beach house in Corolla. Only there do I truly feel home… like I was meant to be there… like every stress I have is gone! Only in the ocean do I break free. :)

  13. Keep going Brenada. You are doing the important things. Writing is you, through and through. Didn’t you know you ONLY dust is you are having a party. Otherwise. It can sit there. It’s pointless anyway because you dust and it comes right back in a coupla days.

  14. Oh wow! Brenda! Congratulations on the stories going to press and the inroads with editor nibbles! I am so very proud (and inspired) of you, your writing and your persistence. Ain’t it the truth though? When you pop forward somewhere, something else tanks! Oh well, it’s like you say ‘no point lingering at the deep end of the teaspoon’, one way or the other we keep swimming! ~A
    P.S. I liked your reference to the multiplication of dust bunnies 😉
    Astra recently posted….It’s time to admit it: I’m just no good without you …My Profile

  15. Holy batwing, Brenda! Five short stories and you have editors — actual publisher types — reading two of your pieces? I’d say you’re doing quite well, frankly, dust bunnies be damned.

    Where can we read these soon-to-be-published short stories of yours?

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