Monday, July 16, 2012

Why Yes, I Do Have Control Issues

I'm in a bit of a writing slump.

See, we're selling our house, and the process of change is taking up all my mental energy. Also it takes up time in the day to clean a house.

Who knew?

My house and I have always had what's known as a professional relationship, (namely I don't touch the house more than would make it feel uncomfortable), but because our house is on the market, we been forced to become intimately acquainted.

I thought I had levels of cleanliness, with having the in-laws over being at the top. But no. House Showing is the new top level of cleanliness.

I don't like change, not in real life. I like to have changed. The process of change itself... Ick.

Usually when thrust into moments of change, I like to retreat into a world of make believe where I can control every aspect of every fictional person's life. ( Perhaps that's a bit too honest) But right now my brain isn't accommodating such escape. I don't have a story idea that I love that I can vacation too, at least not until Sabrina puts something into the mail.

(hint, hint)

So instead... I've decided to start (officially) trying to get FTCM published. I've started a query a week program, where every Wednesday, I research a new possible agent and send a query in their general direction.

I missed/skipped/ pretended Wednesday didn't exist last week, so this week I have two queries to put in the (e)mail. I'm excited about the process...although it feels remarkably like change... and have developed a sort of coping mechinisim for dealing with Selling my House/ Querying.

Five Tips for Dealing With Change

Tip 1. Try not to live in the future. 

Don't imagine the house you'll move into, or spend the giant royalty check. Failing that, lower your imaginary expectations. Don't say, "Oh it's just for fun, let's go crazy," Imagine a smaller print run, or a lower place on the bestseller list. Imagine an imperfect home so that when reality finally hits, you won't be frustrated.

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” 

Tip 2. Do everything you can, and then happily stand still. 

I'm gonna quote scripture for a sec ( feel free to skip if it ain't your thang.)  "D&C 123:17 Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed." You can't control the future, but you can control your attitude. Choose to be happy- no matter what.

Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” 
― Dalai Lama XIV

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” 

“A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.” 

Tip 3. Get busy doing something else. 

Spend time with friends. Write a new story. Invest in the life you have right now, because right now is ending. 

“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” 

Tip 4. Don't make long term decisions with short term emotions. 

If someone rejects your query, that doesn't mean you should change/delete entire chapters. Save often, and keep hard copies.

Give a man a fire and he's warm for a day, but set fire to him and he's warm for the rest of his life.” 
― Terry PratchettJingo

Tip 5. Get ready first, then jump. 

Don't send queries without making sure you are happy with the query. You can't go back in time and unquery. And if you figure out how to unquery, let me know. You can control where you're going, by getting ready for it, and then taking the steps to get there.

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...” 

― Dr. SeussOh, the Places You'll Go! 

Wish me luck!

(Or send a maid service.)


  1. I rent because I move a lot, but I remember when I was sixteen my parents sold our house. Who knew living in one place for three years could be such a mess to clean up?! I hope you find a buyer soon and that your new house turns out to be your dream home. Good luck with your queries!

  2. We are growing out of our house, but I just can't bring myself to put it on the market. It will take so much work to get it salable. I'll have to organize the closets and wash the floor boards.

    Great advice on surviving the period of change. Love the quotes. Good luck with getting into a new house and querying. And if you find a free maid service, send them my way. :)

  3. Just been there. Just done that. I'm so sorry, Sheena. :D

    Good luck. And I'm happy to hear that your plans to move will not interfere with my favorite writing project. :D again.


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