Monday, January 26, 2009

Keep Moving Forward

I wrote a post over at my own blog and then realized how pertinent it would be to writers everywhere, so decided to let the post do double duty on both blogspots.

My teenage daughter surprised me a few months ago. She went home from our store (where we rent dvd's too) with a few movies: Juno, Sidney White, and Meet The Robinsons.

I had nothing pressing to do and knew that Juno had some pretty grown up themes and figured I ought to watch it with her in case she had any questions. We ended up pulling an all day movie fest watching all three movies. I hadn't seen any of them and it was fun to hang out with her and watch movies until our eyes got sore. (loved Juno BTW. It's a little irreverent, but I loved it)

It surprised me to hear my teenager's favorite movie in the world was Meet the Robinsons. It further surprised me to see her eyes mist over at the end. I mean, the show was cute, endearing, and I truly enjoyed it, but until her declaration and verge-of-tears reaction over the film, I hadn't looked much deeper than the surface.

The story revolves around a very central theme: Keep Moving Forward.

Such a positive approach to life. In the movie our little boy-genius-orphan, Lewis, makes many mistakes, but he learns to keep moving forward--that those mistakes will build him into the man he was meant to be. Is the concept of growth and stumbling blocks oversimplified in this movie? Of course.

But such growth really isn't the kind of concept that bears complicating. The simplicity of the message to keep moving forward is part of what makes it efficient and beautiful.
I finished my first book and hid it away on the harddrive of an old 8088 because I was afraid to keep moving forward. My husband shoved me out of my comfort zone and into the dark and disturbing world of submitting manuscripts, because I simply refused to go out on my own. Did I make mistakes? Of course. I freely admit, I'm published by an unexplainable comedy of errors. Little twists and turns of fate. Every twist and turn, making me the person I am.

Had I not stumbled forward, I would have lived in that place called regret. Always wondering what I might have accomplished if I'd only picked myself up and dusted myself off when things didn't go the way I wanted. Always wondering, and in that wondering, consistently feeding off heaping portions of dissatisfaction.

Writers tend to get hung up on the rejections, the bad reviews and evil comments left by people who simply don't understand our "art." Miss Snark had an entire category called "quit obsessing!" Writers obsess. We obsess over every little thing.

And sometimes all that obsession leaves us wanting because we forget to remember the little twists and turns of fate that bring us joy.

The movie Meet the Robinsons ends with a song that spoke to my soul. Because even as we stumble through our lives, cry over our failed attempts at getting that agent, deal, contract, award--aren't there millions of tiny moments that bring joy as we journey through our lives and become the people we're meant to be?

"Little Wonders"
Let it go,
Let it roll right off your shoulder
Don't you know
The hardest part is over
Let it in,
Let your clarity define you
In the end
We will only just remember how it feels

Our lives are madeIn these small hours
These little wonders,
These twists & turns of fate
Time falls away,
But these small hours,
These small hours still remain

Let it slide,
Let your troubles fall behind you
Let it shine
Until you feel it all around you
And i don't mind
If it's me you need to turn to
We'll get by,
It's the heart that really matters in the end

Our lives are made
In these small hours
These little wonders,
These twists & turns of fate
Time falls away,
But these small hours,
These small hours still remain

All of my regret
Will wash away some how
But i can not forget
The way i feel right now
In these small hours
These little wonders
These twists & turns of fate
These twists & turns of fate
Time falls away but these small hours
These small hours, still remain,
Still remain

These little wonders
These twists & turns of fate
Time falls away
But these small hours
These little wonders
still remain
--Rob Thomas


Danette said...

Thank you for this post! You are the reason I sent in my third book to a publisher that had just rejected my second book. I cannot tell you how you (Josi, Heather,and Annette) are the floating devise out in the wild-whipping waves of the writer' world. (wow that was a lot of w's)I always say, "persistance will pay." Hopefully it will. But like you said sometimes it's the journey that makes it all worth living and not the destination.

Cheryl said...

I love Rob Thomas --and I've always loved that song. I think I'm like your daughter because I tear up whenever I hear that song (and really listen to it). It can apply to so much in our lives (obviously more than writing, too), and I think that's why it touches me so much.
Thank you for this post! I needed it today. :)

P.S. I adored Juno. Many people give me the stink-eye when I admit it, so I'm glad there are others out there that loved it, too!

Charlie Moore said...

Two weeks ago my mother passed away. She was 71. I am 51. I miss her very much. I mention this to tie in with the message here about moving forward. Sometimes it is difficult. With the passing of my mother I rely on the knowledge I have as a Latter Day Saint that our good Lord has simply requested the service of my mother on the other side of the veil. I know that she is serving the Lord and while our separation is painful, it is temporary.

Like Danette, I have recently had a manuscript rejected (actually by three publishers) that I felt was a good story (but, obviously not marketable in their opinions). I am moving forward with a new manuscript that I hope these same publishers will like better. The problem with some writer's is they write from the heart and create stories that are important to them. Publishers look at stories differently, as they must to stay in business. I understand this. So what do I do as a writer who simply enjoys the process of creating a heartfelt story which may or may not be marketable. Simple, I keep moving forward because the Lord has given me a talent and He expects me to develop it and expand upon it. Whether I get published again or not (and yes, I would like to be published again) is really secondary.

Thanks for reminding me during a tough time for me that we are required to keep moving forward.

Charlie Moore

Julie Wright said...

Danette, congratulations on getting back out there! Cheryl, the fact that ou liked Juno means we are totally bonded. Other people just don't recognize clever turns of dialogue like we do. And Charlie, I am sorry to hear about your mother. The knowledge of eternity makes things bearable. I'm so glad you have that.

Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen said...

As always, an insightful blog. Thank you for opening our eyes.

Heather Moore said...

I remember watching Meet the Robinsons and thinking the same thing--Keep Moving Forward (in my writing career). I also liked Juno. It was cute and quirky.

Charlie, so sorry to hear about your mother.