On the Periphery

Things change. Life throws us curves and changeups. It's good to have a place to vent.

Friday, August 24, 2007

When the Model T automobile was first developed, Henry Ford declared it came in a choice of colors: black or black. You know, I often think he had the right idea.

Choice is nice, but nowadays there are so many choices it can get pretty overwhelming. Let's stick with the automobile (does anyone say that anymore?) example. Nowadays you have to decide if you want a subcompact, a compact, a mid-size, full-size, SUV or truck. And there are all the little catagories in between--small SUV, big-cab truck, etc. Then there are about 20 different car companies all offering their unique versions of each category. Never mind the color, how the heck do you pick a model?

How do you make a decision? How do you decide what field to enter, or a specialty? As a writer, I am also faced with a wealth of options. Do I want to write a play? A novel? A short story? And if I write a short story, is that the right form for my idea? Maybe it should be a movie script or a full-length book.

Decisions, decisions. Sometimes I wish we were back in the good old days, when we didn't have so many choices. Ah, well. On to the short story. Or book. I haven't decided yet.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

It's hard to believe it's over a year since I began grad school, and now I have only one more course to take before completing my thesis and graduating. I will be 56 years old when I receive my Master's in Creative Writing, and I am damn proud of it.

How many times have you thought of doing something, joining something, trying something, and backed out because you thought it would take too long, or you'd be too old, or it was simply too much effort? Know what? The time passes even if you don't do anything. Only if you don't make the effort, you have achieved nothing.

What do you want to achieve? Do you, like me, hanker to go back to school? Do you want to get a better job, but need further education or training? Do you wish to write a novel/learn needlepoint/create a family memories video/learn to use a computer program, but keep putting it off because you don't have the time/don't have the money/are too tired? I am living proof that all you have to do is get up off your dead end and--start. Just start it, progressing one step/one class/one hour/one day at a time.

Oh, and stop whining. It accomplishes nothing and uses good energy you will need when your goal seems so far off you think about quitting. One foot in front of the other and before you know it you will have achieved your goal. Then set another one. This, too, shall pass, but look what you'll have to show for it!