Posted by: tlboehm | July 27, 2012

Points Well Taken

So I’ve had a day off to wallow in my misery, to cry like a baby in the shower and to dsconnect for a moment from the “accountant matrix” I read what all of you said to me yesterday and I considered the words carefully. And now for my response. 

So. Here’s the rest of it. I took a bit of time this morning and revisited one of my unborn babies called “Ephesus Offense.” For those of you who are interested, and or bored – I have this one up – the first three chapters on my moss covered website – You’re welcome to read it at your leisure. I did and I got all lathered up over it. I got excited. I thought of some scenes and dialogue and situations and plot lines. It was pretty much instant. Like I’d never tabled it. The passion and joy is still there. That is a given. 
However. I can’t take my left lobe and forcibly expel it from my cranium. For 40 years I have been the organizer. The planner. The caretaker. The responsible one. The designated driver. It, much like the writer is part of my core identity. Even when I started writing – it wasn’t for myself. It was always for others. Its one of the reasons I blog instead of just keeping a journal. Writing simply for myself makes the writing irrelevant, quickly. The writing itself must have a purpose outside of my own brain or its not worth the investment of time. If I need to please myself – a hot shower does it. Writing is for others. It can be simple – the writing can be simply to help someone else escape their own reality for five minutes or have a belly laugh or a good cry. But the writing is something from with in me that has to flow out to others. 
That being said. I have to temper it. It can be read without being purchased. I don’t have to make a million or even break even. Not every written project is a money making business. (Blogging is good for that. I blog because I can and its free…right?) And yes, it may take years and years to see a book break even – if one ever breaks even. At my core, I would love to be financially solvent as a writer, but more than that, I just want to be read. 
The impatience definitely comes from knowing that once I complete a book – there is the entire business aspect to it – even if one plans to self publish to get it into the hands of readers – there is that investment of money and I am unable to do that right now. And that is where my left  brain shorts my right brain and says – So you’re gonna do what? Expend all this electricity building a world in here, spew it out on paper and then – nothing? Oh HELL no. We need that energy to support the “real” job and the “parental obligations” – write a book, my amygdala! Seriously? You spent a thousand dollars and a couple of years on BC and you have a crate in your closet. Absolutely no way this left lobe is allowing you to run roughshod over the brain pan like that again.” 
So I have to come to terms with both sides of my brain. The goal needs to be – completion of novels in x amount of time. Let the left brain manage the mechanics. And the right brain needs to just write and not worry about what happens when its done – because that’s the goal. Just getting it done. Once the novels are done and I have my whole check coming to me – then I can map out things like publication. 
You see. I’ve been trained to see things from start to finish, sequentially and to organize the processes to get to completion. I just have to move that finish line back. In this case. Publication is unattainable. But writing a novel isn’t. So that’s the purpose. That’s the ribbon to cross. Write the freaking book. Get it done. (All of them.) Its not ideal – but its not an exercise in potential failure. I can write the freaking books – you know? Worst case scenario? I buy a ream of paper and print out a few copies on my own and send it to unsuspecting victims/friends..yeah. That’s the ticket. 
Yes, I am obstinate, thick skulled and ornery – but I do listen to what you have to say. And I appreciate you. Always. 
On a lighter note. I found out yesterday that my maternal family and my stepsibling’s paternal family share lineage. (my mom is related to the father of my stepsisters – mu wuh?) And – my “second dad” (the one mom says is my real father.) is related to – wait for it ATTILA THE HUN! (falls of chair in paroxysms of maniacal laughter!) I find it truly humorous. I’m sick that way. 


  1. I hear ya! Oh yea! So….if you really want to see something in print and get it into the hands of others and are not set in a certain way of accomplishing that, then you still can. It only cost me about $2.30 per book to order. This varies depending on the number of pages you have. Go to Live the dream!

  2. Dear Tam’s Left Brain:

    Tam’s right brain needs to write. Tam’s right brain is the other half of you. If you want to be healthy, you need to allow Tam’s right brain to be healthy, too.

    It is true that publication may not be likely in the immediate future, but you are falling down on your primary task when you reason that that means writing is a waste of time and energy. You’re committing a logical fallacy.

    I know: “Gasp! Me, the LEFT brain, illogical?” Yeah, you the left brain, illogical. You’re as selfish as the rest of the world. Face it, you want to dominate. You want things done your way and often fail to remember that you’re part of a whole, and all of the whole matters. So when it comes to your competitive, domineering, selfish agenda–yeah, you’re illogical.

    Here’s the fallacy: If no opportunity to publish ever presents itself, Tam will (in your limited view) have wasted her time and energy writing. But the reverse is true, too: If she doesn’t write, she won’t be able to take advantage of any opportunity that does present itself.

    I’m sorry to hit you where you live, but your logic here is no different from the “logic” of not wearing your seatbelt because the energy required to do so is wasted if there’s no accident. The only difference is this: No one wants to be in a car accident, and we reason (quite rightly) that although the risk of that happening any given time we drive is low, the consequences can be catastrophic if we don’t buckle up and do have an accident. But while the chances of being published are also low, the consequences of it happening could be wonderful. And, sadly, as nearly perfect as you are, being the left brain and all, human brains tend to do a better job of believing in the possibility of and preparing for potentially bad things.

    That makes sense, in a way, because anticipating and preparing for danger keeps us alive, and it’s better to anticipate dangers that never materialize than be surprised by the one that does. But like all good things the brain does, that tendency can also be bad. It means we can miss out on opportunities for joy, success, fulfillment, and all kinds of other good things we just don’t expect to happen.

    Plus, it’s only in your reckoning that Tam is wasting her time and energy if she writes but isn’t published. In fact, writing is good for her right brain (and therefore good for your health). The writing process itself can be an excellent form of stress management–if you stop interfering and let it flow. Even the hoping and dreaming parts are beneficial, and again, all the more so, if you keep your nose out of it.

    Bottom line: You can learn to accept that right-brain processes have value you may not recognize without help, or you can clamp down on the right brain and try to suppress part of the person of whom you’re also part. I know it’s hard for competitive you to get this, but if you harm another part that harms the whole, you harm yourself.

    So try to work on that logic thing, okay?


    P.S. And there’s just one other little thing you ought to know: Tam can self-publish an ebook for the Kindle or Nook FREE. No cost. No obstacles. So the only thing stopping her from being published is you telling her not to write because she isn’t going to be published. Put that in your rational-cognition brain and smoke it.



  5. Yeah! What Mad Woman said. Your entire being was made to create. One half of your brain keeps the other half in line, but sometimes, it gets a little greedy…which isn’t good. then it doesn’t allow for pleasure. Writing for the pleasure of writing is fulfilling a purpose of sorts, do you not agree? Now…get thine arse out to barnes and noble and publish for free. That is all.

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