That great big fantastical fleeting moment of YES ((The Gift of DONE))

a

VERBAL

embrace

reserved for the TO-BEs AND ALMOST AREs….

the ones queued up on the VERGE, CUSP, RIM, EDGE, and LAUNCHING PAD,

the almost artists, almost scholars, almost entrepreneurs, almost parents, almost partners, almost free spirits, almost philosophersalmost game changers, almost mountain movers,

those about to be a NEW, BETTER, SHARPER, STRANGER, more VULNERABLE, more EXPOSED, more HONEST version of who they are now, today, right here, 

let’s talk about the HOMESTRETCH.

Let’s talk about that great big fantastical fleeting moment of YES.

 What is this for a writer? Why does it matter? What the hell is she talking about?

She’s talking about DONE.

While “good things come to those who wait” may hold its virtue, I consider Lincoln’s take far superior:

“Things may come to those who wait but only the things left by those who hustle.” –A. L.

“Things may come to those who wait but only the things left by those who hustle.” –A. L.

In other posts, we explore this almighty, all-important “HUSTLE” (the million of treacherous and thrilling steps between beginning and being almost done), but today, it’s all about the homestretch of the homestretch.

You’ve hustled.

( [top] hats off to you )

It’s time to harvest.

*****

Money is helpful and validating. People reading our prose and seeing our plays come to life the way we imagine is nirvanic. But as writers we never have a guarantee of either of those things, so THIS, THIS is the goal. My goal. To somehow maintain focus in the maddening “Look at the shiny ball! Bold art! Flakey croissant! Sparkly ring! Fluffy pup! Frothy mug! Lush lip! Clever quip!” chaos that is my every day, and to create and – AH! here’s the rub – finish something I genuinely sense is good.

This word sense is important. Because it may not be good. Maybe not to you, maybe not to me. Or maybe it’ll be good today to you or me (or you and me – wouldn’t that be delicious?), but will reveal tragic, unforgivable flaws six hours later, simply under a different light.

Just two weeks ago my darling, handy father-in-law installed the crowning Craigslist purchase of my life in our dining room. With such care we cleaned the teardrop crystals of the antique bronze chandelier. After threading each tier of crystals in place, we’d stop to marvel at its vintage charm. How dazzling it was last night with its haloed iridescence scattering the ceiling while Anthony and I enjoyed our first real dinner in our first real dining room.

“Rich man’s confetti,” I thought between bites. 

Craigslist changes lives.

Craigslist changes lives.

But now, as morning light sneaks between the blinds, many of the crystals look somehow dusty and water spotted. Some dangle slightly askew.

Overhead, on the ceiling, I see the first hint of a superficial crack we just had repaired and repainted. In six months time it’ll be back. In two years we’ll need it professionally addressed.

When we sell this house, whenever that may be, we just moved in after all, maybe we’ll leave the chandelier.

Maybe I won’t mind. Maybe I’ll be “over crystals.”

(blasphemy)

The point is – and ask any painter, cinematographer, or beautiful woman over fifty and they’ll agree – LIGHTING makes all the difference.

Many writers, no matter “the lighting,” always maintain a sort of mild to severe loathing toward anything they put down on paper. Nothing’s good enough. The flaws, even the only-spot-it-from-a-certain-angle-when-you-really-scrutinize superficial cracks within their craft, makes them cringe, blush, groan, ache.

This can fuel their next project:

I can do better, I must do better, what am I, if not better?

This can halt production altogether:

If I thought that was good, how can I ever trust I’ll have a better gauge in the future?

And this, my dearest ones, in all walks of life, is why we mustn’t overvalue our internal critic – that small, petty, shrill voice questioning, “Are you sure this is good enough to see the light of day?”

It’s not about the feeling we have toward our art, our work, our contribution, our “final” product.

donebracelet

(Sidebar: Men who buy women bad ass, fabulous jewelry are the best kind of men. #I’mtalkingaboutyouPete)

It’s about the moment of YES. The moment that we can say, “I did that, and it’s done. And it wouldn’t have happened if not for me. My perseverance. My focus. My unique brand of toiling. And it likely is good enough, whatever that means, but either way, it’s out there, and that’s a triumph in itself. Done takes courage. Done, in and of itself, is good.”

Anthony & moi this past Saturday at his FINAL graduation. He started Kindergarten in 1988 and never took time off through this past January (2014), when he completed his fellowship. Talk about being d-o-n-e. =)

*****

My head is spinning this morning with thoughts of done because while I have several projects at different developmental stages (including a few still so pristine and lovely, germinating in a cozy journal, untarnished by thoughts of structural and market concerns), it’s harvest time for others.

(yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, fuck yes, yippy skippy, yay, double yay)

My original romantic comedy feature screenplay, Detours (developed in 2007 when I was a part-time writer-for-hire/most-of-the-time temp, written [on spec] in 2008, and optioned in January of 2011), has just attached a wonderful, visionary director named Scott McCullough. I wrote Detours in order to have a feature-length comedic writing sample, but always maintained the quiet hope that someday it may find a home, too. Luckily, it did just that at Merrill Entertainment. Of course, there’s still a loooong, uncertain road ahead (financing, casting, production, distribution, oh my), but my part, for now, is done, and I’m learning to celebrate done.

Meanwhile, a screenplay I was hired to rewrite this past spring (called Mr. Fiction) was produced and is in post-production. Mr. Fiction will first air on Hallmark and PixL networks (and several others later), debut dates TBD.

imdb

Well lookie there. Me humble page has another credit. #phew #littlewriterwomantriumphs

And, lastly, but maybe not leastly, in my heart of heart of hearts, I sense I’m nearing the homestretch of the homestretch of something fictional and sacred I’ve been pouring myself into sporadically for two+ years. It’s a four hundred page labor of love-in-progress that I sense deserves to see the light of day. And like her heroine, she, too, will be far from perfect, but lucky for us, that’s not the goal.

Take a moment and celebrate the DONE and NEAR DONE in your life. Breathe, bask, savor.

(Did you enjoy that? Oh, good. Now let’s get back to the field.)

xo

A

 

Leave a reply.