5000 Words

words1Another beautiful morning in Southern California. So much so that many around me don’t even comment anymore that it’s 70 degrees already around 8am. We just take it for granted. Which led me to thinking that I accept a lot of things in my life with no comment. I spend so much time doing that I often miss the reason why I am doing something. For me, it’s easier to focus on a task rather than the reasons for it.  I think it’s because I am afraid of feeling overwhelmed.  Take ,for instance, my writing. I managed to finish my first 5000 word short story, and I was so excited that I sent it out to a few friends as well as my critique group without proof reading for typos and grammar.  Which would be fine except I have been working on the piece for over a month, and in my quest to get to 5000 words I overlooked the basic idea. I don’t want my readers to get bogged down with silly mistakes, but challenge me to improve on what I am writing. And so far everyone has done that, but as a writer I feel like I failed them because it should not be hard for a reader to see where you are going.

Several of them asked me some basic questions about the characters and motivations that should have been answered immediately but instead were lost because I failed to take a step back and read the entire story to ensure continuity. I got lost in the jungle of counting words rather than ensuring that story had a cohesive whole.  Don’t get me wrong. I am so glad to have people who are willing to take the time to go read for me, yet I also feel that I should have been fairer to them and not made their job harder by not doing my homework. This has been something of a constant struggle in my life. I get lost in tasks, and it is why I have added meditation to my day to be remind myself to be more mindful, to be present, to take a moment and look at the big picture. Frankly, it has been slow going, but you know what, that’s fine.

I am forever pushing myself, and am truly grateful for the ones in my life who help me along. My life is like 5000 words.  It’s not the amount that matters, it’s the story it tells.

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