I have discovered that I can't read and write at the same time. Well, I figure most people can't do that--meaning they can't literally be reading something and be writing something completely different at the same time. Unless, of course, one were a two-headed monster, with two brains--which, in my opinion, that monster would constitute as two people, if, in fact, monsters could be considered people. I'm not going to venture an opinion on that because I don't want to inadvertently insult any monsters, two-headed or otherwise.
Sometimes, I think I'm like the Mad Hatter in the Johnny Depp version of "Alice in Wonderland." In that case, you should read all of my rants as though I suddenly developed a Scottish accent.
Well, when I say that I can't read and write at the same time, I mean something more than just simultaneously writing and reading. I mean that while I'm actively working on a writing project, I find it hard to read other books. If I'm reading a book by someone else, I want to devote all my spare time to that book. If I'm writing or editing a major project of my own, I want to devote all my spare time to that. I can't keep both going at the same time. So for a couple months, I went crazy and checked out about 3 dozen books from the library, and I let my major writing projects simmer on the back burner for a while. I've read my way through all of these books, and I'm finishing up a book I purchased. When I get done with "Quitter" by Jon Acuff, I'm going to stop reading for a while so that I can focus on the writing and editing.
Regular work schedule has started at the drop-in centers. The kids I watch in the afternoons are now in school. Preschool has started. I'm about to start incorporating "writing stuff" into my day to day life, too. I need to work on some goals, but that scares me, because I am really bad about meeting them. But if I were to make some goals, they might look something like this:
1) Make some minor adjustments to first book. Make major adjustments to synopsis for first book. Stop being a pansy and send queries about first book. As soon as possible.
2) Edit second book like crazy. Figure out how you want to think about marketing second book, b/c that's going to affect how you edit it. Produce a decent second draft by, say, the end of the year.
3) Um. Project? Experiment? Idea? Yeah. You're on your own here, because I don't have a clue what to do with this project idea you have.
Here's the deal. I'm not much of a goal-setter. I never have been. I like to be prepared, especially when I don't know how to handle a particular situation, but even then, I don't know how to organize my life and my plans into tangible goals. So it's strange that I've actually had a couple bursts of project planning this week. It's also strange that I've taken everything I've planned and pretty much figuratively thrown it out the figurative window.
If you've read any of my posts over the past week (with the exception of a rather silly post about me eating a can of soup), then you have probably read something about a project idea I've been thinking about for a couple years now. I think it's time to act on this idea and try to make something out of it, but I also believe I need to pray a little more about it before doing anything. I ask that you would continue to pray for wisdom as I pray/work through this.
I do think that if I proceed with this project, I'm going to have a couple of "preview blogs" for it on "Poor Reflections" before embarking on a new blog. I do have a name for the project--and really, I need to stop calling it a project. It's more of an experiment right now. I'm going to call it "Singled In." I'm not sure, at this point, what my blog posts for "Singled In" will look like, but I expect a lot of them are going to be short. In fact, I don't think many of them are going to include my thoughts (at least not in great detail). Rather, I want to ask a lot of questions, some of them pointed, some of them more general, so that I and other readers can see what other people think, what other people have to say. That's not to say that I will never post a blog about something that's on my heart or mind, but I really want this experimental blog to be a community effort. That's why it's just not going to work unless I am able to gain some sort of a following. And that's scary, because it's really not in my hands.
So please be in prayer. Please "get on board." Please tell other people about this. Please feel free to go ahead and give me suggestions, advice, comments, concerns, snide remarks, etc. I am still not sure what the Lord is leading me to do with this, and I'm asking Him to help me trust Him more, rather than to simply ask for His direction. I do ask for direction, too. I mean, if God isn't leading this, then there's no point in even going forward. It's just that, in my experience, God doesn't like to give me a cheat sheet. I can't know the answers before I take the test. Sometimes, I just have to do something and trust that He's leading me. Sometimes that means I'm going to fail, and maybe even failure is a good thing if I learn from it.
And this isn't about me anyway. If I do continue with this plan, one of my first blogs will probably be an explanation of what "Singled In" is (or some of the things it could potentially be, since I really don't know how much control I will have over the experiment) and why I've envisioned the "Singled In" experiment. It's not about me. It's not about single people. It's not about married people. It's about glorifying God by creating unity, by breaking down barriers, by figuring out together how we can lift one another up, by figuring out together how we can honor God by honoring and learning from one another.
So, as I finish up this reading, I have a lot of expectations for my writing projects. I'm just not sure what shape all those expectations are going to take. I'm not much of a goal-setter, and maybe that's a bad thing in a lot of situations--all I know is that I have trouble being something I'm not. If I'm not a goal-setter, I'm just not a goal-setter. In this particular instance, as I attempt to plan and pray for an experiment that, quite frankly, scares me a little bit, maybe it's a good thing that I'm not a goal-setter. I have a feeling that this experiment/project/etc. is going to be something like me--it's not going to be something it's not. It's just going to be what it is. And I don't have a clue what that something is or will be, yet. I have a feeling that it's gonna be something good, but I'm going to need help.