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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Thursday Spotlight: Jason Barret

Cleaning Up The Garage

My wife and I have always tried to work together to keep the house picked up, especially in light of our busy schedules, and, I know this may seem hard to believe, but I’m not that good at picking up after myself. My tools get scattered around the garage as I jump from one job to the next and then to the next. I usually pick up the garage a little bit when my wife told me she’s having a little trouble getting the van in, but things are different now because I started writing.

And how did writing help with cleaning the garage, you may be asking. Well, I started writing and then, of course, started sending out queries and entering contests just like any other author. When I’d get a rejection, or bad scores in a contest and especially when I’d get two good scores and one bad one, I’d swear off writing forever and retreat to my safe zone, the garage. Without a real project to do, I’d straighten out my trusty tools and leftover lumber or whatever else that was preventing safe passage of Jan’s minivan. These tools and lumber never let me down. I knew exactly what to do with them, how they went together and what I could build. They were my friends and comfort zone. The saw cut the wood, the screws held the wood together and the stairs were built, easy and predictable. Writing wasn’t so predictable. Just when I thought I had it down, wham, a rejection letter and off I’d go to the garage to sulk. By the time I got things all organized, cleaned up and the garage back in good shape I’d be ready to write again. Well, sometimes I’d make the job last a little longer and putter around trying to fix frazzled lead cord or something, but eventually I’d come out of my self imposed exile from the pen, ready to jump back into writing.

So, all kidding aside, don’t let one person, a rejection letter; or a low score in a contest deter you from your dream. Yes, sometimes they hurt and you wonder why you put yourself through such misery, but rather than saying “I quit,” just clean the garage or do whatever you can to reorder your thoughts. Go to your comfort zone. Believe it or not, you’ll still be working on that book in the back of your head but it’ll just be “on the back burner” so to speak. Once you’ve decided that the rejection or scores weren’t all that bad and not the end of the world you’ll be ready to jump right back into what you love to do most- write. Plus that, your cupboards will be organized again.

4 comments:

April Graf said...

Good one Dad...advice I will remember.

joder said...

I too have a happy place I go to when I'm having a tough day. I go to my office/library, put on my iPod/ear buds, and sit in front of the fireplace (during winter). In summer, I sit outside with my iPod on and soak up the sun and enjoy the quietness.

joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

robynl said...

very good advice for everyone. my comfort zone is my computer.

Jason Barret said...

Thanks for your comments. A little get away whether it's in front of the fire, at the beach or surfng the net is always a better option than kicking yourself! They say, "Take some space" in schools now when kids are acting out. I think it's good for us sometimes too.