Do You Believe In Signs?

I do. Always have. And, still pondering the full meaning of the Jennifer Crusie article I referenced here last week (The Weasel Has Landed), I wandered over to Sheila’s Starlines, and discovered that she has done what I’ve been considering.

Protect the work.

One person I trust implicitly has been telling me for the last few years that all the web stuff is eating me, but I fail to listen to him as often as I should, in spite of the fact that he’s always right on these things. I backed out of the community, but hung onto the weblog.

Then I tripped over Crusie’s “protect the work” article, which answered a nightmare. Except I decided to take the minimalist approach to protection — just some of the weblog stuff. Now Sheila has taken the huge step of shutting down her weblog. And she’s right.

One black cat crossing your path might be mistaken for coincidence. Two is a conspiracy.

Three is a Sign. (Or maybe a weasel …. but either way, the meaning is the same.)

Protect the work. It is the writer’s bread and butter, and it is a fragile gift that can be most easily shattered, squandered, ignored, rolled over, or spent on distractions. You can leave your fight in the gym — I’ve been leaving my fight in the gym. For how long? I don’t know. Community, articles for Vision and the site, weblog ….

I don’t know.

I know the books matter to me, and the books have been harder than they should be of late, and though I’m creeping close to the end of Talyn, it shouldn’t be this painful. I shouldn’t be so distractable. Like Sheila, I remember writing when it was just me and a typewriter in my room when the kids were napping. (I started on a typewriter.) And getting book after book after book done on that Kaypro 8088 which had nothing but a word processor on it. Not even Solitaire.

Protect the work.

I’ll leave the e-mail up, but this is the last entry in the weblog. Nor will it be possible to post replies, because in order to make sure that I don’t slip in my resolve to shut this down (I know me — in some things I have all the spine of a jellyfish), I’m pulling the engine out of the weblog software after I post this. The posts will remain.

I’m off to seek the silence I had before the Internet.

I want to thank you for spending the last few years with me here. I’ve enjoyed this and I hope you have, too. I wish you the best of luck with your own writing, hope you wish me the same with mine, and look forward to writing many books in the future that I sincerely hope you enjoy.

And I leave you with the most recent lesson I’ve learned, and hope you find it useful.

Protect the work.

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About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and self-publish my new ones.

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