Good morning, and welcome to the Year of the Tiger. (Sometimes I’m a little behind on my new years resolutions and year-end reviews. And a bit behind on creating an outlook for the next year, so this year… I did it during Chinese New Year. So far no regrets.)
And so I want to point out that if you are also behind on this sort of thing, now’s a good time to do it anyway. A new year is a great time in a way, partly because you can jump on the bandwagon of everyone else doing it to, but you know, the best time for a fearless moral inventory is today.
“The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is today.”
I love this Chinese proverb because it highlights a deep truth: sometimes we realize that what we really need right this instant is the fruit of labors we should have put in twenty years ago. But you know, we didn’t. We can beat ourselves up about this and get mired in the muck of guilt and what we ‘should’ have done… or we can shake it off and do it now. No, we won’t get the full fruit of such a mature action had we done it twenty years ago, but to hell with that, because the truth is, we didn’t. What we can change about our situation is what we’re thinking, considering, feeling, and doing now.
I’ll grant you, this is a deep topic I’m brushing the surface of, because this is a life update blogpost and not a three-volume teaching series. But the point stands: it can be easier to mourn action not taken than actually take action now.
Hands up if that’s you.
It’s certainly been me.
So, where’ve you been, Sare?
I promised in one of yesterday’s fic posts over on AO3 that I’d explain a bit about why I didn’t post from July 2021 until February 2022 on an epic story that I adore: Debts of Honor. It’s a similar reason why I stopped posting my sermons on my blog in the fall.
I was running away.
That sentence was not easy to write, but it is true. When posting sermons was no longer essential for my work (when we returned to fully in-person services), I stopped putting them on the internet, and thus on my blog. I rationalized this behavior in a variety of ways, but really, I was running away. Similarly, when I stopped posting to Debts of Honor it was because I’d stopped writing Debts of Honor and ran away into something brighter and shinier and easier to write. Which I can continue to rationalize, but I won’t; I was running away.
The good news here, is that even when I run away, I learn something.
What I learned is that actually, there are other good and valid reasons to put my sermons online beyond the pandemic. I now embrace those reasons, and I’ll be making those sermons available again. Next posting Saturday.
And I learned why I wanted to run away from Debts of Honor (and into Venus in Effigy, which hey: at 200,000 words, I finished. Go me. Accidentally wrote a novel, now moving on.) and that is because so much of what I write I write to heal my own self. And you know… I’d written as far as I could. I needed to up my spiritual-emotional-mental game and get to the next level in order to finish writing the story. Viewed in this way it’s not a surprise, because it’s not the first time I’ve had to do it. Sometimes the writing precedes the breakthrough for me, and sometimes the breakthrough is required before I can finish writing.
And for those of you following along… I did notice this during my sabbatical, a year ago now. It was the first time I noticed what was going on and that it started with Loki of Midgard, which I ran away from and into Debts of Honor (do you see the trend? I do!), but that didn’t mean I could put it fully into practice. And before I could, I ran away again.
And in the Year of the Tiger, I have finished an epic work, namely Venus in Effigy. And just earlier today I returned to Debts of Honor. My 5AM writing time is now going to be dedicated to it. My weekly larger blocks of writing time are going to be dedicated to charting out how the hell I’m going to finish that monumental sucker (500,000 words and counting), and every spare minute when I’m finished with other work is going to be dedicated to grinding at my top sustainable speed, which is about 875 words an hour, though maybe more realistically 500/hr. There will be a delay in anyone seeing anything because I’ll be posting more slowly than I write, but I will be publishing something on my patreon every week and on AO3 every week. (To be totally clear there, I have a backlog of six actual months worth of weekly Venus in Effigy posts to get through first. But this should leave me plenty of time to build up a head of steam in Debts of Honor.)
But really, this was all part of a larger vision that I’ll share with you later this week, in part two of this post. But before I was ready to actually envision it, I had to learn a few life lessons all over again.
- I can want, or I can do.
- The only one holding me back is me.
- I have something beautiful and unique to offer the world – and if I don’t no one else will.
And you know, the same thing is true for you.