Don’t Be a Spectator in Your Life

Marshall McLuhan was a Canadian Author (The Medium is the Message), Philosopher, and his studies formed the cornerstone of media theory. He died in 1980. One of his concerns was the electronic marvel of television. He thought it would become less than marvelous for human development. I wonder what he would think of our Smartphones and their capabilities? One of the effects of television he predicted was the spawning of voyeurs. People who would rather watch than participate. Oh my goodness. Tik Tok is making him roll over in his grave.

We were meant for connection. Not artificial, like through electronics, but through face to face, sitting together over a meal, or attending an event in person. Don’t get me wrong. During the Pandemic, I have used electronics heavily through my studies during the past year for writing, establishing my LLC, and connecting with my artist who will illustrate my children’s book. Those connections have been both electronic and in person, and they have each served the purpose. I’m lucky to have made friends through media and joined groups with similar interest.

In doing those things, I am participating in my life. I’m following my plan, which has changed substantially since working with my book coach, Sam Tyler. I had nearly 80K words of a very complicated story, with lots of human growth, lots of dysfunctional characters, and several antagonists. Sam helped me realize one character and her growth could stand alone as a novel. It can, quite well. I went from being a pantster (writing by the seat of my pants, whatever spoke to me at the moment,) to being a planner, (lists, decisions, groups of scenes to play out). It changed everything. Thanks again, Sam. Get in touch with her. You’ll be glad you did.

Sure, I could have quit and sunk into the couch, giving up. I could continue reading other people’s books. I could shirk making decisions and taking risks to do something I’ve dreamed of doing forever. Living vicariously through others won’t do it for me. While I still read, a lot, now I do it through the eyes of a writer. It’s totally different. “Wow, I like how he described this.” or “She did a great job setting this scene up.” Good stuff. Real stuff is in the trenches, writing and learning. Real action is not passive. I can’t fully experience it through other authors. Years from now, will I look back and see I played the game, or that I played it safe.

It takes courage to be involved in your own drama (I don’t mean hyped up stuff, I mean the details of your life. Living your story.”). I thank God I wake up every day and get to decide how to spend my day. I’m learning to put the least favorite thing first (housework, laundry). I split up tasks and do them different days. The days we vacuum and dust, the Babe helps, which I need due to the condition my spine is in. I’m so grateful his Mama raised him to own cleaning up and cooking. He’s the best!

Keep Dreaming. And Start Doing! You can do it! It’s exhilarating! Take baby steps if you must. You get more comfortable with it. You’ll be surprised. Get over not wanting to look foolish. You can and you will before you’re done. It doesn’t matter. Really. At least you tried. And you learned what to do and what not to do next time. Failure leads to success. Just don’t give up. Live your life as a participant, not a spectator.

Thanks for reading today. You know how I appreciate it. Today, there will be more Kid-Lit videos to watch, and some domestic tasks. Once we get more organized, life will be easier. I’m so glad I started this un-cluttering and organizing things I have a long way to go, but life will flow better. Proud I attacked the job of Income Taxes earlier. I suppose I should check on our refunds and stimulus money. My share is going into the Jewell Publishing, LLC checking account. How exciting! Stay safe out there. Be Adventurous! Be Brave! Take a calculated risk! We can all do better in living our stories. Begin Today.

Now, What Were Those 2020 Goals?

Hey! You out there! So much said about how terrible 2020 has been; I’m wondering if anyone even remembers what your goals were for the year? Any goals, about work, hobbies, life, etc.? I unearthed an email from my friend LeAura Alderson of I Create Daily, on December 30, 2019. It was about Pre-Goals followed by decisions and order and monthlies/90 day steps, everything to be precise and measurable.

Those were the innocent days. We were still living our lives without concern for COVID. We only had the nasty political division in our lives and families. Neither has been desirable. Who let them in? We did. Enough said about that. Let’s love each other again; politics be damned!

I was ambitious with my goals, were you? I had four major points; Publish, For Each Book, Website/Blog, and Other Marketing. As if life is that tidy, am I right? I honestly aspired to publishing my first four books, three of them children’s, one a novel. Then I was going to re-write another child’s book, Bonus Grandma’s.

For Each Book, I had headings of tasks to manage; writing, editing, EDITOR, Blurb, Cover. Sounds easy enough. I did a lot of writing and editing. Trouble was, it wasn’t on any of the four books on my list! I wrote, “The Freeing of Katie Fitzgibbons” instead. It’s a prequel to “These Walls DO Talk.” It’s been a real learning experience about the process. I’ve loved and hated all of it, to be honest. It’s all melding together to make sense now. Things I didn’t even consider are now blips on my radar. I needed those blips. Now they’re part of the process. I never considered quitting, however.

2020 Goals, Anyone?

I think you’re reading my best accomplishment; my blog and website. I’ve added some pages, changed the look here and there, and once I’m further along, I’ll add a page about each book. I look forward to that. It’s hard for me to talk about my life, but they kind of force you into it when you create an “About Me” page. It’s hard. And photos? Never enjoyed being photographed, I always took the photos of the kids.

And in the meantime, working with my FBIL (favorite brother-in-law) Brad, he built a new website for the VFW Post 2503. It’s beautiful. I’m learning a lot from him about what’s good and what isn’t. Good practice for a worthy cause.

Other Marketing? I am now on Facebook (Kathy Raabe, Author), Instagram @AuthorKathyR and Twitter @Author_KathyR. So is VFW Post 2503. Baby steps, but learning, still. I’m not sure I’m up for Pinterest, I’m on Social Media a lot, for myself, my author page, and the Post, I don’t want to add another commitment yet. Our Nebraska Writers Guild is active there and had training, but I didn’t keep it up.

I will not complain about how bad 2020 was. It was hard. I learned so much about the craft of writing and have much more to learn. And that’s why I’m here, doing this every day, keeping in touch to the folks who will buy my books and read them, gift them, and help me realize my dream. It’s never too late!

I thoroughly enjoyed the months I studied and wrote with Sam Tyler, my book coach. It was money well spent, and I had quite a few revelations happen in the last month while I took off from working on my novel. Things fell into place, and now I know I’m ready to dig in again. Looking forward to writing more!

Over the next few days, I’m going to make a new list of things I want to accomplish in 2021. Some items will simply carryover from last year, but they will be closer to being accomplished. It’s going to be a significant year as far as writing goes, I’m sure of it. Are you ready to come along with me? I hope so, you’ve stayed this long, let’s see what happens next. Maybe we’ll both have a surprise! It happens, you know.

Thank you for reading today; I look forward to seeing you tomorrow. Realize what you’ve done you didn’t set out to do. I learned a lot. I lost twenty pounds. I didn’t plan the Keto diet a year ago. It sort of happened in early November. It’s working! I’m continuing on that path, too. I feel better.

Continue being safe until we’re all vaccinated. The Babe and I will take it when our doctor advises us to. If he doesn’t think it’s safe, he won’t advise us to get the shot(s). It’s simple. Wear a mask. Be Safe. Wash Up.