Shari Mauer

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  • My New Philosophy

    Posted on November 23rd, 2010 Shari 5 comments

    Currently reading: PULL by Barbara Binns (fellow WestSide author)

    Life’s been throwing a lot at me lately. Nothing major. Lots of things that I’ll look back on in five years and won’t even remember. But even the minor things can get stressful.

    I’m a bit of an obsessive person. And I beat myself up sometimes when I make a poor decision. Even when I had the best intentions at the time. From things as silly as ordering the wrong size for my son’s Little League championship jacket (this after going to the company, trying on an Adult Small, which was too big on me and figuring that a Youth Large would be slightly smaller, but as it turns out, is way smaller) to not finding flights for an attempted Christmas week vacation for less than $700 per person (yes, I know you’re supposed to book in April. I wasn’t ready to think about it then.)

    Eric in his too-small jacket

    Eric in his too-small jacket

    So after beating myself up for hours on these and other small matters, it finally occurred to me–I made the best decision I could with the information I had at the time. If you allow yourself that, it’s hard to continue the self-castigating. There’s nothing you would have done differently, knowing exactly what you knew when you made the decision.

    My husband says I sound a lot like a politician when I chant this (and yes, as I’m writing this, I’m reminded of the whole alleged weapons of mass destruction argument, but I’m going to ignore that).

    Of course anything that happens in my personal life, I have to try to find the connection with my writing. And I think that this philosophy actually works quite well when you’re working on character motivations. Characters only know what they know at the time they are making their own decisions. Even if you, as the author, know what the future holds for one of your characters, you need to have them function with the knowledge that they have at the time in your story.

    If any of us, fictional or real, could predict the future, our stories might be quite different. We can’t, therefore we make the best decisions based on the information we have at the time (there I go, repeating it again).

    Ditto, this for a debut author learning to do promotion. There may have been things that, looking back on my debut year, I might have done differently, but I made the best…well, you get my point.

    And while I’m at it: A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Another lesson we’ve learned this Fall. But that’s a post for another day.

    Writer Wednesday will return soon. I have to finish revising my WIP and stop obsessing over silly things and finally send some questions to more of the wonderful authors who have volunteered to be interviewed.

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

     

    3 responses to “My New Philosophy” RSS icon

    • Great approach. I’ve been reminded of it now twice this week. Maybe the universe is telling me to stop beating myself up so much.

    • Swati, I’m hoping it stops me from beating myself up so much. Or at least reduces the obsessing and “beating up” time. I’ll let you know!

    • Shari
      I think Eric looks cute in his jacket, and sometimes there is nothink wrong with sounding like a politician:). Can’t wait to read your new book!


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