Why I’m an Honest Liar (Epic Adventures in Failure)


I know I promised a memoir post for today, but I lied.

(If you are new to my blog–I’m writing a memoir about growing up in an organized crime family.  To read chapter 1, click here.)

My intentions were good.  I fully intended to deliver but have, in fact, failed.

Miserably.

My week away from the blogosphere was, without a doubt, one of the least productive of the past year—if not the last several decades–as far as writing is concerned.

It was just that good.  (And I never-ever exaggerate.)

It added up to whole lot of nothing but waiting around, twiddling my Sharpies, waiting for inspiration to strike.

It.  Never.  Did.

To say I struck out would be more like it.

So today, I have nothing interesting to say, no pitiful gardening injuries to report (though I have been gardening), no tales of mafia intrigue to tell—only a rehashing of the old, woe-is-me motif to offer.

(Seriously, it was a crazy-busy week, so much so that I got NO writing done!)

So, here’s to writing nothing.  Here’s to honest liars—the ones who close their eyes, cross their toes, try really hard, and still manage to fail on an epic scale.

When’s the last time you managed to mess up in a big way?  How’s your writing life these days?

(So sorry to have missed all of your amazing posts this past week.  I’ll be back to reading regularly again tomorrow.)

93 thoughts on “Why I’m an Honest Liar (Epic Adventures in Failure)

  1. I too have struggled with writing this past week. I’ve just started a new full-time job and haven’t the time. However, each night when I return home I jot down future post ideas. When I will actually get to writing them remains a mystery. It’s important to get the idea out first.

    Also, early last week I received my first, ever paid writing gig! I finished the piece and it will be published, in print this August!! I can`t believe it. I`ve dreamed of this moment forever!

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  2. You are so not a failure!!! Very far from it!!! I must admit that I have been struggling also but partly because of being here there and everywhere . I think my summer posts are going to be spotty but hopefully you will hang with me!! I find that when I put expectations on myself for writing it simply does not work out as well as I want it to! I just want to write for the fun of it and when I do it that way it turns out better. Welcome back –you were missed!!! 🙂

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    • Oh, thank you, Beth Ann. It’s wonderful to be missed. Summer is a crazy time. I simply can’t get it all done. I will definitely hang out with you–spotty or not! Hell, wouldn’t miss it for the world. Hugs to you, my dear!

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      • Thanks!!! I think it is going to be a weird summer for me! Wonderful but weird! Going on a massive anniversary trip starting next week so posting will depend upon my internet accessibility and my energy level!!!! 🙂

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      • Well, happy anniversary, my friend. How many years? Where are you going? Did you write about this last week, and I missed it? (Sorry, I know that’s too many questions for a comment. Silly me!)

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      • OMG–how fun that will be! My Sara has done some work in China but I have never been there. We were in Seattle a year and a half ago–the city itself and Whidbey Island. It was FABULOUS! I have a great blogging friend in Victoria. Dana’s on my blogroll, but I can never remember how to spell the name correctly. I’ll be right back with it. Her husband is an artist, and in the summer they sell his work every day on the waterfront/harbor. Dana is a brilliant writer–and hilariously funny!

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  3. I’m struggling, not the past week, the past year. Today I’m meeting with a seasoned published author who has offered to help. The Good Intentions Club? Not a good idea, unless we’re writing about good intentions. Claudia

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  4. I think not! There is no failure, it is just another opportunity to refocus!

    I thought you were taking a blog break anyway, so I was not looking for a “story” of a blog from you!

    Not sure I have messed up in a big way creatively, I have not gotten projects off the ground that I thought would be moving ahead by now, that are just kind of sitting, waiting for fresh insight. Even through in the mean time other opportunities presented themselves…

    If I don’t stop this will be as long as your blog!

    Hugs to you! and Sara!
    Jeff

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    • Truly, I’m not beating myself up. I’m really trying to laugh at the situation. I had hoped that being away from the blog would allow me to focus on the memoir. Early in the week, when I had the time to write, I did that, but what came out was crap. Sometimes the creative process is so weird. Is it that way with photography, as well? This comment could be as long as the post, as well, if I’m not careful. Hugs to you, as well!

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  5. You’re percolating.
    Ba da da da… slow down, you move too fast….you’ve got to make the morning last. Just kickin’ down the cobble-stones… lookin’ for fun and feelin’ groovy

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  6. Kathryn, we only fail if we don’t try.
    And sometimes the song, not the voice, CHOOSES the moment to sing. The song just chose silence this week……but rest assured, it will not be for long. If ever a tune was meant to be shared and demands to be heard, it is yours, my friend!
    And, by the way, this small posting of yours is a cute bit of creative sharing all by itself and it made ME smile. So thanks for that. Love to you and Sara. xoxo Julia

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  7. Kathy – Shift your perspective just a wee bit and you’ll see that you didn’t mess up. Rather, you afforded yourself the opportunity to gain more life experience to draw on later.

    If you think of it in banking terms, what you did was make a “life deposit” that will earn interest for you to withdraw later. In other words, that week was well invested 🙂

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  8. Kathy, I do hate to see you beating yourself up so badly. You’re a busy woman. You had a rough week. Oh well. You managed a blog post anyway. Good for you! No failure there.

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    • I promise, I wasn’t beating myself up. I was meaning to laugh at the situation more than anything. Kind of funny the way life happens–gets in the way. But like Laurie said, you have to have a life to write about. You’re right. At least I wrote something.

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  9. I think it’s safe to say we’ve ALL been there. I don’t know what you were doing last week, but even if you didn’t write anything, I’m guessing you learned something worthwhile. Anyway, glad to have you back 🙂

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    • Yes, it was worthwhile–definitely. I was mostly gardening and spending time with family. Summer seems to be that way. You should know–having had 2 of them in a row–ha, ha! It’s good to be back. Thanks, my friend.

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  10. My week has been filled with lots and lots of stuff happening, but almost ZERO writing. That I managed to post even one or two blog posts was actually rather remarkable, considering my week.

    As far as writing on my book, I can only say, “What book????”

    Ouch. Not a chapter. Not a paragraph. Not even a measley sentence.

    I’m hoping this week settles down and I can back to it. I hope. May the writing fairies visit you, (and me, too), this week, so that our words have somewhere to live. Like, maybe, write now???? LOL

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    • Too funny. Yes, write now would be nice. So unlike the writing to cooperate–or life–or whatever gets in the way. But, isn’t your house torn up? That would interfere with God himself getting something written–or maybe that’s just me. If my environment is chaotic, creativity, simply doesn’t happen. I hate that fact, but it is very real for me.

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      • Actually, don’t say it out loud, but today, the final walk-through is scheduled, so we are within moments of finally putting this obnoxious and untidy and inconvenient and chaotic chapter behind us. Of course, we still have to put everything back in it’s place, and will be scooping and vacuuming up the residual dust for weeks … but the end is in sight.

        I have had to move my home office — twice — in the process, in order to allow the worker bees to get to every room. So, yes … the chaos has made it difficult to write … but realistically, the chaos was just the beginning … what is going on with my niece right now intrudes much more on my ability to write.

        Life. It sometimes happens.

        When we least expect it.

        I’m hoping for a gentle transition back to “normal” (as if I’ve ever actually known what normal looks like). Okay, normal for me. I can hardly wait to become my boring self again. 🙂

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      • I’ll keep it quiet–it’s just between us–I swear! Thank God they’re finishing! Goodness, that must be a relief. Now get the house put back together and write, my friend! Yeah, easier said than done, right?

        Did you write about what’s going on with your niece? If so, which post? What happened? Was it last week, while I was gone? Sorry, now I’m curious/concerned.

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      • June 23rd – Intestinal Fortitude

        Don’t be worried … be praying. LOL

        I followed it with a VERY LONG post on Sunday — dated June 24th – Sundae Sessions. Don’t even begin that one unless you have an hour to spare, or more. Way too long, and mostly about my relationship to God, and spirituality.

        The story about my niece is the one dated June 23rd – Intestinal Fortitude.

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      • Apparently, way back before the beginning of time, I once had the audacity to tell someone (whoever makes these sort of decisions) that I actually LIKE spinning lots of plates at one time, and I don’t mind having to come up against questions of morality and personal responsibility, and I just simply adore being challenged.j

        Apparently.

        🙂

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  11. You have such a knack for quality posts, I think we can all forgive this one itty bitty little white lie. Inspiration will return to color your palette very soon, I have no doubt.

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    • Thank you, Mark. You’re a sweetie. No wonder Tara loves you, my friend. I know you’re right. It will happen. Just hope it’s sooner rather than later. As ntexas99 said–write now would be nice! LOL

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  12. Summer is ROUGH for writing. So much sun and possibility!

    I mess up something major it seems, on a daily basis. So much so that I barely think about it or worry about it much!

    Writing has been good. My job ended on Friday, and I now have time at home, and time in my brain to work well before starting school in August. I’ve been editing and submitting a lot of work, too…which is good because I usually dislike editing. It’s growing on me though, with practice!

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    • Wow, I bet you’re excited about school, and congrats on getting the editing done—some of it, at least. I’m not crazy about editing, myself. Summer REALLY is rough on writing. And congrats on finishing your job, as well! Hooray!

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  13. In Italy there is a saying that goes, “il dolce far niente” which translates to “the sweetness of doing nothing.”
    Enjoy the sweetness of being “unproductive” – it may be the most productive time and you don’t even realize it.

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    • Wow, is that ever great advice, Jackie! My friend Christine (above) called it “percolating.” Have to have the time and space to nurture creativity, right?

      Great to hear from you, my friend! Hope you had a great week–missed you! I feel like I’ve been away for ever.

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  14. I LOVE how you can tell a lie and make an amusing blog post out of saying nothing! Good job, Kathy. P.S. I just responded to your comment: We keep jumping up and down for each other, Kathy!! Thank you.

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    • I saw your response. How funny! I want to meet Jeff, as well. Plus, we have a blogger friend and her husband coming to stay with us this weekend. This will make the 4th blogger we’ve met this year. Hooray for blogging buddies–or as Robin calls them, “blogmates.” Gotta check out Miranda’s blog Scatteringmoments on my blogroll.

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  15. I have to get 10,000 clean words done by August 3. I know I can do it, but I’m scared to death they’re going to suck. They have multiple critiques by big whigs to go through, and it’s a little intimidating to think of that when I’m writing. But, I’ll get there.

    Sorry you had a crazy week. I hope the craziness was good crazy and not crazy-crazy.

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  16. I think I read a quote somewhere that said something like, you’re not a failure until you quite trying. I use to feel like a failure when I thought about what a screw up I made with my life, but that didn’t serve me well and so I had to learn how to let that go. Now, it doesn’t bother me in the least. I’m just really grateful to experience life exactly as it is. Although, I do wish I had a writing life. Thanks for sharing yours, Kathy.

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    • Actually, I don’t feel like a failure–just making fun of my own inability to follow through with what I promised. It’s part of life, isn’t it? Great to hear from you, Marianne! Glad you no longer feel like a failure! I used to, as well–big time! Hugs to you!

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  17. Every day that passes that I don’t write anything on that novel of mine, that novel that’s been in the works for over a two years, is a failure. But I can’t write what won’t come. All things in good time, my friend. It’s summer, “gather ye rosebuds while ye may” because winter won’t be far off and you’ll need those rosebuds once the snow starts flying! Four more days!

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  18. Glad I’m not alone .. when I’m on fire I cant stop posting but some days I have the biggest mental blanks and cant find inspiration anywhere ( except the NT news .. latest headline was about ‘ beached ‘ UFO’S .. look out for that in one of my next post’s lol ) Have a great week Xx Kel

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    • OMG–beached UFOs? What a hoot. But I know what you mean. Sometimes the blocks interfere with even thee biggest stories we have to tell. I hate that. Hope you have a great week too, Kel. Hugs————

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  19. I have been so busy trying to finish the Vergmoli house that I have had little time to do anything else. I will be back home in Brisbane soon and hopefully will have time to catch up on blogs I have missed and sort through the thousands of photos I have taken over thenlast few months.

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  20. I had the opposite problem. During my recent vacation to the West Coast I encountered some technical difficulties and I was unable to write my blog. This was frustrating for I had images ready for posts I was eager to write. Now that I’m back and the problem’s fixed, I’m not going to time travel to a few weeks ago. I’m just forging ahead. From time to time I do suffer writer’s block. It’s normal. Don’t be hard on yourself. You’ll rediscover your inspiration again. Maybe you just need to take a break to rejuvenate?

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    • To me your problem would me more frustrating than anything I can imagine. I hate technical problems. In fact, there’s little I hate more. You’re right, however. You can only forge ahead. Can’t go backwards. Damn time–only willing to go in one direction–talk about single-minded!

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  21. No worries, Kathy. What I’m noticing is that you may not be alone. I just read a blog in which the blogger says she’s taking the summer off. Others seem to have disappeared without saying a word. It’s summer. Hiatus time. I’m planning to take some time off myself next month. Maybe it’s a good thing. Take a break, enjoy life, and return one day, refreshed!

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    • I’ve thought about taking some time off. In fact, Sara suggested I consider a summer away from the blogosphere, as well. I don’t think I can do that, however. I’d miss it too much, I’m afraid. But–a few days, even a few weeks away, might be productive in the long run. Hope you enjoy your own break!

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  22. I try not to sit there and dream up an idea. The ideas usually just come at some point. My idea for my last post came out of nowhere just before I went to bed so I quickly jotted it down. Then after work the next day I started writing.

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    • Exactly! Some of the best ideas just come out of nowhere—or so it seems. I use a similar technique–jotting down ideas–writing later. However, I have been known not to make my notes detailed enough. Then I can’t remember what I was thinking. Aging, it sucks! Memory going.

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  23. I don’t think you’re a failure at all. Probably just in need of a rest, the same way you let the dough rest when making bread. It rests, it rises. 🙂

    I mess up all the time, in big and little ways. I suppose that’s what being human is all about.

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  24. Oy… the joys of being human. What is inspiration anyway? Sometimes we need to just walk away from something (whatever the ‘something’ is) and just be. I love the moments when the writing flows from my heart through my fingertips to the keyboard and out into the world. I am so very proud of myself when that happens (please tell me that I’m not the only one who commits the shameful sin of ‘pride’ to enter into the writing process.) But I’m sitting here thinking of how often writing comes to me that easily, and I for the life of me can only think of a very few (extremely few) times when that has happened. Oh well, when we least expect it a spark will ignite the flame and we are at it again. So, all of this to say, no problem. Don’t worry. The story will come to you ~ to each of us ~ on another day. In the meanwhile, take in some sun, read a good book, complete a project that has been craving for attention, take a walk . . . or a trip . . . enjoy the moment. 🙂
    Hugs to you, my friend!
    C

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  25. You are the 4th writer that blogged about stepping away and then what … know what I think? I think we should take BIG FAT steps towards the “away”and let ourselves breathe a bit.

    Let it marinate. Let it simmer. When you’re ready, you’ll come back and it will be great, of that I’m sure.

    It’s summertime.

    Pour your silly self a glass of something cold, step outside into the twilight and let a summer’s breeze kiss you like the lover it is.

    If you need me, I’ll be outside … watering my flowers and humming 🙂

    MJ

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  26. I failed to write for a full week as well! My head just wasn’t in the right place. I think we sometimes need to give ourselves these breaks and just let inspiration return when it’s ready.

    I’m glad you’re back, even if you didn’t deliver more memoir. It’s just good to hear from you again.

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  27. Hey, don’t beat yourself up! I’m already President and CEO of the Terrible Friend club. I’m sure we can expand the membership and include Terrible Do-Nothing-Folks as well. 🙂 Seriously, though. There’s no sense forcing words to come out from hiding. That’s when the Shit Whisperer stuff happens! Might as well relax, enjoy the time off, and come back when the muse visits you again. I’m sure it won’t be long. Keep well, Kathy!

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  28. I love your honesty — and I was having a really hard time writing lately, too!
    I think it’s summer. But then I went off for a week’s vacation and now I feel ready to roll, can’t wait to write, and am freshly inspired. I guess why they call it time OFF … and it’s so important to give yourself that freedom! You’re always so enthusiastic and positive about other people, I’m really happy to see everybody crowding in to celebrate & praise YOU!!!

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