Beginner’s Mind

A few days ago, Housemate informed me that while she very much likes her mini size planner, the classic size, eh, not so much. Did I want all her classic size stuff? In a word, um, yes.

Housemate’s old planner, aka my new notebook

With only a few pages marked at all, this opened up a huge amount of possibilities. Ever since I’d accepted that the discbound system works really well for me, and that I want to keep one notebook to track my progress on various projects, could this mean that I had that very thing dropped literally in my lap? With a little ingenuity, I’d have a gorgeous notebook with twelve distinct section. The only setup I’d need to do would be to glue paper over the obsolete calendar page on the back of each divider (easy peasy; paper, I’ve got) and change the labels on the tabs from the names of the months to a more descriptive label of what would be in each section. I also have stickers, so this works out well.

“Beginner’s Mind,” in this context, is a synonym for “let’s see what happens.” That ties into the whole wanting to write like I did before I knew any better. Before I even knew that wordcount could apply to anything beyond school essays. Before I had a working grasp of the state of the historical romance market, and the shift from single books to series, almost all the time. Before, certainly, the romance writers’ organization I couldn’t wait to join turned into a tire fire. Before a lot of things.

If I had to pick one passion beyond writing and reading romance, it would be planning, and I have always done better with pen and paper than direct to keyboard, so plopping myself down at a motel room desk, with an old planner, a bunch of paper, and a couple of pens, really does seem like the most natural thing in the world. What could go wrong? Better question, what could go right?

Back in middle school (aka junior high) I had the ide that the only genres open to me were hard science fiction and mystery. Neither of which cranked my motor, though they of course do it for a whole lot of other people, and wonderfully so. If I’d taken that at face value, I’d still be listlessly going through the selection in that school library, wondering what the fluff I was doing this for, but knowing that hunger in my gut wouldn’t go away until I wrote my stories. What made the difference was thinking, what if that assumption isn’t true? Enter historical romance. Oh yes, motor most definitely cranked.

Now, this master notebook (mistress notebook?) has a section for viable future projects. There’s the Regency I tried to write, that I still love, but need to repot into an era that I also love. There’s the blacksmith’s daughter who becomes a duchess, by way of a stage career. There’s two historical romance that are mine once again, since their first publisher retired. There’s the postapocalyptic medieval that I absolutely love, and got really, really good rejections on, that editors/agents loved but couldn’t sell, so didn’t buy. Well, okay, what if…what if I did it myself?

I don’t have to please or appeal to or attract every reader. Nobody can do that. But get the attention of my readers? That, I can probably do. That’s why I’m launching my Patreon in 2020. It’s also why I am excited to undertake an Abundance Self-Assessment. This is not a sponsored post. I met Eryka Peskin at a local RWA chapter meeting, and we clicked instantly. Lucky me, she is an abundance coach (and writer, among other things) and her workshops are a big part of how I learned beginner’s mind means more possibilities.

How much do I know about starting a Patreon? Not a lot. About the same as I know about self publishing commercial fiction, more or less, but everybody has to start somewhere. Let’s find out together, shall we?

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