Posted On March 24, 2023

Photo by Michele Venne

Some people believe that we’re not in control of anything in this world. Others believe that we control everything. Maybe I missed the memo about “how” to control everything, but I don’t think there’s much I can do about the phases of the moon, how slow a saguaro cactus grows, or when a Palo Verde tree blooms.

One of the people I see clients for told me, when I asked to have Saturdays off, “You should be in control of your schedule, right?” After so many years of living by the bell, it was overwhelming to create my own calendar to see clients. Now, I refuse to return to that previous way of planning my day. Yes, I get to control when I see Holly and what I do with her (depending on the weather and how we’re both feeling and what we did the day before). I set the parameters of when I’m available for clients. I get to choose in which order I complete my daily tasks. I’m even able to decide what to eat and when.

Sure, there are other decisions I get to make. Some would say our days are filled with one decision after another. But which choices are available may not be completely within our control. I’ve thought about this the past several days, when my hours are filled with what I choose to do, yet I can’t find the energy/time to do all I want to do.

I’m in control of some of what I write. I’ve mentioned before that if I try to corral a story, it ends up stilted and hard to get down on paper. If I try to plot the story, it never gets written. So I’ve learned to control what I can and let the rest go when it comes to my writing. What the muse shows me isn’t within my control. I can only control what I do about it.

This story that continues to sit in my mind as the spiral sits on the table can’t control when I write it, only that it will, eventually, be told. The heroine has been speaking rather loudly this week. A few scenes keep flashing in my mind’s eye, like the trailer for a movie in a theater. What can I control? The flow of the pen across the page. The time I can sit in a chair. My energy for the creative process to unfold.

I can’t control the way this heroine talks, calling one of the villains “mean” and another who broke into the ranger station “stupid.” I can’t control how readers will feel about the story. But I can control the publication date (or so I tell myself). I’ve juggled the new job with my current life long enough that I can control when I write (or so I tell myself). I can’t control nature, and may not have much influence on the flow of life or what the muse does, but if I wield control over what I can (or think I can), then this story will be published… How much do you control? Do you wish you had more control?

Written by Michele Venne

Writer of immersive and intriguing stories.

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