Tag Archives: driver’s license

Writer’s Training

Today Dear Daughter begins driver’s training.  She’s thrilled beyond words to start this part of her life’s journey.  For two weeks she’ll learn the basics in the classroom portion.  When to stop, when to yield, when to merge.  Upon her 15th birthday, she’ll have the pleasure of taking her written test.

A straight “A” student, she’s already passed the exam in her head.  She’s not worried about her ability to answer the questions correctly so she can receive her permit.  Then watch out world, she’ll be road-ready–with a parent–until she completes behind the wheel in another year and takes her actual test.

She’s five foot nothing and fearless.  To her, driving is coveted.  It’s something she looks forward to doing in a way Eldest never did.  For DD, her permit and license represent freedom and success.  For Eldest, it was simply a natural part of growing up.  Something you do so your parents don’t have to drive you to band practice. 

He’s conservative: DD is ready for a cross-country road trip–or cruising the square, at the very least.

Our writing journey is similar.  At some point in our lives, we look at books in a different way.  We see them as a vehicle to another future, and so we begin our own training.

Writer’s training.

Some of us are fearless and just know we’ll succeed.  We never doubt that our novels will take us on a cross-country trek, so we begin the journey with a grand road trip in mind.  Others fall into writing as a means to an end. 

Regardless, we all go through writer’s training. 

Do you remember the moment you decided to write?  How have you trained for your journey, both in the classroom and behind the wheel?  What kind of driver writer are you: fearless and bold or quietly clocking the miles to success?

Curious minds want to know.

When Rushed Works

I’ve always done my best work under pressure.  Got a paper due?  Write it the night before.  A test to study for?  Reread notes the morning of.

What I didn’t know was that this state of existence applied to other parts of my life.  Okay, I knew it, but it was a nice segue. 

I’m in the process of putting together a business that includes buying some property.  At the last second, I needed to get an application and past tax returns to the banker–before he left his office for men’s league.  I was under a serious time crunch. 

Even though rushed, I’m fairly organized.  I found the tax returns in minutes and sat down to finish the last of the application.  Driver’s license number?  Grabbed my purse, penned in the number.  Issue date?  August 2005.  Expiration date?  Sh*t.  August 2009.

Today’s date: June 2010.

I rushed to the court house and dropped my expired license to the counter.  “I think I’m in trouble.”

Turns out I had a whole two months before my license would have truly expired and I would have had to retake my test.  Turns out the clerk whisked me to the photo footprints and told me to watch the light for my new mug shot. 

Something you all should know about me if you’ve followed me for any length of time: I’m laid back and messed up.  My hair, which had just been cut–too short and not what I wanted–the previous week, was simply tucked behind my ears so I could sort through the basement to find the tax returns. 

As I rushed out the door, I had thrown on a 12 year old cardigan to protect my tank top from the pouring rain.  I was totally unprepared to let the DMV snap a four-year photo. 

DMV Clerk tried twice.  The first time, the camera misfired and took a picture of my non-existent cleavage.  No kidding.  We both laughed out loud.  The second picture was blurry.  I looked like I was standing across the parking lot in a downpour at midnight.  Great stuff.

The third time was a charm.  By then we were both caught up in a fit of giggles.  I’m sure it’s the only DMV photo in Minnesota history where the suspect is grinning from ear to ear.  It’s also the best impromptu picture I’ve ever taken.

Seriously, I want to scan it and use it for my profile pic. 

I have a theory about why this turned out so well.  Really, why everything turns out better for me when I’m on the cusp of a deadline.  It’s because I let go of my inhibitions and actually relax.

I quit worrying about the outcome and enjoy the process.  It needs to get done, so I do it.  Freed from my Internal Editor, my Internal Critic, my missing muse and my fears of failure, I simply let go and write, find errant tax returns and smile for the camera.

What about you?  Do you thrive under pressure, or does it send you into fits of unease?  Do you second guess yourself when you have unlimited time and end up paralyzed because of it?  Or do you need structure and schedules to stay on task?