Monday, April 21, 2014

IS YOUR WORLD A CIRCUS?

By Celia Yeary

If you’re like most writers with families, day jobs, or other community duties, you might think you qualify to join the circus.

First, there are three rings in a circus, and while you might prefer to think you’re the ringmaster, you might instead be a performer in one of those rings. RINGMASTERS stand in one place, don’t they? They crack the whip, announce the next event, all the while dressed to the teeth in a fabulous outfit complete with top hat and tall black boots. Nary a hair out of place, or a smudge of jelly on his red coat, or a harried look upon his face mars his perfection. No, we are definitely not the ringmaster. You might as well admit some invisible puppet master is behind the scenes directing the hours in your day.

Circuses have JUGGLERS. Yep, I bet you just said, “That’s me! I juggle so many things in the course of a day. I breathlessly stay on my toes, hoping I don’t drop the ball, or miss a cue, or confuse one thing for another and make a mess of everything. Yes, that’s me—I’m a Juggler.”

Circuses have HIGH WIRE PERFORMERS. You say, “That more closely resembles me going through my day—walking a fine line, meeting deadlines, carpooling the kids, making doctors’ appointments on time, taking my turn at the Food Bank, or making my word count for the week. That’s me—I’m a High Wire Performer.

Circuses have performers—sometimes animals, sometimes humans—who jump through hoops. Maybe you are really a PERFORMER WHO JUMPS THROUGH HOOPS. You re-write an entire chapter at the request of an editor, you try to remember your husband’s instructions on taking the car to the repair shop, or you forgot the one dozen cupcakes for your child’s school the next day, so you stay up until midnight to complete the task, or…fill in the blanks.
We are a busy people, aren’t we? Circuses are supposed to be fun. Children squeal with laughter, parents smile when they see their son or daughter clap with delight, and the entire audience applauds every feat.

Hmm, something’s missing here. Fun? Are we having fun yet? Yes, I suppose we are, although some days might make us want to shut our bedroom door, crawl under the covers, and sleep the day away.

Personally, I’ve never cared for circuses, and my children didn’t either. Somehow, it all seemed more like work, and at times, a little cruel, and too controlled.

So, I prefer to see my life, especially my writing life, as an ADVENTURE. Sure, I sometimes walk that high wire to make a deadline; or I juggle three things at once in order to get my blog written, my 1000 words for the week, and my most recent edits finished; or I jump through hoops to please my editor, my publisher, my husband, my readers, and hopefully, somewhere along the way…myself.

But I won't quit writing until it ceases to be fun.

Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas

6 comments:

  1. I seem to always be jumping through hoops. I do get stuff accomplished, but not everything I want to get done!

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  2. Yes, Jumping through hoops is how I describe doing things for others that I must do to get by or get ahead. Very familiar position.

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  3. My parents never took us to the circus, not sure why, but I used to like it when I was in my 30's. In recent years, I have decided I don't want to go any more. I'm okay with people performing death-defying acts, but I don't like to think about the animals working to entertain people and doing tings against their nature.

    I think I'm a bit of a high wire entertainer and a clown.

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  4. Sarah--I never saw a Circus until our children were about 3 and 5. We took them to the big one in Houston in a big coliseum. The kids didn't even watch, and when they did, one would cling to me, or hide his/her eyes,...I couldn't figure it out. Everyone else was laughing and cheering and clapping...not ours.
    But to be fair, both are a little different from most kids. Sensitive, or suspicious, or something.
    A clown? You are the sweetest, most kind-hearted person I know. Maybe a clown, but definitely an entertainer. And "entertainer" is the best, isn't it?

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  5. I enjoyed this blog, Celia. And at times I feel like all of those things you mentioned Life is definitely a circus at times for all of us, I suppose.

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