Both parties predicted the direst consequences if the other side won.
I’ve just finished a book, and this quote stood out to me. Actually, it thrilled me. You know why? Because it was about the United States presidential election in 1800. Oh the peace of mind I found while reading about the political climate in a brand spankin’ new America, fresh from their revolutionary victory against the oppressive British government and already so divided that good people asked themselves if the baby country could possibly survive it.
The book, Dearest Friend by Lynne Withey, is about Abigail Adams, wife of our second president. Throughout the book, good friends grow apart over politics. People cling to their political party and feel actual fear at the thought of the opposing party in power. Abigail herself writes of being afraid that the new country may not survive the divisions, and she hated the way they escalated every election year. I’m with ya, sister. And I’m so grateful to hear it’s been this way since the beginning of time, so to speak, and maybe we can survive it after all.
Based on my last post, and since I obviously haven’t had time to blog lately, you may wonder how I managed to read historical nonfiction. In fact, you are reading the blog post of a writer who just finished the first draft of a novel I have been slogging through for way too long. I finished – finally – by sticking to that strict 514-word-a-day regimen, which I kept almost without fail but rarely exceeded. The point is, I did not have to exceed it. I only had to do it, and I did.
Sometimes I think we focus too much on what we have to give up in order to make things happen. If a writer says they don’t have time to write, you might tell them to give up Netflix or having a life. But once I had my routine in place – do this much every night – it became about what I would do each day, not what I wouldn’t. Around that routine, I still had time to read, watch a chick flick now and then, sleep late on the weekends. It’s true for eating, too. If we focus more on putting healthy, filling things in, we don’t have to give up so much that we want – like being full.
I’m so proud I put those 514 words in each day. I hope after some revising and shaping up, it becomes a beautiful book I can be proud of, too. For now, I’m focusing on the fact that I began. I gut the good thing in, focused on my true north, and stuck to it even when I was so tired after work I kind of just wanted to cry. Last weekend, when I wrote the last words of that slightly rough first draft, every one of those evenings, and every single word, was worth it.