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Why Change the Title of the Blog

First off, in case you noticed (or maybe you didn’t), I changed the title of my Blog. It was fun when I started with Beware Readers! Writing in Training!, but after almost six months I thought I needed something more permanent and something that better encompassed me. So why It Is What It Is! ?

This is a statement I make a lot. In fact I probably say this phrase more than any other. I know what I thought it meant, but I wanted to find out what was more commonly thought about it. One idea that I discovered was that some people believe that it is the adult version of what teens mean when they say Whatever! I guess for some people that is what they mean or what they are trying to express. For me it didn’t quite fit the bill.

I realized that many athletes and coaches use the term It Is What It Is. When a coach is being interviewed after a major loss he will say this or when an athlete makes a major mistake like a fumbled football or a missed basket they will say this lots of times. Generally when they are saying it they mean Not much we can do about it and we just need to move on.

This is partly what I mean when I say this, but not totally. To give a fuller explanation what I mean when I say this is that life happens and there are many things in life that we just have no control over, regardless how much we try they are just too big for us.  And in many cases it is something that has already happened. But what we can control is how we interpret these events and also how we react to them. I know this is pretty simple, and you would think there would be a lot more to it, but there really isn’t – at least the way I mean it.

When I say It Is What It Is! I am stating that I recognize something is out of my control, or was in my control and is now in the past, and that I am making a concentrated effort to interpret it in the best light possible. But at the same time I recognize that I can not change the past or may not have control over what is currently happening, and that I need to look to the future. Not necessarily forgetting the past (too many good lessons there), but not dwelling on things I can’t change and instead moving on and trying to do or make things better. I think the Serenity Prayer captures part of what I am trying to say:

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

The reason I picked this for my Blog Title is that this is how I see my writing. I have attempted six novels over the last mumble-mumble years and each one was somewhat of a failure — at least I never got to the point of trying to publish anything. This was the past. Does it mean I will never publish anything. Based upon historical experience the answer would be yes. However, that was then. My past experience Is What It Is (or Was), but that shouldn’t keep me from having dreams of publishing and striving to make that dream come true.

While taking this course, for almost six months now, and actually writing my novel for the last couple of months, there have been a lot of things that could easily have prevented me from continuing. Many things in my personal and business life would have me say “I‘ve already got a lot on my plate and I don’t need the additional stress“. But each time something comes up I just look at it, analyze it, figure out if there is anything I can do about it, take whatever action I deem reasonable, and then just say It Is What It Is and keep moving forward. This could actually be expanded a little to say It Is What It Is…Not What It Should Be.

“Well that will help you a lot in the future,” a sweet and irritating voice pronounced over my shoulder.

“And why is that Willoe?” I know I shouldn’t ask, but I just can’t help myself (anyone know a car accident I can drive by slowly and gawk at?).

“I was just thinking.” She paused just setting the mouse trap.

“You were just thinking what?” For some reason I could go from calm to nuts in 0 to 60 with her.

“I was just thinking…that when you start getting all those rejection slips from publishers and agents, that you will get a lot of chances to use this phrase.” she finished with a Chester Cat grin.

“Well thanks for the vote of confidence”

“Don’t forget, Holly even gives out awards out for your first 100 rejection slips and then 250 and 500. You’re not a real Writer until you get a least 100,”  I think she was trying to be consoling, but it left a lot to be desired. I just glared at her until she headed to the door.

Before she left she looked over her shoulder, the grin fading into an appreciate smile. “Don’t worry Peter. You will do it. It won’t be easy, but with this attitude you will succeed. And if you don’t…It Is What It Is!

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