Written by Eric Plaut

Happy New Year!  Now it’s time to start off with a clean slate for 2015.  I am writing this editorial during the first week of January.  Some of us are relieved that the holiday season is now over.  Visions of sugar-plums have stopped dancing in our heads about two weeks ago.  Finals are now lurking around the corner for those in middle school or high school.  The National Football League (NFL) has its weekend playoffs going strong with (now) eight teams hoping for a trip to Super Bowl XLIX and a coveted ring towards each member of the winning franchise.

Over the years, federal holidays and observations tend to dominate calendars throughout the world.  One may have also noticed a month can represent something important to a group of people.  For instance, October promotes Breast Cancer Awareness.  Survivors, family, friends and those who lost loved ones proudly adorn pink ribbons and clothing as well as help raise funds to find a cure.  Lions Club International supports Diabetes Awareness in November.  And being a member of Lions International, I am proud of my organization’s effort to combat diabetes which affects millions worldwide.  Both are worthwhile causes to work with.

November is also Write-a-Novel Month.  Many up-and-coming (and professional) writers take the challenge to write 30,000 words in November.  I decided to enter this contest for myself.  What made the task difficult for me was that I count my writing by pages and not the number of words I have written.

I honestly have to admit that after almost a month—as well as attending two writing sessions to boot—it was difficult to keep track of my words written.  My reason is that I tend to keep writing at about 25 miles per hour (mph, or at 40 kilometers per hour if you use the metric system).  My brain, on the other hand, tends to race at 100 mph—or at 160 km/h.  If one would ever see my handwritten notes, they’d find skipped words, incomplete paragraphs and the important points usually jumbled.  Stopping to count the handwritten words after every paragraph would be futile to me.  And being from the old school who tries writing out most of my ideas by hand, I would definitely lose that race.

As a first-time participant in the Write-a-Novel challenge, I thought I’d done well.  I didn’t get the 30,000 words—or 100 pages.  My personal best was at 27,354 words—or in my count, 92 pages typed.  I was pleased with my end result even though I’m not done with either book I’m working on yet.  There is still a story to develop as well as pages to edit along the way.  Unlike a painting where the artist signs his or her name to their work upon completion, a writer may constantly be thinking about ways to improve their book or article long after its initial publication.

Anyhow, someone out there may gripe about the remaining 2,646 words that I failed to write last November.  But I don’t think I “failed” because: 1) I gave it my best shot; and 2) I set the bar to exceed my previous total for next November.  Life has a tendency to give us an occasional lemon or two.  Just add sugar, cold water and ice cubes to it and make some lemonade.  Don’t let some sourpuss tell you that you or your ideas are no good or sell you a bad secondhand car (a “lemon”).  He or she might not have any of their own ideas to begin with.

An oyster is a prime example of things literally getting under its skin.  Usually living on the ocean floor, this mollusk can get sand inside itself.  The oyster then has two choices to combat each grain of sand.  Either it can add calcium carbonates (CaCo3) to the grain of sand inside its shell to form a pearl, or it can let the grain of sand eventually kill the mollusk.  It sounds like an easy choice for the oyster to make.  But when you think about it, can you apply the oyster’s predicament to something related within your own life?  That maybe life is too short to have something the size of a grain of sand manipulate you and your way of thinking.  I think we all can identify with the oyster and our friends within the animal kingdom.

I myself have moved on, continuing work on the two books.  Hopefully, I can have something ready to be edited and published down the road.  Maybe these so-called “pearls” won’t be on the New York Times bestseller’s list or optioned for a film.  I will, however, treasure these gems that I have created.  Words of encouragement from people in my network are the carbonates needed to help me grow.  My group also tends to keep me grounded as well as pushes me to use my creativity towards something better.

Remember life is how you look at things!  The world is your pearl.

Consciousness Magazine and I do not take any responsibility for the material written.  This piece is shown from my perspective during the job search.  Remember that no two job searches are or will ever be alike.  One needs to finds their own niche and maybe a career counselor to talk to about it.

In closing, wishing everyone the best in the incoming year with their job search.  Keep searching for those pearls of wisdom!


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