by Lindsey Brackett
Let’s talk about wallpaper, shall we? And writing, but I’ll get to that. Wallpaper, my friends, is an abomination. Especially if it was hung in the early-nineties trend of country blue and deep rose. Our new house is full of wallpaper. In the kitchen, dining room, bathroom, and bedroom borders. It’s not in my master anymore because we spent two days scraping it off and when we finished, the walls had to be mudded over before we could paint.
Wallpaper has more tenacity than a newbie writer who wants to hang onto her darlings.
After the trauma of removing it in my bedroom, I sat and stared at the kitchen walls for six months before I could even bring myself to choose a paint color. Then, the debate began again. Would we remove the wallpaper? Or go all Joanna Gaines and paint over it? Scratch that. Joanna would just take down the wall and open my kitchen up to the living room.
Since that’s not an option for the right-now budget, and because I’m still recovering from the trauma of the bedroom removal – and because my husband told me NO WAY was he removing that wallpaper but if I wanted to spend our vacation money to pay someone, go right ahead – I decided to paint right over the blasted stripes and herb themed border.
Spoiler alert: if wallpaper is not flush against the wall, it will turn loose when you paint it.
Which is how I wound up spending two hours peeling the border down in strips that, for the most part, came off easily and gave me quite a sense of satisfaction. Then I had an epiphany, as I am wont to do when engaged in menial household tasks.
This wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be.
For six months I had stewed about that kitchen, hating that wallpaper, cursing the notion of removing it, talking myself out of trying. I had put off the doing of this task because I had convinced myself it would be impossibly hard and stressful and we would have to eat at Chic-Fil-A for every meal while the kitchen was a mess and that costs too much money because we have four kids.
Hmmm…I think I’ve done this before.
I’m not going to get a book contract because writing this proposal is impossible and I have no idea where to start.
I’m not going to get an agent because I don’t have enough good ideas and I’m terrible at elevator pitches.
I’m not going to attend that conference because it costs a lot of money and there’s no way I can justify spending that right now, and I won’t get a scholarship because I’m probably not good enough.
I’m not going to sell a lot of books because marketing plans are overwhelming and require me to learn new ideas and tactics.
I’m not going to be a professional writer because I don’t have the time to write.
Listen to me: the wallpaper came down. Sure, I’ve got to scrape a little. Yes, I still have to paint. But the biggest hurdle I had used as a reason for why I couldn’t just pick up the brush and get to work turned out not to be much of a hurdle at all.
So go ahead. Slap some words on that page. Apply for that scholarship. Set up that social media account or start that blog. Those hurdles that seem insurmountable, once you start trying, you’ll find are not nearly as big a deal as you thought.
What’s been the wallpaper on your writing (life) lately?
Bio: Award-winning writer Lindsey P. Brackett once taught middle grades literature, but now she writes her own words in the midst of motherhood. Her debut novel, Still Waters, influenced by her family ties to the South Carolina Lowcountry, is a story about the power of family and forgiveness. Called “a brilliant debut” with “exquisite writing,” Still Waters also received 4-stars from Romantic Times.
A Georgia native, Lindsey makes her home – full of wet towels, lost library books, and strong coffee – at the foothills of Appalachia with her patient husband and their four rowdy children. Connect with her at http://www.lindseybrackett.com or on Facebook: Lindsey P. Brackett, Instagram: @lindseypbrackett, or Twitter: @lindsbrac.