Friday, August 21, 2009

Julie and Julia - How These Characters Inspired Me

Last night I watched the movie "Julie and Julia" starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. I cried. Seriously, I was crying during the movie and I had to keep from bawling. And I’m pretty sure it was not intended to be a tear-jerker movie.

I wouldn't have normally gone to see this movie (I thought this was a movie about being inspired to cook and I knew nothing could inspire me to enjoy cooking), but I was hang'n with the gals and I was just happy to get out!

Related to Julie Powell
Julie Powell is a blogger who set herself the task of cooking completely through Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" in a single year. I was surprised to discover I absolutely related to her in so many levels. I mostly related to Julie's blogging struggles.

In my efforts to be an author, it was recommended to me to start a blog to expose my writing to the world out there and to create name recognition before the “book” was someday published. I too set out to write a blog, posting on a weekly basis, for one year for starters.

It has not been easy, to say the least. I work almost full-time hours, have two active boys, married to a busy husband, live in a house that needs a lot of functional maintenance (can we say, “fixer upper”), try to volunteer at kid’s school, attempt to read a book a month, and I have had to give up any time at all I would have had for myself and exercise so that I can BLOG. Blogging is a sacrifice. I cried because I related to her early mornings and late nights and the sacrifice her husband had to make (and for me my children as well). Then I cried when Julie announced that she had 56 comments and I really started crying when news reporters started calling her and then her photo appeared in the paper and her life changed. Although she sacrificed, her blogging success came to fruition quickly.

Blogging and Social Media-ing Stuff
October will mark one year of blogging. I have discovered most people I know, and who don’t know me, don’t write comments on blogs. There are so many blogs out there that it is difficult to get new attention to my site. And, opposed to Julie, I read blogs after more articles on how to write a better blog, how to increase readership, how to write and submit a book proposal, and I follow several literary agent’s blogs. I have over 100 e-mails, currently in my inbox, informing me that those blogs have a new and latest posts to read.

As recommended by all those professional Social Networking types, I try to keep up my Twitter account and tweet at least twice a day as well as reply to others tweets. I keep up my Facebook and write daily statuses and respond to at least three status updates daily. I also read other blogs on life and being a mom and try to comment on their blogs on a weekly basis. So there is more than just sitting down at my computer and taking time out to publish a post – it is all that other Social Media commotion and learning how to be better that sucks up my other time like my lunch hour and after work time before making dinner.

No 56 comments and no prospect of newspaper recognition. I still sacrifice – but here I want to know why. Why should I continue sacrificing, for what?

Julia Child is Such an Inspiration
Then there is Julia Child. She was married at age 34, she had to wait eight years before her book was published, her manuscript was rejected before another publisher picked it up, she was 49 when her book was published, she moved around Europe for an entire decade, and she was 51 when she first appeared on television. On top of all that, she stood at 6’2” in height. (A bit sobering when I whimper at being 5’9 ¼”.)

Julia was full of life and didn’t give up. Russ Parsons from the Los Angles Times said this about her:

“… Child's reaction when she gets the letter informing her that her prospective publisher has decided not to go ahead with her book, something she has spent almost a decade perfecting, ‘Eight years of my life. It just turned out to be something to do, so I wouldn't have nothing to do,’ she says, obviously heartbroken. ‘Oh, well. Boo-hoo. Now what?’

Child was part of the generation that had seen Depression and war. She had known bad times, and she believed that the only way to meet them was head-on. You picked yourself up, dusted yourself off and got on your way.”

She didn’t fuss about not getting 56 comments, or that she spent a decade writing a cookbook, or that she moved around quite a bit (managing to mail recipes back and forth to her counterparts who together wrote the cookbook), and she didn’t moan about being tall for goodness sakes. She was a problem solver and she picked herself up and moved on.
Parsons also said in his article , that came out in The Herald, about the movie “Julie and Julia,” “Come to think of it — just pipe-dreaming here — wouldn't it be great if in addition to absorbing Julia Child's love of food and zest for life, a few moviegoers picked up on a little of that character as well?”

Well Mr. Parsons, I picked up on it and she is truly an inspiration to me.

Rachel Gardner, a literary agent, says in her August 21, 2009, post, "Don't get discouraged. Do the things you're learning. Keep writing. Keep reading. Keep learning about marketing. Read books. Read blogs. Go to conferences, meet people. Persevere. Because here's the thing: It can truly pay off.”

I love to write and this blog keeps me writing, researching, and (hopefully) helps me to become a better writer. And for some reason, topics keep coming to my mind. Sure it would be nice if more readers even said “boo” or burped or said, “Hey ya, keep it up,” but if they don’t I am going to keep on writing, keep on finding subjects that people can relate to (or so I think), and keep on entertaining at least one person out there (thanks, Sweetman, for reading my blogs). No moping around here. My head is up and I am continuing on. Here’s to you….

(P.S. Didn't you just love Julie and Julia's husbands!
I just wanted to give both of them a big kiss on the cheek!
And I'm going to give my husband a big kiss on the cheek too.)
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  1. funny that you related to the story so much! I actually thought of you when Julie was starting her blog and no one was responding. I know how it must feel to do all that work writing a blog and then have no one respond. I have really enjoyed your blog and have been able to relate to pretty much all of them :-) I LOVED the movie and I too cried, for different reasons. It was very inspirational - for me it was to cook some new things and mostly to enjoy doing it! I loved the story of Julia Child, one that I knew nothing about. She had an amazing husband and you're right - she had an incredible attitude about life. I loved her perserverance, though it took years to accomplish so many of the things she set out to do, she just kept with it. I can't say that I have that same drive, unfortunately. Keep up the hard work, Sharon, hang in there - your day is coming :-) You're an excellent writer and have a way of making things very clear when you write....often times your blogs have caused me to take time to ponder the things you're written about for some time before I can respond. They've helped me to see things in a different light. You're an amazing mom, wife, employee and friend! Hope you find some time for yourself to just "be" while you're in the midst of all this craziness!!! ~Suzy

  2. Oh Suzy, I so appreciate you. Thank you for being a faithful reader and commenting on so many of the posts. I love your honesty and it has been great getting to know you over the course of this blog! You are fabulous and I so heartfully appreciate YOU!

  3. I agree with Suzy (well-said!)

    I'm so happy you're not giving up! That speaks so loudly to me (and to my life sitch).

    I really appreciate your thoughts, stories, and topics you discuss so openly on this blog. I too sometimes have to go about my day and process what I read... and then come back to comment. :)

    Thanks for bringing up real life topics!

  4. Sharon,
    I read your blog AND... I loved it. Please do keep it up, (even if geeks like me don't have the time to comment!) You are truly wonderful and I believe in you. Your drive, dedication and dreams inspire me.
    Zsa Zsa

  5. I can't wait to see the movie now. I truly love listening to you and I honestly believe in you and what you are doing. Don't ever give up, the world would miss out on you if you did! You are an inspiration to many people, even if they don't comment. Thank you for being so open here. I am certain that your time of fame will come too, just wait :)xo

  6. Sharon,
    I look forward to your blog each week. I am a busy Mom of 2 boys as well and identify with all you write. I think you are a brilliant writer and do not give up! Thank you for sharing so much of you and your life with all of us out there.......

  7. dido dido dido. you are an inspiration sharon! I love that you still go after your dream while working full time and being a full time wife and parent. It is encouraging to me, especially with all the messages out there telling us women that once your a mom, thats all you are. I have so much I want to do in my life and one of the things is to become a parent, but I want to continue living even when i'm a mom. you are amazing, so keep it up!

  8. Nice nice post! Keep at it, one bite at a time. (I hear your blog will be a year old next month too. It's a big time & effort investment, but there are great people connections to be made too.) :)

    PS Saw this on Twitter.

  9. Thank you so much for your encouragement and beautiful comments. I'm going to keep on going, but need your help. Please keep coming back, tell your friends, and let me know what other Let's Get Real topics would be good to discuss. Thanks so much for your support. Together we can keep on going!