Monday, September 28, 2020

Do You Have the Courage?

 

I've owned Elizabeth Gilbert's BIG MAGIC for some time and just haven't started it, for what reason I am not sure other than just not making the time. I am literally 7 pages in and already not wanting to put it down.

In the beginning, Gilbert discusses a poet, Jack Gilbert (no relation), who was, apparently, a wonderful poet and teacher, later in life. She shares some of his words gained from students she taught at the same institution in which he taught just prior to the time Ms. Gilbert began her tenure.

Her students shared that he had asked his students to be brave as, "Without bravery, he instructed, they would never be able to realize the vaulting scope of their own capacities. Without bravery, they would never know the world as richly as it longs to be known...their lives would remain small--far smaller than they probably wanted their lives to be."

Wow! As writers, we do have to be brave to put pen to paper with our innermost thoughts, ideas, fears, etc. We have to be brave to submit our writing and send it out into the world, a world that may or may not like it and may be highly critical. And, more than ever, we must be brave as we forge ahead with the next piece of writing that follows and all those thereafter. Never ending bravery needed. I don't know about you, but, for me, it is easier to come by some days more than others.

Another student shared with Ms. Gilbert that Jack Gilbert, as her professor, had asked what she wanted to do with her life. His response when she indicated she wanted to be a writer was this:

"Do you have the courage? Do you have the courage to bring forth this work? The treasures that are hidden inside you are hoping you will say yes."

This. Hit. Home! Moving beyond the fear, the what ifs and the blocks is all about cultivating the courage, mining the bravery and celebrating the true creative spirit within all of us to persist, persevere and find our niche in this writing life.

I am so looking forward to reading this book. Wishing you all a very creative, fruitful writing week.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Remembrance

 

Always remember; never forget!

God Bless America! Thank you to all who gave their lives and sacrificed for others.We are forever in your debt!

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Nature's Promise

 

Our summer weather cooled considerably to more Fall like temperatures yesterday, and I was quickly reminded how much I love Fall weather and all it brings--cooler temps, a crispness to the air, beautiful trees and scenery. Not to mention pumpkins, gourds, mums, cinnamon and spice. I find it all energizes me and brings new life to my brain, my focus...and, hopefully, to my current WIPs as well.

How about you? Do you find certain times of year or specific seasons bring you added rejuvenation and inspiration? I would love to hear about it if you would like to share.



Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Quiet Your Mind

 I have been hearing of and reading about many who are struggling to write and create in light of all we face in the current state of the world these days.

Initially, I was doing well carving out more time to write and even completing new rough drafts, albeit "shi**y" first drafts. And then it was like...poof! My mind started spiraling and sputtering. I still wrote in fits and spurts but never felt very creative or productive. 

Recently, I've been making headway again and working more with a better mental frame of mind. This morning, I sat to read a chapter and opened my book to this...

"Shut Off the Information."

 

In SIMPLE ACTS OF MOVING FORWARD:  60 SUGGESTIONS FOR GETTING UNSTUCK, Vinita Hampton Wright says, "You receive more information in a day than your great-grandmother received in a month...if you watch television news, listen to the radio, read newspapers and magazines, and surf the internet, then you are constantly absorbing much more information than you have the ability to deal with."

Wow! What a catch-22 this is. As writers, we often look to places like newspapers to get story ideas. We need the internet for creating our platform and marketing ourselves and our work. But, the flip side, in today's world especially, is the overwhelming sense of concern, fear and frustration with many happenings, and this can be stifling.

Wright suggests we, "Take a break from information," because, "After a point it is no longer information, but merely more noise in your head." So. Very. True!

Ultimately, it goes back to the ever elusive balance in writing as well as in life. Manage your time; manage your balance and give yourself some grace.

"Your mind and soul need breathing space. They can't always be solving problems or forming opinions."

Seems terrific advice in this over-stimulated, always on the go, ever more chaotic world in which we live.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Rejuvenation

Wishing you a splendid and prolific writing week. I will be lounging on the shores of a lake in Northern MN relaxing and listening to the loons--my happy place!
It is amazing what a week of fun in the sun with family can do to help one rest, rejuvenate and recharge as well as inspire the creative soul. Years ago, I had an article published in Nostalgia Magazine entitled "Minnesota Memories" about my time at this lake as a child. It has been amazing to return with my own kids and sister's family each summer to carry on the tradition.

I hope you are having a wonderful and healthy summer!

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Finding Inspiration

So, this morning I knew I wanted to write a blog post as it has been some time but wasn't sure what I wanted to write about as my brain appears a bit stagnant at this point. I started looking for inspiration in quotes which is what I often do and found the following.
For me, the struggle is real. It has been recently anyway. I've been working on edits of current WIPs, but my overall creativity and idea generating for new work has been minimal. Life has been chaotic with many aspects of life as is the case for all in the face of the COVID-19 Pandemic but such is life. One must forge on, butt in chair, so to speak. And I am trying...some days better than others.

As I read through quotes, another caught my eye...
Yes! Why not think of it this simply? Just sit down and think...and write while thinking. That, I can do! Sometimes I know I over-think things and make it more difficult than it is actually.  Small steps and one thing at a time are important which leads to my final quote for today...
Break things down to small, achievable chunks and build from there. This is true in all facets of life, but especially so in writing. Thus, this is going to be my new mindset.

How about you? What are you experiencing and what works for you currently?


Saturday, July 4, 2020

Happy Independence Day


As we celebrate perhaps the most American of holidays while continuing to forge through these dark and difficult times, let us try to remember those who fight for peace and freedom for all in this great land. While the equality written about in the Declaration of Independence which led to this holiday is obviously far from achieved, I pray we can find a way to bring peace to America, sooner rather than later. We must treat others the way we want to be treated ourselves in an effort to honor the great sacrifice of those who provide us with "the land of the free because of the brave."

Wishing you all a very healthy and happy 4th of July. God Bless and be well.