Cheers to all!
Cheers to all!
There is much about our current world which is chaotic and scary. One could debate and discuss a great deal of it from many angles, but that is not my intention in this post. I am merely looking at it from a writer's perspective.
Is your brain as chaotic and addled as mine these days? Trying to put the finishing touches on the holiday plans (such as they are this year), taking care of kids or a spouse, managing life on the work and/or home fronts? I don't know about you, but my writing often gets pushed to the back burner this time of year which typically frustrates the heck out of me. I've been trying to finish up edits on a manuscript I want to submit by the end of December but seem to be shuffling the words and papers more than accomplishing final edits. I've been meaning to post on this blog far more often than the sporadic posts of the past though have not been very successful at that either. I try to keep up with the newsletters and webinar replays that arrive in my inbox though still have a few yet to go.
What I can say I have been far better at in this last month or two (or have tried to be anyway) is spending more time reading (which does help with creativity greatly not to mention comfort) and, most importantly, being more present in the time spent with my kids which does this mama's heart good!
So when I read the cover of this book today, for the first time in a long time, I felt a peace and calm in my writing (or lack thereof) knowing I will hit the road running once again once the holidays are over and the kids have gone back to school/life. In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy and appreciate this time for tomorrow is never promised. A very difficult lesson many have learned this year more than any other. And that, my friends, helps me find calm in my chaotic world.
What helps you find calmness and serenity in your lives, whether it be writing or personal? I would love to hear what works for you.
God Bless. Be well!
We don't all have to agree. We don't have to see life or religion or politics the same way. We don't even have to like each other. But we can be kind. We owe that to each other, to ourselves and, most importantly, to the children (and future generations to come) we are raising to go out and be contributing and active members of society going forward. Set a positive example. Be a positive leader. And just be kind.
How many random acts of kindness can you contribute to World Kindness Day today, and all the days to come. Lets start making this world a better place, today.
Today, October 22nd, has been designated International Stuttering Awareness Day and is intended to raise awareness of stuttering which affects 1% of the world's population according to The Stuttering Foundation.
Stuttering is a communication disorder characterized by disruptions, or dysfluencies, in the forward flow of a person's speech.
As a speech/language pathologist, I encounter and try to help kids who struggle with stuttering. It can be a very frustrating and lonely experience for them and requires much patience and vigilance for all involved, especially on the part of the stutterer. My time working with these kids has been in equal parts rewarding (when I am able to help and ultimately discharge a student who no longer requires services) and frustrating (when a student is unable to reach a degree of fluency he or she deems acceptable). There are a great many facts and myths about stuttering in the world. I would encourage you to learn more about this communication disorder, particularly if you know and interact with a stutterer in your daily life.
A good place to learn is The Stuttering Foundation at https://www.stutteringhelp.org/ or the National Stuttering Association at https://westutter.org/.
I am currently working on a children's picture book (working title A BUMPY ROAD TO SPEECH) and look forward to sharing more in the future.
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.
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.
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.