Monthly Archives: July 2010
You have words on the page. Actual words that have spewed forth from your consciousness overflowing with potential. Precious words that make sense, that have meaning. Words that have something important to say. You’ve crafted them carefully. You’ve agonized over their placement and syllables and inflections. They’ve been moved, rearranged, cut, pasted, rewritten.
You have given everything you have to these words. You’ve cried, and laughed (not always in a good way) and smiled in delight holding back your maniacal laughter. You’ve lived with them for days, or months, or years. You’ve dreamt about them. You’ve loved them and hated them. You have worried over them and they have worried you.
It is time to let them go. You’re excited, then panicked, then excited again. They’re judged, criticized, skimmed over haphazardly and tossed about in a frenzy of disgust. If your lucky they are adored, hated, and praised. These words return to you broken, beaten down and dismembered. They plead for mercy.
You have a choice. Do you let these words go to collect dust in a dark pit of endless night? Or do you let them go and breathe new life in to them, rejuvenate them and learn from their failures. You may say “farewell my weathered friends, you have served me well” and move on to the new words bubbling below the surface. Or do you spread their ashes among the foundation and let them be reborn into a magnificent creature yearning to soar among the other words worth merit?
I find inspiration more and more in my daily life when I allow myself to pay attention. I received feedback from a new critique partner a few days ago. I was excited, intimidated, confused, and almost felt like giving up. That happens a lot. The mixed emotions that is the every day life of a writer.
Last night I was fortunate to see Melissa Etheridge in concert. It was the first time I saw her perform live. It was a fabulous show full of energy. There was a moment in the concert that stuck with me. She was talking to the crowd and noted that she is a six-year cancer survivor and marveled at how fast the time has gone by. She said it was because she is doing what she loves. She encouraged the audience to take some power and spend your life doing what you love. She followed that up with singing a song called Drag Me Away.
I’ve decided to take some power in my own life. Often this is a daily choice. I am going to do what I love. As the lyrics to the song read: ” I’ve never been more sure of anything : I’ve never been more sure of what I am : They’ll have to tie me up and drag me away.” This is my new theme song when doubts cloud my mind.
What is it you love? What will you not be dragged away from?
The biggest obstacle to writing is finding the time to write. Isn’t it? It used to be (and often still is). Until I learned it’s not about finding time, but making time. There are not enough hours in the day for one to float magically by and announce it’s dedication to writing, or for anything else for that matter.
I was in the habit of writing every day during my lunch hour. It worked pretty well. I took a late lunch when our break room was relatively deserted and I could be undisturbed. I had a good thing going. Then, they announced our break room would be taken away during some reshuffling of offices in the building, not to return until next Spring. Suddenly I had no place to write, even though I still had the time.
I admit this has stalled my productivity. I’ve stopped writing during lunch and began reading at my desk. Writing time (or rather editing time as the current case may be) has been sporadic at best. It looks like I’ll be heading back to the library. As I try to schedule a new time and place for writing, I wonder, where and when do you write (or pursue your passion)?