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Posts from the ‘Creativity’ Category

Gleanings– Living the Writer’s Life, by Eric Maisel

I point out that the subtitle of Eric Maisel’s book, Living the Writer’s Life, is ‘a complete self-help guide’. I’ve always had more trouble being the writer than with the act of writing. On page 90, he begins a list of sixty writers’ challenges. Fascinating. I came to:

Chaos. Make ‘to do’ lists on erasable boards. Pull the essentials out of the chaos. Lock onto your current writing idea and do not let go until it has grown whole and beautiful. ~ Eric Maisel

My life is chaos. It is what I grew up with. I see this with sudden clarity. It’s said that what we grow up with in our first six years is the way we continue to live. No wonder I’ve continued to live with so much chaos. I’ve come to acceptance– much of that being accepting the need to let go of the chaos that I myself create out of sheer habit. It’s a start. I can’t do anything about the chaos foisted upon me by the world.

Dear Lord, don’t complicate my life further by having to find an erasable board. I use a notebook, and I scribble, but it does help. What seems to help the most is to commit to the writing. I like that idea of locking onto my current writing idea. That serves as an anchor. A commitment, from a person who so hates and fears commitment. But I’ve done it. I realized this morning that I’m writing on a new fiction project, really writing. I do about a page or two a day. I was trying for more, but couldn’t do it, so I would give up. Now that I’m only requiring that I write on it every day, I’m doing at least a page, sometimes two, sometimes three.

The writing of fiction is helping me to make sense of my chaotic world.

Gleanings– When it Comes to the Writer’s Life…

What is it about being pressed and denied alone time for writing that makes me absolutely furious to write? Some perverse bent within me. I have 10 minutes before a small boy hits my door, demanding my attention. No sooner did I sit here at this blank page, than the new puppy barked to go out. I’ve left her in the backyard and hope she does not get out while where she can squeeze through the fence while I just had to run up here to get out what I’ve been thinking about. The perverseness is that whenever I do have the time to write, I sit and stare at the page or putter and think. Such is myself, a writer.

“When it comes to the writer’s life, there are no formulas, no easy answers, no ‘quick fixes.’ Each of us must still find our own path. But we can acknowledge the ‘bigness’ in ourselves and hold a mirror to others when they lose sight of the bigness in themselves. We walk in solitude as we work in solitude, but we can hold each other’s hands along the way.” ~ Maire Farrington, as quoted in The Writer’s Life, by Eric Maisel.

I had a dear friend long ago suggest to me that many of my essays should be gathered into a book entitled: When You Need A Hand to Hold. Maybe I will do that, someday, when the small boy has grown up, the elderly mother has passed on, and the dog is willing to lay at my feet. For now I hold my own hand, and I write in the crushed spaces. I do what I can with what I have. That’s a place to start, and to keep going.

“When I decided to become a writer, things moved along well for the first few years, then I began hitting some walls. I hit a dry spell. No words came out. The results weren’t as I had planned. It was time to decide if I wanted to stand behind my decision or fold.” ~Melody Beattie, More Language of Letting Go

Once we decide. The decision is everything. Make a decision, commit, and you are sprung forward. I decided to write at this time, and here I am, with the small boy now beside me watching me write, and I’m writing. He told me that my typing was like my fingers were dancing. I never would have heard that, had I not followed through with my decision to write this. I would never have known that I can write amidst distraction. Now I know. I write on.

Get writing, dear hearts.

CurtissAnn

Gleanings–from Deborah Chester and Distractions and Miracle On I-40

And I feel that I must now fight off every kind of interruption and intrusion into my inner space, my mind, my imagination, my thoughts, my very being. ~ Deborah Chester, in her blog post: Pressing Forward

I’ve read this blog post from Deborah Chester many times. It helps me to see myself and my choices, and gives me the encouragement to get up and press forward. When those of us who must write as much as we must breathe come to accept that fact, as well as the truth that our writing is a blessing we give the world, we are more willing to choose to turn from distractions and do the writing.

I say all that now that I’ve first bathed the new puppy (and she is sleeping nearby so I am happy) and read emails and just had to peruse the Disney princess banks for my granddaughter’s Christmas. Then I took myself in hand, am ignoring all the chatter going on below, in order to write and pay attention to my own inner space, mind, imagination, thoughts, my very being. When I put it like that, I feel rather heroic.

I think, too, that there is often good we come to when we go down that path of distraction. Sometimes distraction is the wonderful path to discovery. Each day we have the opportunity to sift and sort this out. It’s called a writer living life. It’s a writer’s job.

From Miracle On I-40:

Miracle On I-40 by Curtiss Ann Matlock, revised and expanded edition published in hardback by Mira Books, now in ebook from Belgrave House.

Miracle On I-40 by Curtiss Ann Matlock, revised and expanded edition on special sale, .99¢ at Kindle!

Cooper said, “You know, there’s a lot of kids wonderin’ why they have just about no gifts under their scrawny tree, and mom and dad in the kitchen drinking’ themselves into a stupor in celebration, while stores all over–owned and run by really good people–are all caught up in making’ their entire profit for the year.”

“You can focus on all of that,” she said. “It’s all true, but you can also look at the other side. People go so crazy with spending and decorating and giving gifts–with all the hype–because they need to do it. Christmas is the only time that such behavior is acceptable. Christmas at its heart is a time when everyone, even the most hardened criminal, can express the love that’s in their hearts without feeling embarrassed or threatened.”

Maybe when we can see the situation in a new, fresh light, we can make distractions work for us, not against us. It’s Christmastime. Blessed distractions all over the place!

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