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Gleanings: Experimenting in the Writer Life

“Experiment. Try something new. Maybe you won’t like it. Maybe you’ll make a mistake. But maybe you will like it, and maybe you’ll discover something you love.” ~ Melody Beattie, Language of Letting Go.

Monday morning, and I looked at all I had to do. I tried to jettison some things that were not truly ‘have-tos’. Couldn’t find any. In fact, I thought of a few more things that had been put off too long. I ended up taking one of those things and jumping in to do it. Nothing at all to do with writing–it was making up a nutritious mash for my spring chicks. But I enjoyed doing it, and learned that sometimes I have to vary my schedule. Doing chores, especially ones that take me outside, renews my energy.

Then it was up to the sanctuary of my office. That habit, one I found by experimenting and putting writing time and solitude time first, has been established. It keeps me going, even though today’s schedule is not about actual writing. Today my focus is on publishing and making order here and there. The writer craft has evolved, and I’m evolving with it. I’m experimenting, and I have to say that I’m enjoying a great deal of managing my own properties. I really do!

I’ve read from several books on writer craft, as is my habit on Monday. What has popped up to me is the admonition to be open to new ideas, to jettison preconceptions. Funny, but each of the writers then tells me how to do it, and from his own ideas of what he is sure is the right way.

You know what–today, this week, I am going to jettison a lot of my preconceived ideas, as well as what so-called experts put forth, and I’m going to experiment with the wisdom that comes from inside myself.

I think in doing this I will be experimenting with what makes me happy.

God bless y’all,

Gleanings, on the road

I will be on the road when this posts tomorrow, returning from the Novelists Inc. conference in St. Petersburg Beach. The major gleaning from the conference is that the people who are the most successful in their careers and life are those who love what they do and are the most generous. As we give, we truly do receive. The second strong gleaning is that we writers are no longer at the mercy of big publishers’ opinions and power. The sun is fully up on the day of self-publishing, and it is exciting.

Rhetoric isn’t just the province of the Latin teacher and the debater but the province of every writer who wants to craft her measure of truth, beauty, and goodness. ~ Eric Maisel, Living the Writer’s Life

That is my goal: to give to others, and to myself, all I can of the truth, beauty, and goodness that I have found in books. This means writing. No matter how you publish, or don’t publish as you choose, a writer must write. It is the first duty.

Do I want to write because that is how I want to spend my precious time? ~ Jasmine Cresswell, novelist.

This is what each writer, most especially a novelist, must answer for herself. But wanting not to spend hours in the chair does not mean you are not a writer. It simply means that you must adjust yourself and your writing. It is never all or nothing. There is a place in this world for each of us, a particular place just right for our inclinations and talents.

Classic View and Other Changes

You should have seen my face, when I logged on to write a new post. The screen was not one I recognized. I went through surprise, dismay, distrust, annoyance, high irritation, and finally great relief of the hallelujah type when I saw up in the corner the message: “Missing the old editor? No worries, just switch to classic mode.” Oh, dear hearts who understand!

I clicked on the classic view. Classic. I like that term. That suits me. Don’t you wish we could all have such a button to return to the former ‘classic’ time in our lives, before the change ripped through it? Lordy, do I wish I had a back button for many circumstances. A button to return me to the familiar, and no matter how awful, the familiar seems, well, familiar and not scary.

I happily stared at the familiar classic screen a moment. Then, curious, and jutting my chin, I hit the back button and returned to the new post screen. I felt positively daring. Sometimes a person needs to go with the change just for practice. There’s an energy generated, freed, by choosing to go with change and see what happens.

Mulling this over, it seems that all problems are a form of change in my life. My reactions are varying degrees of surprise, dismay, even grief, distrust, fear and the resulting anger.

Could I possibly see all change as opportunity of some sort?

Honestly, I’m not there yet. I can’t look at being a widow as opportunity. Not quite. Nor the circumstance where I am responsible for my invalid mother, and the numerous daily changes, like the garage door that refuses to operate, where once it was wonderful.

But what if I could? What if I chose to practice seeing all change as a form of some sort of opportunity? Hidden blessings?

It’s worth a shot. I can try that for at least fifteen minutes a day. The idea makes me smile.


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