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Posts from the ‘writers’ Category

Gleanings: It’s About Time, and nurturing the writer.

An artist date is a block of time, perhaps two hours weekly, especially set aside and committed to nurturing your creative consciousness, your inner artist. ~ Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way

I decided to take the dog to the beach. The excursion was a brand new experience for me and for the dog, who has only been away from the house one time since she took up residence here, and that was to the groomer, with me beside her. Frankly, I don’t get out much anymore, either. Not for fun. Most of my excursions are in the form of grocery and hardware store shopping, trips required for the responsibility of maintaining the household.

The first thing I realized clearly was that I don’t know how to let go and have fun. Fun has always been a challenge to me. I have an overly-responsible nature that was helpful in youth and early in my writing career, but now, since my husband’s death and all responsibility of a house, an elderly mother, and pets and vehicles and often grandchildren have been shifted to me, I don’t even recognize fun. Before I could get myself to leave for a Sunday away, I had to go to the store for corn for the chickens and work on picking up the never-ending limbs in the yard from last week’s storm. I almost, at the last minute, considered just sitting on the porch.

Finally I got us away from the house and kept on until I found the beach area recommended to me. I had to drag first myself from the car and then the dog, who instantly tried to hide beneath the car. The best way was to get us both moving fast toward the beach. Our progress was halted by a person coming up the path. As I didn’t want to have to drag the dog, I veered off to chairs in the shade, where we sat for sometime, getting adjusted to wide-open spaces.  When the dog realized nothing was about to get her, and I felt confident I wouldn’t have to carry her, we went ahead to the shore. The dog began to have fun at the edge of the water, and I began to laugh.

An hour later, on the way back to the car, the dog wagged her tail at children and didn’t try to disappear when she saw a car. On arriving home, the dog hopped easily from the rear seat. I believe she felt proud of herself, as I did. We’d gone and explored a new experience and seen new, beautiful and interesting and colorful sights. We had gotten out of our closed box.

Artist’s Dates, Julia Cameron calls them. I had forgotten all about them, didn’t remember until my eye fell on her book this morning, and I realized I’d had one in the trip to the beach, and it had been so very helpful. I had in the past discounted this idea of the artist date. Didn’t I have enough to do? Wasn’t I often out and about? Let me just sit and look at a magazine for color.

I see now the desperate need for fun in my life. I see a desperate need for me to learn what fun looks like to me–to let myself explore to find out. Fun is life-giving. It gives energy and perspective for creative invention and problem solving. Fun, I think, may be as necessary to life as water and air.

Have a lot of fun today.

Gleanings: 3 Ws–When and Willingness and Writing

“We’ll set a limit when we’re ready, and not a moment before.” ~ Melody Beattie, Language of Letting Go

This morning I reached a space of commitment, direction, confident willingness and understanding of myself as a writer at this point in time. I did not arrive here automatically or by wishing. While not being in control of the timing of getting here, I have been working toward this space. I’ve been writing toward it daily and diligently, most of the time seeming to grope in the dark of lack of understanding, too many opinions from others, and general distraction. But I kept on, writing and trying ideas, and this morning it is as if my mind and heart have found all the pieces and put them together, and I know who I am as a writer and where I’m going.

I see two lessons. One can only get to this point by living each moment as it comes. We can’t live in the past, nor can we live projecting into the future. Life is always in the now, living it the best we can at the present moment. I used to think, “if only I were a better writer…” “if I had more time…” “when I have less distractions…” But in the meantime I did my best at the moment I had, with the writing ability and time I had. When we use what we have, more is added.

As I write this, I am care-taking my elderly mother, as her normal caretaker has an emergency. My mother is every few minutes going back and forth to the bathroom with the aid of her rolling walker. We have bells attached to it, in order to keep track of her, and they are ringing out as she passes where I’m writing in the dining room (in order to be at her beck and call). I don’t know if her stomach is upset, or she simply forgets already having gone. The dog does a lot the same in and out the back door. An approaching storm catches my attention, as does the Bewitched theme blaring out of Mother’s television. Responsibilities swirl in the back of my mind.

But I keep on writing, and the time has arrived to know myself as a writer today and be willing to follow the value of my work.



Gleanings: Writing Goals and First Things First, and balancing values

“These, then, are an artist’s goals: to work and to affirm the value of that work; to find success and make success; to play a role in the maintenance of culture and to affirm the value of that role; to find love, provide love, and affirm the value of love; and to minimize self-hatred and despair…” ~ Eric Maisel, Affirmations for Artists

Today, as most days, I followed routine. Dear heaven, I love my rut for the bit of security it gives my psyche. 8:45 am, and I reached the part in my routine when I bring the tea tray to my office–I scurry, as if any moment someone is apt to stop me with a tap on my shoulder– and sit down in front of my computer to work on a writing project. My goal is to pay attention to this work that feeds my soul, and hopefully my pocketbook, too. It is dedication to my writing craft that holds value for me.

But there are other things that hold value, too, other places where I find success, and that is in relationships. I had a letter from a cousin and I wanted to respond, and some letters from friends. When I applied the idea of first things first, communicating with family and friends came first this morning, because tonight was already spoken for. Only after I was into the communication did I realize that I was writing after all. Not on the project at the moment, but writing from my heart in the same way. And I was honoring what I value as my role in the great scheme of culture. And sometime in the future, all of what I expressed to these loved ones, all I heard from them, goes into making me who I am. All of it feeds the writer-me.

A writer writes every day. Letters count.



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