Gleanings from the Week Past

“Because a song, a book, a play, a picture or anything created was gay it did not necessarily follow that it was trivial. It might well be, mused Mrs. Baily, gazing into the moving sunshine with unseeing eyes, a finer thing, because it had been fashioned with greater care and artifice; emotion remembered and translated to give pleasure, rather than emotion remembered and evincing only an involuntary and quite hideous howl.” ~ Miss Read, Thrush Green

I’m reading all the Miss Read books. I need comfort reading right now, and what her character says is exactly true.

“In every aspect of life, it’s easy to let fear influence our decisions.” ~ Barbara DeMarco-Barrett, Pen On Fire

These days I examine my motives. Fear is there 99% of the time. Whenyou see it, you can make a conscious decision to set fear aside. One big fear for me is taking precious time for myself to write, when my mother or grandchildren, or anyone else, might need me. And someone always seems to need me. I’m practicing listening to what is right for me to do, and very often it is simply to write.

“Pain is a central part of a writer’s education. Pain is inevitable, as you discover that this piece must be rebuilt from the foundation up, that that piece is dead in the middle, that this third piece is a beautiful idea rottenly executed. Since pain is inevitable, fear it a little less.” ~ Eric Maisel, Living the Writer’s Life.

Pain is a part of all life. It seems the oddest thing to me now, but for much of my life I would go to great lengths to avoid pain, as if I believed, and yes, I did, that one could avoid pain, or at least minimize it. I did not realize that by attempting to live without pain, I was only half-alive. Now when I look back, I realize that my best writing occurred when I went headlong, my emotions carrying me beyond fear of looking foolish or being hurt.

Accept pain as part and parcel of living and writing, and suddenly it isn’t so fierce some. It is equally true that all things pass, and pain most of all when faced. Keep writing right through it.

It would be great for any of you to post what you are reading, and what gems you’ve found helpful.