Please forgive me dear readers; it was not my plan to neglect the blog this long. My goal is to post a minimum of twice per month. I do not wish to write simply to put words upon a page in hopes you “might” read them, but that you look forward to and “want” to read them. That makes all the difference in the world in the writing itself.
I hope as you read this you are well. I am fine. The joy I felt from the last post still resonates within me. It is more than just being ‘happy’ I was selected to be featured in Laura Munson’s blog. It goes deeper, it is a combination of having a great weight upon my shoulders slip off, and a full breath taken after one has held it under the water for a long time.
Being selected was humbling as well as elating. To know others read my thoughts because they read what Laura presents, this honors me, as I honored her with that piece. I’d like to think it is a mutual respect, understanding and joy of the craft.
What I am learning in this world of writers, is that there are many who, just as in the working world are out for themselves, their egos lead them and their pride strengths them. I am learning that you must rely on yourself first. You do not owe anyone an apology of who you are or where you are in your writing. Simply keep writing. Everyday, about anything YOU want. Do not allow anyone else to judge you, but sit and practice patience when you listen to their rants and their criticism, because sometimes it will not be professional critiques. It is criticisms’ and they will rip you apart as they enjoy doing it.
You will hear people brag on being published. Like that makes them special, or you should automatically like them because they are published. I have very little patience for people who brag about anything. Writing included. True story: There was a man who worked with my husband who started his conversation with, “Oh did you know I am a published author?” While casually pointing to the book displayed on his desk. He might as well have had candles lit on either side as it sat on a red velvet cushion! What is sad is I had no urge to even pick it up and look at it, let alone read it after that performance.
Bragging, in my opinion shows a whole in the personality, a weakness they want very much to keep hidden or tightly covered from everyone. It reminds me of the doctors I knew growing up, who would have fainted if someone called them by their first name. Some doctors I met while working in a local hospital were the same. Having a Dr in front of you name means little else than you went to school for a lot of years and took a good test. The same with PhD, MS, MD, DVM, or REV. Note I am not making light of that achievement. It takes years to learn, the tests are hard, the commitment incredible, however, all that being said, it does not make you an automatically better person who deserves to have others bow down in front of or turned around to plant one on their butt.
Joining this writers group so far has not taught me to write one word I haven’t already known I could write. Surprisingly it has taught me a lot about people. How some can be cruel and calculating, controlling, arrogant and rude. It has also shown me, just as there are people who I may describe as ‘’wasting my time”. There are others in the same room I very much enjoy. I like to listen to them read their stories out loud. I watch their faces carefully, you can see the pain they’ve described for a character, but know in your heart it is in reality their own pain.
Some are budding screen writers, others poets, a couple are published but never speak of it publicly, it is a personal triumph – they are watchers like I am. Knowing that there is much out there to learn. They are seekers and we have connected.
Just because you have joined one writing group, dos not mean you cannot explore and join another group, or take a class, find a program at the library or a local community college. If you have joined a group who tries to smother you, control you and want to keep you in a box by making you feel like a child. Smile, listen, watch and know that you are the one in control – you can choose to stay or leave, or stay and join a second group or activity. I keep in mind what a dear friend in NYC (are you impressed? I know someone who lives in NYC??!Lol!). She said to let as many people read your work as possible. Even the mean ones, they might say one word or thought that is actually valid that you can use, and if not. What the hell. YOU ultimately choose what you will or will not put on the page.
I can only speak of my own experience. And I will say this right now – find your own way – do not take my word for it, do not follow my suggestions – find your own path. What I share with you I do from the heart. Yet YOU are the one who makes the decisions. Chooses your style: if you want to explore non-fiction or fiction, play with poetry, even song writing. Writing does not live in a box unless you are storing paper and pens in it! It is alive and free and needs to be nurtured. That allows it to grow into something amazing.
No one can tell you, “Hey, do this and you’ll be a NY Times Best Seller!” They can give you tips, share their own direction on the path, but ultimately it is up to you and the words you choose that will lead you where your suppose to explore, create, stumble and grow.
I welcome the company on the my journey!