It’s A Writer’s Life for Me!

“Writing is a craft, and storytelling is an art, and together they form this nebulous interstice where it’s just clowns juggling medium-sized cats and those cats are juggling little cat-sized chainsaws and the whole place is on fire and did I mention the “place” is actually a blimp and it’s drifting swiftly toward a flickering lighthouse operated by orphans?” Chuck Wendig

Isn’t that quote super fun? Doesn’t it make you feel like a rockstar for putting words to the page? It should. We put squiggly black lines on a white background and people download that into their brains. We create whole worlds and universes, characters we love and love to hate. Writers are weird, wonderful, amazing, MAGIC people.

If you haven’t stopped to appreciate that wild, wonderful, where-does-it-come-from urge to create, I suggest you do so now. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

Okay now I want us to put some consistency behind the magic. Consistency is the vehicle that will drive your magic to it’s final destination, in printed (or e-printed form) and into the hands of someone who will be just lit from within, just set ablaze by the words you’ve written.

We are here to change the world – and to do that we need to develop the habit of writing. We need to honor that muse and show up regularly.

Gabriela Pereira at DIYMFA.com is the one that showed me how to do this and it is called iteration.

Iteration: the chance to play around with both the time of day and the set-up of your writing habit. Do you work better in the morning before the kids get up, or at night after they’re in bed? Is there a time during the day, right before lunch, that you usually can commit to a bit of time? How much time can you consistently manage and how much is too overwhelming?​


Keep playing around with when and where and how much until you find the ‘heck, yeah’ moments and commit to those. Then life changes again and you get to ‘play around’ again!

 

How to be a Writer

Rumi tells us there is ‘a light seed grain inside. You fill it with yourself, or it dies.’

This is the writing life in a nutshell. You may do it for the dream of helping someone, for the dream of being someone’s favorite author. You may do it for the money (nothing wrong with this but it cannot sustain you in this endeavor if that is your only reason.) There are much, much easier ways to make money my friends.

No, the real pull of the writing life is the act of exploring that vortex of creativity inside yourself you can access no other way. Writing, like dreaming, “sometimes tells us what we are not ready to hear.” (Pat Schneider via Jane Yolen ‘Take Joy‘ – a book for writers’.)

There is no better tool to peel back the layers of your own psyche than the act of pulling words from the ether of your own soul and marching them into single file onto the page.

In fact, the harder you run from the issues you’re struggling with the more relentlessly they will show up in your work. So. If you don’t want to evolve, if you don’t want to grow – don’t write. Not one word. Because if you do it will smack you upside the head as subtle as a careening dump truck no matter how far away from reality you stray in your writing projects.

So don’t be a writer to change the world or help people or make money. Be a writer to change yourself, to push into the unknown, to delve deep into the unexplored darkness, dredge up the monsters most people are afraid to look at. That’s the sweet spot. You’ll know it when you reach it. No one has to read it but you need to write it.

I’ll finish up with sharing my firm conviction that there is no word wasted when you write. Each letter stacks and builds on the other. If you have a desire to write – you need to write. There is only one you in the entire universe that ever was or ever will be and if you don’t write it, no one will.

Now go forth and write y’all!

Why Am I Doing This?

Someone asked me recently what this blog was for. I thought I knew the answer to that until I was asked directly. This blog started as a way to communicate what I’ve been doing in Texas to my friends and family back home in Canada.

Time saver: I’m still doing yoga and hanging with my dogs and my kids:

The longer I have been here the farther away from that original impulse I’ve gotten. Plus – who does blogs anymore am I right?

So I think I’m going to pivot, right here, right now, and dedicate the rest of my articles on this blog to be of some use to my community in general and society as a whole. (“Strive not to be a success, but to be of value.” – Albert Einstein)

Here we go, everybody, what I’ve learned this week:

If you run around putting out fires and handling ‘urgent’ issues you never have time for the important things. Like working out three times a week, like yoga or meditation or prayer. If you want a healthy, fulfilled life – you’ve got to plan for it.

Also, if you haven’t found Yoga with Adriene where have you been hiding? Free 20-30 minutes yoga sessions on Youtube. This 30 day yoga challenge will have you feeling back on top in no time. I’m currently doing my second round of this challenge and it’s made a big difference for me. (And Duke.)

Flu shots are good. I got mine last night and although I’ve heard the stats too (30% effective at times) if you do still get the flu – your body is like, oh, cool, no we’ve seen this it’s all good everyone, and you don’t get it as bad. Make sense. Flu shot = less severe illness or none at all. I had my kids watch me get mine so when they get theirs next week they’re not as anxious.

The fiction book I love right now:

The book of two ways by Jodi Picoult (Be prepared to laugh, then cry, then laugh again.) Quantum Mechanics, two plane crashes, a messy love story, an ancient Egyptian tomb? Sign me up please.

This episode on Brené Brown’s new podcast ‘Unlocking Us’ – who led me to my new favorite non-fiction book that is currently blowing my mind:

Burnout – the Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle

Did you know you can’t control your emotions. (Whaaaat? I’ve been stuffing those down or years, of course you can!)

No. You’ve been IGNORING them, but they are there, hanging out, waiting to be able to finish the cycle. For my children’s sake – I need to figure this stuff out, am I right? Adulting…if it were easy there would be no need for Amazon and ice cream.

So that’s my blog entry for today – hopefully some of this was useful to you.

If you’d like to read more of what I’m writing, you can click on this link here to learn all about how poetry can save the world. And the latest poetry expresso I’m reading right now.

If you’ve had enough of me, but are totally into poetry, this is a really cool article by a writer at diymfa.com Identifying Themes in the Poetry we Read by Sara Letourneau

Is there a topic or book or podcast you’d like to hear more of? If so, drop me a line at angelathewriter@hotmail.com.