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Life rolls on!

October 9, 2012

 

Hello Ya’ll

 

Kind of a long week but all is well in my world. I hope that your world is more drama free than mine has been for the last few days. Some people would complain, whine or just plain blow up. I choose to just call it life.

 

Yesterday, I was commuting to work and had the wonderful opportunity to sit on the interstate for 2.5 hours because of an accident ahead of me. Fortunately no one was seriously hurt and aside for the inconvenience of blocking traffic, there was no drama.

 

I sat in the car and watched the people react to the halt of their day. Some were unemotional, some walked over a mile to the state troopers to get the braking news and yes it was true, the interstate was blocked. Some turned around, some looked like they were about to break down and cry.

 

I sat in my car, took a nap, listened to the radio and relaxed. Eventually I turned around and backtracked.  I would have done it sooner but my car has a very low front end. So low, that just a couple weeks ago I tore the underside off by pulling too close to a parking lot curb. Opps, but I was sure if the car would make it. It did fine in case you were wondering.

 

While I sat there, I thought about what I could write about this week. My friend Julie Luekenga posted this on her blog last week. I normally would not re-post something but the twelve points she has learned has application to all of us. I will add my thoughts following her points.

 

Here is the link to her blog: http://athoughtgrows.blogspot.com/

 

Thank you all for supporting this blog. I really appreciate it and all of the kind comments you all have made. In the near future I will have some posts that may not make sense to you. I am almost ready to try to contact someone I met in 2003. I am going to use the blog as my calling card and hopefully, he will get my message and be willing to help me out with the book.

 

Keep smiling

rob

 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

 

IWSG: October

 

 

Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh for hosting the monthly IWSG.

 

It’s good to know we all sweat it out sometimes.

 

The local college in my town offers a wonderful MFA in Creative Writing. I look over the program and class listings and just drool. Unfortunately, it’s out of my budget range and since I’m in the…er…fall season of my life, accumulating debt isn’t an option.

 

My solution is to to be proactive in my self-education and do a lot of reading. I always have a variety of writing books in the queue. Usually, I’m desperately trying to learn the mechanics of better writing or novel construction. Every now and again, I read through Strunk and White’s book just to panic about how much I don’t remember and lament my decreasing ability to retain squat.

 

But sometimes I read a book on writing that taps into my soul, reminds me why I write and causes my little writer’s heart to feel inspired and refreshed. This month I read “If You Want to Write: A Book About Art, Independence and Spirit”. This little jewel published in 1938 is as relevant and inspiring today as it was when Brenda Ueland originally wrote it. In it, Ueland encourages writers to shake loose the effort to be correct and proper and find their own, fearless voice.

 

At the end of the book, she sums up her points with 12 reminders:

 

1. Know that you are original and have something important to say.

(We are all original and we all have  something special and important to do in this world. The trick is to find  it and then exploit it)

 

2. Know that it is good to work. Work  with love and think of liking it when you do. There is nothing hard about  it but your anxious vanity and fear of failure.

(How true is this? My  number one hesitation has always been that I would embarrass myself with this writing. It is easy to sit on the sideline and never try. It is easy  to be critical of others when we are not willing to jump into the pool of  life and try to follow our dreams. Don’t be scared to try)

 

3. Write freely, recklessly, in  first drafts.

(Live life freely. The only way to ensure that you will fail  is to not try)

 

4. Tackle anything you want to–novels, plays, anything.

(Again, take a chance on life, liberty and love)

 

5. Don’t be afraid of writing bad  stories. To discover what is wrong with a story write two new one then go  back to it.

(Experience is the best teacher. The only way to get that  experience is to live)

 

6. Don’t fret or be ashamed of  what you have written in the past.

(Make the best decision you can and  stick to it. I have no regrets because I always did the best thing I could  at that time. Lots of times that was the wrong thing to do, but I learned  from it and moved on. You cannot live a productive life looking backwards)

 

7. Try to discover your true,  honest, theoretical self.

(live with honor, integrity and passion)

 

8. Don’t think of yourself as an  intestinal tract and tangle of nerves in the skull, that will not work  unless you drink coffee. Think of yourself as incandescent power, illuminated by perhaps and forever talked to by God and his messengers.  Remember how wonderful you are, what a miracle!

(Wow, nothing else to say  about this!)

 

9. If you are never satisfied with  what you write, that is a good sign. It means your vision can see so far  that it is hard to come up to it.

(just because life isn’t perfect means  that we shouldn’t strive for perfection)

 

10. When discouraged, remember what  van Gogh said: “If you hear a voice within you saying: you are no  painter, then paint by all means, lad, and that voice will be silenced but  only by working.”

(Isn’t this the guy that cut off his own ear?)

 

11. Don’t be afraid of yourself  when you write. Don’t check-rein yourself.

(Don’t be afraid of yourself.  Let your passions for life flow)

 

12. Don’t always be appraising  yourself, wondering if you are better or worse than other writers…you  are like no other being ever created since the beginning of Time, you are incomparable.

(Yes you are perfect and created exactly the way that God  intended. Live with confidence, pride and honor. If you do this, what  could possibly go wrong?)

 

And my writer’s soul says, “ahhhhh”. Let’s go and be fearless.

Keep writing,

Julie

 

 

 

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From → life

6 Comments
  1. Julie permalink

    This came from a great little book (referenced in the post) I highly recommend for any creative types– not just writers. It will inspire and encourage your heart. I’m glad you found the 12 thoughts helpful, Rob. As you can tell, I did too!

    I’m also glad you were able to take the snag in your drive home in stride. It’s easy to let interrupted plans become catalysts for discontent. Yay you for keeping your heart centered and calm!

  2. Thank you for reading and passing on the great information.

  3. Julie – you can always look for free classes. Check your local libraries. My local library gives a free creative writing class every other Thursday. I’ve been going for over 2 years now (to the creative writing class). Sometimes the local newspapers have event calendars in them listing your town events. My local newspaper does. Even a bookstore close by offers free art classes, just bring your own supplies. Same goes with the library. One of the librarian’s is an artist, she’s teaching free art classes, just bring your own art supplies. All of these are listed in my local newspapers event calendar. Or you can ask around, I’m sure someone, somewhere has heard of a class or is taking one. 🙂

    • Hi Jenn, thanks for the great suggestion. I live in the smallest town ever and our resources are fairly limited. We do have a great small college, but alas, that means tuition. I will continue to keep my eyes and ears open thought!

  4. Jenn,

    Great advice and something we all need to remember. There are a million ways to better yourself besides the standard college class. The library is a wonderful resource, one that is over looked.

    Of course it might be on the endangered species list along with Big Bird and NASA.

  5. I think that my greatest problem when it comes to writing is that I tend to become long winded. I usually find myself writing an entry that tries to cover too many points, when I should try and focus on the overall idea that I wanted to write about in the first place.

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