Okay, Okay, I know now you are wondering where do you find this book?
Well here are the online links to purchase:
Favorite Writerly Playlist? Check.
Fingers Flexed? Check.
Mentally Ready to Attack all Plotlines/Characters? Err…yeah, that ‘character’ hollered at me last night…she’s mean.
Are you prepared for today’s mind blowing truth: Writing is work.
There is definitely nothing like putting words to page, whether for your personal, private enjoyment or for a story you hope to share with the world. But don’t let one single writer fool you. It takes work.
I sometimes wander the aisles of book stores and get completely suckered in by how many books one author has penned. I find myself pausing, reading titles, looking over covers and exploring the plot lines of each trilogy, stand alone, or series that he/she has birthed. I wonder about the hours, the pulled hair, and the scared dog under the couch, the husband/wife begrudgingly asleep while the glow from the computer urges them to wake up, and of course I wonder about the state of mind the author is in NOW. Are they content with these works? Did they want to share so much of themselves or did the domino keep pushing?
I wonder at their brilliance. Yes, I know people can easily say that every single book is not award winning, life changing prose, but for someone, somewhere the words in each book published struck a chord. Isn’t that why we write?
I watched a movie just this week while being stuck at home sick, drugged and definitely not ready to fight that mean girl character I mentioned above. In the movie a main character hates a certain teenage set of books, he thinks they’re dribble. He even questions the girl he has feelings for because she found pleasure in the book. He proceeds to say “You don’t read a book because you like it.” I burst into laughter during this serious onscreen argument. He is a literature snob and well she calls him on it.
After calling him a snob she defines her reason, but not in detail. She, his love interest, does not defend the book on its prose, plot, or structure instead she simply explains “It was fun to read, an escape. It was enjoyable.” He is baffled by this. She tells him “You think it’s cool to hate things but it’s not. It’s boring. Talk about what you love and keep quiet about what you don’t.” This, this line, this singularly brilliant line brings me back to my topic of writing is work.
Yes, it is, it is hard, it is time consuming, mind boggling, and honestly there is nothing else that will press your mental limits like words on a page. BUT it discovers, it explores, it grows, it denies, it proves, it inspires, it creates, it destroys, it saves, it reminds each and every person who turns the page that life is about change, about seeing things, about believing and about our individuality.
If you read it because you must then you end up liking it, is it a bad book? No.
If you read it because the populous love it and you don’t like it, is it a bad book? No.
Someone loved it and wrote it. Someone read it and shared it.
Someone worked until their eyes were red and dry, they toiled, and they spent grueling hours on characters that you may never know, who died before finding the first page.
They worked. They worked until they were spent.
The girl in the movie is right, ‘talk about what you love, keep quiet about what you don’t.’There is so much cynicism and negativity in this world, we often let it filter into our craft, to spread like a virus and perpetuate stereotypes of hateful, rude, arrogant writers. We are all working to create something we love and can be proud of, why waste words complaining? Every part of the process should be enjoyed, even if you have to enjoy it ironically, because someone out there is aching for your story, yep, they want to read your words; so yeah the work is hard but man is it worth it.
“It’s not what’s happening to you now or what has happened in your past that determines who you become. Rather, it’s your decisions about what to focus on, what things mean to you, and what you’re going to do about them that will determine your ultimate destiny.”
We hear this from the get go. We must focus on the task at hand. What we don’t often hear or process is which task truly deserves my focus?What we choose to do with our time. The selection of the task is such an important thing, that the moment that we discover perhaps another task would be better or that we should shift our focus we find it easy to get a little lost. When a task is complete, yes that feeling of accomplishment is phenomenal but then we are met with that beginning question all over again. Each time the question leads us into the direction that determines who we are.
I often focus on the wrong thing, then have to turn re-evaluate what means the most to me. I over analyze and question myself too often. My decision of focusing on things that are mundane can be devastating. I feel like I’ve lost time, I’ve wasted opportunities, and that I’ve let myself down. I see those signs that say to “make each moment count” and for a fleeting moment I feel like I messed up & my moments become worthless.
As a Type A/Creative person this is beyond annoying. I cannot explain the frustration with wanting to focus, complete the task all the while this huge part of me that relishes creative freedom tells me to just relax and let it all go. What a war my own mind wages daily…comical if you relish the highly confused, over organized, lackadaisical writer.
However, just recently I took one of those moments to focus on “focusing”. I pondered how I often get sidetracked, how I allow self-doubt to slip in and how I know that I have every bit within me to accomplish my dreams and I found something…You see making each moment count is great, but really, my newest epiphany is that for me it’s the fact that I must accept that each moment of my life is inherently valuable. I don’t need to focus on making each moment count, they already matter. I just need to remember that focus as a verb is one exceptional word: (of a person or their eyes) Adapt to the prevailing level of light and become able to see clearly.
So long as I adapt to see clearly, then my focus is spot on.
So long as a person is capable of self-renewal, they are a living being.
-Henri Frederic Amiel
How satisfying to know that I am a living being.
My dreaming self has been in turmoil for the past few months. At night I find my mind has deep crevices of ideas, desires, nightmares and untruths. You see a very sneaky self-doubt has continued to creep into my current state of mind.
However for the past few weeks I have been on a trek, a journey, a walk where renewal is the theme. I am working on being a better Courtney; a woman who finds relief in the simplest aspect of life & realizes that the mundane is unimportant. Mundane must not be taken lightly. It is a term that can be used to reference the earthly part of our existence – lacking in spiritual depth. I don’t want to be that writer. The spiritual side of me, no matter what your beliefs, is what has kept me above the water’s surface rather than just treading it.
Faith has been a consistent topic on my blog in the past and it is because I am strong within it. I am not Catholic but I do choose to participate in Lent every year. It is purely because I feel that self-exploration and acknowledgement of habits/vices/addictions is healthy. My “fast” this year is a bit odd and has definitely met the challenging aspect of Lent. I gave up two things: caffeine & cursing. Sadly for your Royal Writer over here, the cursing is the hardest. You just don’t realize how often those horrible words feel the need to escape into the air. They appear to be trapped “beings” within you and when they are free they elicit a shiver of excitement. Yet they don’t earn any awards or accolades or honest smiles from those around you. Granted I do feel there have been some instances where words of the vulgar manner seem to be the best responses, yet I have refrained. Faith has kept me on my path; the knowledge that the journey is worth it – a journey in which I am renewing the woman from the inside out. Even though dark, doubting thoughts try to get me to stray. They try to make me give up.
You see I lost my way again, I really need a map. I lost my moment of clarity and decision. In all honesty, I let it slip away; I allowed my inner being to become something that I no longer see as healthy or beneficial to my dreams & goals. Self-Doubt has held court for too long. It is as though my Royal Advisor has been talking truth but instead I have been listening to my nemesis’ lies.
So today I return to this wonderful world that has always welcomed me with open arms. I am a living being, capable of self-renewal, capable of believing in her talents, capable of using her strengths, capable of selecting what is best, what is silly, what is useful, what is important and what is pure fun. The map I need is really right here. It resides in this place of renewal, in this path of light; where self-doubt is banished by the knowledge that faith will lead me home.
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