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Are You Being a Bad Parent to Your Writing?

parent, writing

The fact is, many of us have been bad parents to our writing.  We can be like helicopter parents.  We monitor its movements to a tee.  We don’t let it out into the world without fussing over every little detail of its appearance.

“How would this reflect on us?” we ask.

We show up to write, putting in the required time and effort.  Making necessary sacrifices.  Only just to lock our art up where it’s safe.  Exposing it to the small world we feel comfortable with.  We lock our art up underneath our better-knowing and protective noses like it was Norman Bates.

“The world wouldn’t understand you like I do.  The world is vulgar and uncaring.”

Can we blame ourselves for doing the best that we can?  Our intentions were good.  We never meant to give our art a stifling environment.  We didn’t know any better.

The good news is that we grow up in a huge life that is conspiring to help us at every turn. 

How do we let our writing grow into what it is meant to grow into?

We let it out of the Bates Motel. (more…)

How I Write in the Jagged Journey of the Calling

calling

Inspiration struck me at a few months sober.  I was going to write a book.  It seemed that I now had a calling.  The jagged journey, and not one as neat as I had planned.  A journey, still in its infancy, that has taught me already.

“I am going to work for this.” became the creed.

I put the work in.  I can become isolationist and rigid with my writing routing.  THE Routine.   It can drink all the joy out of a day.  I confess to this shortcoming in my Destructive Force that Brings Artists Down post.  It has brought unnecessary hardship to my relationships at times.

I believe there is time for sacrifice, even to outright neglect other areas of my life at times.  The journey needs to be jagged. This is just what I believe.

But to solely march militaristic would deny one crucial, vital element of what a calling is… (more…)

2 Angels That Keep You Moving Towards Your Calling

angels

I used to think I had a terrible choice to make:  dreams or security. Head in the clouds or blistered feet in the salt mines.  My industry (healthcare) is exponentially growing with the aging baby boomer generation.  Writing (my  does not exactly call to mind the same sort of guaranteed windfall.  Did someone tell me that I needed to make a choice between a secure paycheck in an industry I like and going after what I feel is my calling?  I have found 2 angels at my aid. (more…)

4 Quick Writing Prompts to Change Your Perspective

Stale thinking can be the destruction of freedom and creativity.  It’s the kind of taking for granted that robs the color out of life.  It takes the dignity out of our pain and overlooks the joy.  So, how do you get breathing room and fresh perspective from concrete thoughts and beliefs?

These are 4 Writing Exercises to Jostle up Your Interpretation on Things.

  1.   Write About 3 Times You Were Wrong about Something:  You don’t need to write a book on this.  Just write 3 short instances of where your view on things wasn’t exactly rock solid.  For example, when were you incorrect about what you thought of another person?  Or, when did you take a path in life (starting a blog?) that you didn’t see coming?
  2. Describe Something in Your Life that is Causing You Stress, and Re-write A Completely Different Interpretation of the Circumstance:  Look, I’m not asking you to change what you believe about your life.  I’m just asking you to have some fun with writing.  You could write two different interpretations if you wanted to.  The first could be sensible and calm, the second could be fantastical and apocalyptic.  The significant other is really the worm king/queen of the Planet Shit and I need to make peace with them to prevent the war of the worlds.  Whatever.
  3. Describe Yourself from the Perspective of Another Person in Your Life:  Or even an inanimate object in the room you’re currently in!  Once again, it doesn’t need to be an anthology.  Just three or four quick lines about the person in your skin as seen from another perspective.
  4. Write the Instructions that God/A Guardian Angel/Aliens would Give You in This Moment:  Take a deep breath.  Direct a question to the unharmed part of you.  “What should I do?”  Mine was, “Stay here.  Have fun.  Relax into the moment.  Experiment.”

(more…)

How I Broke my Immature Illusions of Inspiration

It’s like this dream that haunts you in the middle of the night, when the more pressing concerns of your day-to-day life have calmed down.  To have the potential to create something truly great and unique to you, it can be a cruel burden to bear.   This article will detail my process of keeping my feet moving towards my dream.

I could recognize that I had a knack for writing,.  If financial security was not a factor, I would have been able to say that a dream career would have been in the writing field.  Maybe even journalism.  Writing was a good outlet for me.

What I was,  was a walking nervous breakdown with a penchant for black-out drinking and couch-wetting.  Discipline was a dirty word and nothing lay beyond that glorious explosion of instant gratification.  When I got sober (and the perpetually dry couch had lost its ‘wow!’ factor), I wanted to live.

Inspiration would eventually strike me like a fist to write a book.  I got to work, and then…nothing.   A folder with dog-eared pieces of notebook paper curling around the edges (where I kept my rough-draft pages) sat in the corner of my bedroom.  It put a bad taste in my mouth every time I saw it.  It was like the folder had contempt for me in its very fibers, and I felt myself a worthy recipient.  Soon, I got myself into silly predicaments with women at AA meetings, frustrations of my own making at work, and general imbalance of mood.

Because I was becoming bored. (more…)