Tuesday, April 7, 2015, 7:16 PM

steenman Garvera
Cairn (a mound of rough stones built as a memorial or landmark, typically on a hilltop or skyline)

Is it really only Tuesday? I’ve reached one of those times at work with far more to do than hours in the day to do it. That can be a scary place to be, but I’m finding it exhilarating (ask me again in a few days and we’ll see if I still feel that way). After a quick lunch at my desk today, I decided I could afford a brisk 15 minute walk. Not only are there the obvious health benefits, but stepping away like that gives me a clearer head for the afternoon. Anyway. While meandering through stairwells and hallways (I walk inside an office building) I thought about the rest of my day. And I thought about how I’d planned to spend some of the evening writing. One small part of me rebelled. No way! You’ve been writing, designing training, communicating, etc. all day. You need a break! But very quickly, that part of me was drowned out by a much louder voice shouting, Yes!! I can’t wait! I truly was excited to get back to the keyboard.

You see, true confession moment, I’ve stalled a bit in my writing. I could kick myself over it, having fallen out of the daily habit I so stringently kept for weeks and months, beginning in September of last  year. But there’s really no point in that. I’m doing this project for me. And while I have tons and tons of work to do revising my novel, no one is breathing down my neck. Unlike at work, where if I don’t meet an agreed upon business goal,nI have someone to answer to, I won’t have to explain to anyone why I didn’t meet my objective. And that, that’s liberating.

So tonight I made my cup of tea and picked up “The Maeve Binchy Writers’ Club” (thanks Cathy B!) to read another quick chapter. This one was titled, “Week 7 – Finding Your Voice.” Maeve talks about how we may have a desire to imitate a writer we admire, but that we should resist that. You want your writing voice to be authentic. And if you have to keep working at it, it’s not going to read as authentic. But, she went on to say that we can borrow from other writers. We can borrow some of their techniques and present them in our own voice. I like that.

The chapter rounded out with this nugget:

“Success is not a pie where everyone who gets a slice has somehow diminished what is left for everyone else. That’s not really how it works. Success is more lie a cairn, a heap of stones where the more each person gets, the more it adds to the general body of work out there. Other writers are there to encourage us, to be the living proof that those hours of ‘keeping at it’ can pay off .If we can learn a little hint here and there from every writer we read, and even more especially, from every writer we meet, then we will do well.”

I am inspired daily by so many writers. And I’m fortunate to connect with many of them through social media. Don’t worry: I don’t consider myself BFFs with a best-selling author. But I do enjoy connecting with them, reading about their challenges as a writer. Or reading about their challenges with daily life, like Julie Klam heading to Housing Court (she won!) or Joe Wallace sharing family photos from a trip or a photo of a bug he finds interesting. And then there’s Julie Mangano who connects on a more personal level and who used to live in my own state of Kansas. All of these writers, through big ways or small, help the writing community. They help me.

And while we’re talking about those who help, how about the librarians? Not just in the obvious ways through their work, but sometimes in personal ways. My friend through marriage (she married my ex-husband, and is my daughter’s stepmom) Becci is a school librarian. She regularly posts links for me on Facebook to writing related articles and resources. I’ve started a Word doc to keep track of all of these links. Some are about publishing, some are about words, some are inspirational quotes.

I could go on and on listing all the people who share what they know and how much it benefits others. We all have people like that in our lives (I hope!). And now I’m thinking, what am I sharing back? Well, in one way, I’m sharing through these posts. Maybe like me, you’ve had a long day, long week (and it’s only Tuesday!), long month, etc. And you just need a reminder that there’s joy to be had every day. Look around. Reach out. Take what’s out there that helps you, and give, give, give too.

Thanks for letting me ramble. My tea cup is empty and it’s time for me to wrap up. Until next time…

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