Some days I have the urge to punch my laptop in the face when my story is not coming together. It is when that rare urge occurs that I turn to my muses for inspiration and pump up the volume … Continue reading
I am going to share with you the bleak story of Tailor Brown who never had the time to write because he was always hemming pants. I forgot to mention that he hated hemming pants. But day and night … Continue reading
My dog is an opportunist she watches perched on top of her chair and waits patiently as I prep dinner in the kitchen. She always knows there are morsels of scraps in the trash bin and will seize the opportunity … Continue reading
It happens when you least expect it! Your mind gets lost in a dark thicket and there is no escape! You wake-up to realize you have been surrounded by the ill-tempered and they have zapped every once of your creative spark.
They circle like old hags exclaiming again and again “Watch what you eat! You are wearing that!? Is that a drink in your hand? Oh My! You are not reading THAT! Are you?”
You are left dredging around in the fog! You can almost see the creative light! Grasp it! Touch it!
Until some old miser out of nowhere dims the light by exclaiming and rattling his cane “Science is the only truth. Liberal arts is nothing but misfits and degenerates. Nothing but misfits and degenerates! They know nothing!”
The fog gets thicker and you drudge on feeling all of the creative energy being sucked from your body. Your mind is replaced with self-doubt as you ignore the light that once twinkled before you. You go about your routine trying to forget about the unfinished story waiting for you.
Somewhere in the distance you hear a whisper as it calls you back like a long-lost lover “You need me. I need you. We love each other.”
You feel the warmth of the energy moving back into your body as you move forward to the keyboard and return to the story. You begin to work on the next chapter which was lost in the fog surrounded by useless noise. You type on knowing your love affair will only last as long as you put the words to the page with a selfish silence unspoken between the two of you. It is through that silence you escape from the poison of the hags and the miser.
Congratulations! You have escaped the creative energy suck for one more day!
Sometimes music can be the inspiration needed to keep me writing at my desk. However, I have to be careful about my musical selection because my mind wanders to the beat of certain songs. All of a sudden that song can become the front and center story smacking me right in the face.
I discovered this as I was working on my almost bear encounter and I turned on Elton John for a little background music. I started to write about the woman attempting not to frighten my children, whispering, and pointing up the road “Bear!”
I exclaim, “What!? Bear!” which of course frightens my children.
And then Sad Song comes on! Of course I take two minutes to sing it into my coffee mug. I then muse over the last time I sang this song with friends in the middle of a pub over fifteen years ago.
Now I then try to focus back on the men emerging from the woods excited over the bear.
“You can go see the grizzly right there! She is right there!”
“Ummm. No thanks.”
I clutch bear spray the bear spray can tighter, attempting to walk back to my trailer , keeping the kids calm, without running into a bear. The bear you know is being contained by park rangers but still it’s a bear close by in the bushes.
I then begin to write about the anxiety of the bear and then I Don’t Want to Go On with You Like That starts playing which reminds me of that one guy I dated and badly danced with to this song in a smelly bar after sharing our second or third grog. It is inevitable to discover years later that he was gay and that this song meant so much more to him than I could have ever imagined.
So I then go back to the bear, the thoughts running through my head, about what if we had stayed on the trail, and had run into the bear. Of course, I have to note the British couple that we run into along the way who think “It would be charming to see a grizzly bear.”It is obvious they never watched Grizzly Adams or Legends of the Fall or read what to do if you see a bear which is posted all over the God Damn national park. So then Nikita comes on and it’s not my favorite so I skip it!
Obviously, it goes straight to I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues which takes me back to India alone in the apartment missing my future husband who was in the final stages of finishing his engineering degree. I may have played this song, over, and over again. But don’t tell him that because I don’t want it to go to his head.
I then snap back to the bear, we make it back to the trailer, only to discover my husband snoring the afternoon away, obviously not concerned about his family. I tell him excitedly about the bear, he grumbles something illegible, and rolls over to go back to sleep.
Only in the final moments of attempting to finish this blog post This Train Don’t Stop Here Anymore magically plays and I am left with a sigh. I think about everything else and I belt it out. Oh! And there was a bear. But this is what happens when I try to write and listen to Elton John at the same time.
Janet Steen examines the question “Have Personal Essays Gotten Too Personal?” in a quest to determine what is the truth and beauty of the personal essay. In her article she points out the shift of the personal essay has transformed with the evolution of blogging. Steen states “Blogs were an inevitable stage, and a useful one, but often they were narcissistic and ranty and you, the reader, had to sift through. A list of gripes does not necessarily make an essay, but a well-crafted, meaningful list of gripes might.”
It is these well meaningful list of gripes that many of us sift through to discover the blogs that are gems and acknowledge that there is a truth to their writing. It provides meaning and sustenance in our daily lives.
One of the many diamonds in the rough contribute each day whether it is a ranty post about poor customer service, an inspirational post about a walk in the park, the political manifesto that your never thought of, or a humourous look at motherhood. All of these have helped to shape and transform our world and bring people one step closer together within the global community.
Janet Steen points out “A great essay takes some little leap out of the ordinary, it has alchemy to it, it has magic.” It’s when you discover that hidden gem which makes blogging more interesting and exciting! It is underneath that gem which holds a truth of what is beautiful and imperfectly human.
I have seen and read comments on occasion that suggest every Tom, Dick, and Harry seem to have a blog these days. It maybe true but the rubbish usually fades into the sunset while many bloggers seek to find their own truth through the words of their own blogs. They seek out to be better, to express themselves with eloquence, and shine on their own page.
Seth Godin, points out in his short novel The Dip “The people who are the best in the world specialize at getting really good at the questions they don’t know.” So perhaps as many bloggers throw in the towel there are many bloggers out there attempting to be the best by expanding their growth as writers and taking the time to seek out the truth.
It is by pushing ourselves to the limits that we create new expressive thoughts in personal essays. As the world evolves, technology pushes us too new limits, our thoughts, and dialog will change. It is our role as bloggers to break the rules and seek the limits of discovering the truth through our own creative work. It is up to us to determine what is good and thumb our nose at the rigid critics who are unwilling to change with the times.
Do you attempt to take a leap out of the ordinary with your blogging?
As I wait patiently for spring to arrive and renew my creative energy. I get stuck. I procrastinate. I hum and haw. I surf the web. I search for dust bunnies. The whole time I am restless and not doing anything that I love. I make a lot of excuses for not blogging, writing, or getting anything creative done.
It was this week that I picked up “The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Creative Battle” and it was at that moment I realized I was at war with myself for no good reason. The only resistance I faced was the inner critic whispering in my ear that anything I finished would not be good enough.
Steven Pressfield points out:
If resistance couldn’t be beaten there would be no Fifth Symphony, no Romeo and Juliet, no Golden Gate Bridge. Defeating resistance is like giving birth. It seems absolutely impossible until you remember that women have been pulling off successfully, with support and without for fifty million years.
The key is to push against resistance when I am at war with my own inner critic and recognize that sometimes that rational self caters to the critics that want to judge us. It’s when I fail to create I fail myself and I hate the words “I told you so!”
How do you overcome your own inner critic?
We all wait for that special eureka moment! It occurs to us in the shower, on a solitary walk, or as we rest our head to the pillow when the lights begin to dim out. It comes at the most unusual times and when we least expect it!
Eureka is that one moment when we jump for joy and are inspired to share our thoughts to the world!
If you could share one blog post that was your Eureka moment what would it be?
Hair it is a part of who we are and our identity. It aggravates us, comforts us, and sometimes shields us from the elements. It is after one of those days I look forward to is stepping into a steamy shower and washing my hair.
The few minutes in the shower is my own time to clear my thoughts, relax my muscles, and wash away the negativity of the day. I look forward to lathering the shampoo into my hair and inhaling the fragrant scent that wraps its blanket around me with comfort.
I then wait letting the conditioner repair and untangle the wavy mess that is my hair. It is by untangling the mess with ease which gives me a small sense of control in the tornado that has swept through my day.
It is in that silent moment I stretch and breath trying to regain a minute of clarity. As the moment passes I slowly rinse with my thoughts running forward thinking tomorrow will be a much better day.
I know in the next wild moments of life when my hair is blowing in the wind and there is no answers that I will get a fragrant scent that sweeps across my face. It is that scent that comforts me and lets me know it will all be okay.
Do you have a small step in your daily routine to help shift the perspective of your day?
It was last October that I participated in a month of your questions! It was a fun way to keep my on blogging track!
So I am asking you for a favor to help me get my blogging groove back!
Can you leave me one question in the comment box? It can be anything that pops off the top of your mind!
I will use each of those questions as a writing prompt every Friday until the comment box runs empty. I will also link your question back to your blog and thank you profusely for inspiring me.
I look forward to being challenged with all of your brilliant questions!
Do you have one question for me?