Sunday, March 29, 2009

word for the day

the word for the day is Challenge.

the affirmation for the day is: "i accept the challenges before me, knowing nothing is beyond my reach, if i allow myself to grow."*

a few days ago, a writing friend of mine asked me where i got my courage. where do you get the courage to continue in the face of unrelenting rejection and seemingly insurmountable odds? she asked.

ive been thinking about how to answer for a few days now. i've come to the conclusion that it's not courage that keeps me writing. i've been "writing" as an occupation for nearly 20 years, now, but i've been writing all my life. on some level, i can no more stop writing than i can stop breathing, but i don't have to keep "writing." i can quit (and have quit) and find work that pays a lot more and a lot steadier - say, for example, waittressing. so the understanding that there's a difference between the art and the craft of writing, which is what i do here, and the business of writing, which is publishing and that doing the one doesn't mean one needs to do the other, is fundamental to my sense of why i continue to do what i do.

there's a difference, too, to the way i write what i write. here, the words flow, sometimes too quickly, and what i mean isn't always clear. when i know im writing a piece for publication, i slow down, take my time. its WORK what i do for the marketplace and that WORK can sometimes be so laborious, it could drive a saner person over the edge.

it took me 8 hours of writing time and 20 or more drafts before i was satisfied with the first three sentences of chapter one of my second novel. i was facilitating a writing workshop at the time, which is why i was keeping track. and gentle readers of this blog may have noticed that once i decided my current work in progress was a novel worthy of publication, my pace on it slowed considerably. it's still a delight to write, but i'm doing so with a colder, keener eye, shaving and shaping the material into something (hopefully) more commercially viable than just an episode from my own life.

this morning, a spring rain soaks the trees, the last of the snow clings to the mound of rocks that someday will be Beloved's jetty. a bedraggled robin sings staunchly in the budding birches beside my window. the wind blows waves of rain across the ponds. the coffee steams in the butterfly cup that's part of the set my friend josie gave me for my wedding. neverland beckons.

and furthermore, the war will end. blessed be.

*the quotation at the beginning of this post is taken from page 92 of Living a Sacred Life: 365 meditations and celebrations by robin heerens lysne (conari press, 1997)


Walk in the Woods said...

Make the most of Neverland and enjoy it - that place over the edge - as much as you can! :)

Juls said...

Good morning. Happy writing!

Kathy said...

Good morning. I'm catching up and still moving slowly, but you always inspire me to move a little more. One way or the other.

Divaeva said...

I love rainy spring days - time to relax a reflect - I see you are doing the same! Enjoy! :)

Laura Rose said...

Challenge, hah, can we pick another day? lol

Martha said...

Thank you for sharing this insight into the writing craft. Good writing is like any art, you don't see the hard work behind it.

Hi! I'm Grace said...

Hi Annie, you really gave me a bunch of curiousity. I wanted to try writing, too, but worried that I will have not enough time for my husband, myself , house cleaning and blogging. How did you manage your time?

Kim said...

Thanks for explaining the difference between types of writing. I have been writing all my life but have no desire at this time to be published. I often joke about publishing my diary as a step mom but I know that would be a lot more work and energy than my blog and what I desire at the moment. Have fun in neverland.

Amanda K said...

Challenge is the perfect word for my day today! Thank you for the inspiration and your words. Hopefully I can overcome anything placed in my way.