Friday, July 20, 2012

When the Writer Gets Hot...

...the hot get out the Super Soakers, a favorite activity in my fam for those aged 5-65. There's something extremely cool and definitely therapeutic about firing swirling streams of water at your spouse while they do the same back. A marital win-win in my mind. And, of course, there's the 'family-sized' kiddie pool to enjoy, complete with schools of plastic fish and a genuine Toy Story floating chair that even holds a water-loving grandmother. Having kids around gives grown-ups automatic permission to play. And they'll give you a refresher course if you've forgotten how to have fun. Maybe kids should teach a motivational class for writers who have somehow forgotten the joy of making up a story.

Have you ever found yourself bogged-down in the logistics of writing? Of course, story structure is important, good grammar a must, authentic characters must be fleshed-out and resonate. And submissions must be form and letter perfect, marketable, and sparkling as we shop ourselves and our work to editors and agents, hoping to someday be able to proclaim, "She likes me! She really, really likes me!"

It's true: The logistics can't be avoided. But today, I've made a play-date with my words. I'm going to write until I get my child-like joy back.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Light Along the Way

The paths we take in our writing, our lives, are often a mystery to us. But, no matter what our beliefs, we truly aren't in this alone and don't need to make decisions without help and guidance.

Know that this help is there. Listen for guidance and answers. Be open to it. Feel it. Watch for it.

Trust it.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Outside-Inside Mismatch

One day I reminded my granddaughter, then 4, not to climb up to the tree house if a big person wasn't right there. Her reply to my question, "Do you know what will happen if you fall?" was "My body would come all apart." This, of course, was followed by snuggles we each needed at the thought of that.

When your outside 'comes apart' to any extent, it's pretty obvious to all. But, what about your inside? Raised in a dysfunctional family, where my role included keeping a calm exterior for the sake of others, did much to condition me to do the same through my decades as a nurse. Obviously, what you say to parents of a critical baby can't be the same as the way freaked out words in your mind. A mismatch, to be sure. It's freeing in many ways to be out of these roles today. But, I am what I am.

Daily life stresses, large and small, are not always evident on my outside, and others continue to look to me for calm. I don't see this as a bad thing, because keeping others level helps me to do the same. But, if the stress goes on and on, my inside starts to come apart, something has to give. Recently, that thing was my writing. Not good for my outside or my in.
my inner Maggie

I'm working on my personal mismatch, trying my best to keep my inner Maggie happy. I need to write in the same way I need to eat and sleep. It's that important.