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:~: Tuesday, September 19, 2006 :~:

Contest Winner & Tough Love

First: The winner of our 100th post contest is...


I will email you a list of book lots you can choose from including full-size hard bounds, big names and even some writing craft!

Now...Onto the post: Tough Love

I'm a proponent of slogging my way through the hard times. When the mountain ahead makes my shoulders sag in anticipated defeat, I typically put my head down, look at my feet and just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Unfortunately for my CPs, I also bitch, grumble and moan the whole way.

This last month or two has been really tough...unusually tough. I attribute it to a few coinciding factors, some of which I can control, most of which I can't. But I've noticed I've slipped off out of my regular routine. Stepped off the path, so to speak.

I've found myself seeking out antidotes, remedies and/or inspiration as cure. Maybe to distract me from each painful step, maybe to procrastinate, most certainly to avoid what I know I've got to do if I want to reach my goal.

This struggle reminds me of trying to lose weight--desperately wanting to shed those extra pounds, yet even more desperately avoiding the work and sacrifice it takes to see results.

I recently read this article, which affected me like a splash of water in the face. Here is just one paragraph:
It's easy to fall into the trap of stroking our creative egos with spiritual and other ritualistic activities, but these don't guarantee productive work. Most writing problems, actually, don't originate in a lack of inspiration but in some fear related to the act of creating. While creative blocks have simple quick fixes, the solution to achieving stronger and more focused writing skills lies in a concentration on how to bridge the chasm between the will to write and the act itself.

A little like tough love, don't you think? Like taking the shadowy concepts of inspiration, muse and creativity and turning them on their head.

No elusive muse to blame? No lack of inspiration to cover up the minimal progression of work? Good Lord, no creativity drain to point a finger at?

That would mean...would mean... I'd have to be responsible for my own slump.


A piece of me will always believe in the whim of a creative pop and that spark of inspiration that flares as the result of an obscure conversation, although I do have to admit that I've never quite managed to wrap my mind around the idea of a muse.

But the very cold, very hard fact is that the most important element in good writing, in refining the craft, in taking that next step toward bettering your author-self, is within our reach twenty-four-hours of the day, seven days a week. We only have to choose to use it.

Here’s the link to the whole article...a very worthwhile read!
Constructing Creative Identity: Four Steps to Strengthening Your Writing Muscles


Blogger aBookworm said...

I won??!! WOW, that's great news for this diehard bookworm here! I'm just jumping with joy :-) My email's iluvbooks at gmail.com

Thanks again.

Re. Tough love - I'm not a writer per se but as you said, these things come in everyone's life and you just have to slog on and keep your chin up. At least that's what I'm doing.

12:29 PM  
Blogger Joan Swan said...

Thanks for the email! I will get a list of my books together and let you choose a few. :-)

4:53 PM  
Blogger Elisabeth Naughton said...

Wow, J. That passage hit home with me. Exactly what I needed to hear. Thanks for posting it.

1:40 PM  

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