My blogging affects people differently. There’s the group of supportive friends who read it every day encouraging me to write since it makes me so happy. Then we have the naysayers who for some inexplicable reason feel threatened by it.
“I write too,” I’ve been told by 2 women in particular as if I’ve stolen something from them.
“Great,” I always say, “but what does my writing have to do with yours?”
It’s a question no one seems to answer because there really isn’t one, at least not one that’s logical.
Let me say blogging is a huge commitment. Since I’m determined to post every day, sometimes this means writing well into the wee hours of the morning.
I’m not complaining, I love the process, but like anything worthwhile doing it takes work. It also has to take precedence over other things like your social life. Today, for instance I’m invited to a screening of the movie ‘My Week With Marilyn’ that I’m dying to see. However, unless I have solid bones for tomorrow’s post, I’ll have to pass.
“You’d actually miss a nice event like that?”
“If need be but hopefully I won’t have to. Hopefully the ‘better angels of my nature,’ if I may quote Abraham Lincoln, will graciously write it for me.”
It feels like that when you’re writing well. It’s as if someone else is behind the wheel while you sit snug in their lap.
I write because I have to. When I’m not connected to my creative source it feels like a valve is turned off. It’s as though I only have 25% lung capacity.
My friend Amy, who created the website for me, kept saying I needed an outlet; my art was suffering.
“How did she know that?”
“Because I was a mess. I went through a 6 month period where I didn’t write at all.”
“But you’re so prolific.”
“Now. But back then I was angry and feeling sorry for myself. I had been looking for a literary agent to represent me and because I didn’t have enough of a ‘platform’ (the dreaded ‘P ‘word) even if they liked my prose, no one was interested. My frustration began to consume me and I couldn’t write my name let alone an essay.”
“So how did it change so dramatically?”
“My friends, Amy, Bill and Ed who kindly and tactfully told me it was time to get up off the mat.
Bill suggested for instance I sit at my desk for an hour a day even if nothing appeared on the page, just to give it a chance to.
Ed tried jump starting me by quoting lines he liked from previous essays.
Not until Amy who on my birthday said, as a gift she wanted to create a website for me, did the clouds begin to lift.”
“Just let me do it,” she said, “if you don’t like it, if it doesn’t work out we can easily take it down.”
Those angels of mine I mentioned earlier must have been on the case because rather than my usual, adamant ‘NO,’ I said yes and that was 109 posts ago. Miracles do happen if you let God run the show.
“What if you don’t believe in God?”
“Then believe in your friends.”
Joseph Campbell said, “if you follow your bliss, doors will open for you that wouldn’t have opened for anyone else,” which is why jealously is such a waste of time. The things you’re envious of were never headed your way to begin with.
If you’re a writer, write. A painter, paint. Whatever it is you long to do that tugs at your heart is what you were meant to do. And don’t worry about agents and publishers, critics and especially other writers, simply do your art and those that are meant to find you along with those doors that are destined to open undoubtedly will.
Woody Allen, Wendy Wasserstein and Ernest Hemingway were asked the same question.
“What advice can you give to another writer,” and do you know what all 3 said?
Looks like I’m going to make that movie after all.