Starting

I normally get my ideas for a blog post while I am showering in the morning. Then, by the time I make it to work and get settled in, my idea is gone. Not today though…..

Well, it nearly escaped me but somehow I managed to hang on to this thought long enough. So, you know I’m super excited about my topic for the 2011 Memphis Creative Nonfiction workshop, right? There is a lot I have to say on this particular topic that I can’t share with you at this point. So much so that I am starting to fear that I will ramble on and on and on. It is a topic that is recent, fresh, and the outcome of this particular topic is a positive one – so this is why I am super excited. My other topic was not so positive and one of my friends told me that I may look at it like nothing but failure after failure and not want to write it. He was right. This same friend suggested the new topic. At first I grumbled about it but the more I thought about it and processed it, the more excited I became. I promise to share the topic with you at a later date.

Anyway, wow, I got way off course there, rAmbLing…. sorry.

What I wanted to get to is that while I have this super fabulous topic to write about I am still finding myself lingering around, wavering, not so super excited to actually sit down and open up that word document to continue. What? Yeah. Weird. I mean the topic is good, so what is my problem?

I have started the project. The first time I sat down to type out that first page was also somewhat bothersome. However, once I started, then it was game on. That was a week ago, however, and I only have one page written. I have a lot to say and know what I want to write but getting my ass in the chair and fingers on the right keys to start, well, that is my dilemma. So I have a problem with starting. I mean literally starting. I’d rather check emails, read Ryan Seacrest’s Twitter updates, write a quick blog post, look at Facebook status updates, and blah blah blah. I have to FORCE myself to get off of that ride and get into my groove of writing. And once I do, man, it’s magical and soothing all at the same time. Imagine slipping into your favorite, most comfortable, sweat pants as soon as they come out of the dryer on a chilly day. Aaaaaah. Nice. But first I have to sort the laundry, trek up the stairs and start a load, wait for the washer to finish its last spin cycle, then I can transfer it over to the dryer and wait.

OK, that was probably a bad analogy but you’re smart, you get what I mean.

I would be curious to know what YOU do to make yourself sit down and write, paint, sculpt. Of course I know that some of you are drawn to it automatically and you HAVE to paint or sculpt so there is no hesitation with you, I’m sure.

WOW, I need to get off of here and start my project. Now where are my sweat pants?

My Path? You Mean I Have One?

Let’s see, where was I the other day when I had my great epiphany? Oh yes, that’s right, I was looking at all of my friends on Facebook with their fabulous lives when the little green monster named “jealously” started her incessant whispering.

Normally I would listen to her and spend a little while in her company but for whatever reason, on this particular day, Something (or Someone) decided to shut her up once and for all for me. I don’t know how it came or first formulated but it was an intuitive thought from Somewhere Else, it seemed, that entered my brain that day. The thought went something like this, “Why don’t you walk your own path Carol and quit worrying what others are doing?”

As soon as that question entered my mind, I clicked the power off button, closed my laptop, went outside to smoke a cigarette to ponder this more. Where had that remarkable and incredible thought come from after all? Why all of a sudden at that particular time and day? I wasn’t going to question it anymore, I decided. No, instead I smiled and my heart pounded with excitement over the possibilities.

I’ve known for a while what it is I want to do but I have never seriously taken any real action on it before. I’ve been too scared. I never fully committed myself. I would start and then stop, start and then stop. I would always come back to it but I would never finish anything. I would never follow through. Of course I am talking about writing.

Well, I don’t know where I was going with this when I first started out with this blog post, something about making my own path or some silly crap. No wait, it’s not silly crap. I will stop treating it so nonchalantly and I pledge, now, to start taking myself a little more seriously and treating my passion with respect.

Some actions I have taken recently – I have been attending a local writing group and I am registered for the 2011 Memphis Creative Nonfiction workshop. I also submitted an essay to Skirt magazine back in February and plan to submit more. I have my topic for the 2011 Memphis Creative Nonfiction workshop and have started the writing. I have to have ten pages done and submitted by September 2nd. I am also in the process of interviewing several artists at 16 Main Gallery to write a blog post about each.

Oh, and I’ve also been reading up a storm lately. I’m on my sixth book since January.

🙂

Here is a quote I found recently that I absolutely LOVE and is partly responsible for my changed outlook:

Don’t wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Weak men wait for opportunities; strong men make them. ~Orison Swett Marden

I will leave you with some other quotes (about writing) that inspire me (and make me smile):

The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say. ~Anaïs Nin

Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia. ~E.L. Doctorow

And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt. ~Sylvia Plath

If I don’t write to empty my mind, I go mad. ~Lord Byron

Writing is a form of personal freedom. It frees us from the mass identity we see in the making all around us. In the end, writers will write not to be outlaw heroes of some underculture but mainly to save themselves, to survive as individuals. ~Don Delillo

Now that I have found my own path, I need to find my own voice.

All right then, carry on….

Reading and Writing

Here I am again, one month later, updating my blog. Sad and pitiful indeed. Oh well.

Yes, I am still reading my book picks for 2011. I am also reading with my Soul Sisters Book Club. This month’s pick is The House At Riverton by Kate Morton.

Here is a list of books I’ve read since January:

The Constant Princess – Philippa Gregory
Water for Elephants – Sara Gruen
Bitter In The Mouth – Monique Truong
Sarah’s Key – Tatiana de Rosnay
Naked, Drunk, and Writing – Adair Lara

That is five books since January. Do you know how many I read all of last year? Two. I know, right?! I think I am reading more because of the eReader! Seriously, who would have thought an eReader would make me a speed reader. I can’t even begin to try and explain this theory; why I have taken to an eReader. It is truly a mystery. Or maybe I am gobbling down these books for other reasons; escape, I’m more settled and matured, or I’m a late bloomer? Who knows.

Now for book reviews. Yes, I owe some book reviews. I’ll get it on that next.

But for now I have some other exciting news. Well, to me it is exciting. I have paid my registration fee for the 2011 Memphis Creative Nonfiction workshop. This will be my first ever writing workshop to attend. I am scared to death. Why did I pick creative nonfiction? I have no clue. Yes I do. Because an online writing acquaintance is the director of the workshop. I trust her opinion. But now I need to figure out what exactly creative nonfiction is really all about. I can’t quite wrap my brain around it. I mean I know but I don’t know and I know that makes no sense whatsoever. Eh, I’ll figure it out eventually.

The workshop is in September and there is only room for 20 participants. I need to have my writing submitted by September 9th, yes, it’s that kind of workshop – critiquing involved. Yikes! I have to have 10 pages, double-spaced of my writing done and submitted for others to read. Heart pounding out of my chest and starting to hyperventilate just typing that sentence. Eh, it ain’t nothin’ but a thang baby girl. It’s just writing.