Sunday, February 4, 2018

Back in the Saddle Oxfords again

2018- Year of the New

So January was an interesting mix of aspirations and whirlwinds. I am very glad that all I committed to on this hashtag driven year was to read a book. #2018YOTN

Elizabeth Gilbert's BIG MAGIC was a great way to start off the year. A major take away for me was that I was the only person who could give myself a hall pass to be creative. I didn't need to wait, waving my hand frantically in the back row for some supposedly older-wiser-cardigan-wearing person to give me permission to do what I need to do. I can just do it.

If you are a creative person and want to see your greatest fears written down into a book so that you can burn them in effigy later, I do recommend page 13-15. Gilbert NAILED every single fearful thought I have ever had in my writing career. Every person has them. The successful acknowledge them, take them by the hand even, and move on. Its called Bravery.

Though there are some ideas in the book that didn't really jive with my current schema of thinking (the importance of art, how ideas find us), the one that really did was her notion of originality vs authenticity. As a person who writes in a genre where everything that can happen has happened, I struggled with the notion of "This has already been done." But Gilbert stresses that you must "say what you want to say, and say it will all your heart" and that is the authenticity that people will respond to.

The best line is the last- "The treasures that are hidden inside you are hoping you will say yes."

I mentioned in my last post that I felt like I needed to shake the dust off, go outside and clear the erasers of my brain to get 2018 all started again. Well, Gilbert's book helped me define a few more things that I'm going to try this year (one month at a time to see what sticks):
1. Dressing My Truth (getting all dressed up to seduce your muse)
2. Making dedicated time for writing (#5amwriteclub here I come to have an affair with my muse)
3. Keep learning (to have something to talk to you muse about?)

For February, I signed up for on on-line class entitled Write Better, Faster, part of the Lawson Writer's Academy. I had the pleasure of seeing Margie Lawson speak at a conference and I still carry around everything she said in that one hour lecture, so I went back to her for something new to carry with me. I will report back next month and let you know if I was an A student, or if I was in the back of the class snickering with my friends.

Carry on, dear readers!

Amanda Arista

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