Literary Liaisons

A blog about writing and all things story…

Reconnecting with my muse

Favorite Paris Writing hangout

45 days ago I decided to take 30 days off from all social media,including this blog. I needed time to reassess, to reorganize and refresh, hit my start over button and somehow get reenergized.
At least, I told myself those were the reasons I was taking time off from the things I had put so much time and energy into.
But it was a lie. The real reason; I simply no longer saw the point .
 Oh I know that everyone swears that you must blog, twitter, Facebook, Google, spin, squat stand, spit and whatever, and that without it all, you’re no longer relevant in society. It’s all getting a bit out of control. But, that’s the world we live in, we’ve no choice there. But where we do have choice is in how we live in that world. After all, it isn’t the Hunger Games just yet.

So, what is the point to all this blogging in a blogosphere were everyone else is blogging? And just a side bar here, but why do people tweet me about what they are eating and what color their socks are? Because unless they’re tweeting that Daniel Craig’s at my door, or it’s the Prize Patrol with my winning lottery check, I struggle to care.
During my 30 days that turned into 45, my friend’s 20-something son died of a drug overdose. She is, of course, devastated. I went numb. Then over the course of 3-weeks 3 children under 8-years old were shot in my own city.  I had no words. There was nothing I could do about the tragic events, but I was effected, deeply.
I kept editing my novel, but I wasn’t writing, not really writing, like Jack and Bob have taught me to do. (See Natalie Goldberg) I wasn’t being creative. And when I’m not being creative, I get grumpy. I was grumpy. A grumpy writer writes grumpy words. ARG! So I knew something needed to change or I’d have to start wearing a black patch over one eye and hook on my right hand.
To switch things up – create new energy, I went to a different coffee shop to write, surrounded by new faces and a new atmosphere. It helped, but I was still a bit grumpy. I took on a little more business just to get me out and about a bit more. It helped, but still a bit of a grump feeling I had nothing worth saying and certainly nothing that mattered in the face of tragedy.  And then one day…
I received a nice e-mail form a lady who I never met and who is, in her own words, shy and doesn’t typically write to people she doesn’t know. She said how much she enjoyed my blog and how uplifting it was to her and how it motivated her to be a better writer. She said that after her husband died she started reading my blog and then writing. It helped with her depression. When I read her gracious note, you could have knocked me over with a feather. It made me feel better, not so hopeless and grumpy.

And then, last week (day after receiving the note) at the Lighthouse Coffee Roasters, before dawn when I needed a cup of coffee before my 6:45 AM meeting, I had only my debit card and no cash. The man behind reached forward and said, “Oh good, an opportunity to do a random act of kindness!” He bought that coffee for me and asked that I pass it along. I did. Thanks nice guy at the Lighthouse Coffee Roasters. You’re kindness made my day. Day; hell, it lifted my 45 day depression. I don’t know why a simple act had such impact, but it did.   http://www.lighthouseroasters.com/about.cfm  I guess I was ready.

Then, later that same day I found $13.00 on the ground (I’m part Irish; that means finding any pot-o-gold is a bit of the lucky charm: good luck.) So I went to write at my new writing haunt, with my new found pot-o-gold. The man at the table next to me said he was a writer and a teacher. He didn’t look crazy, so we talked for bit. Ultimately he asked me to read him my first paragraph. I did . He smiled and said he’d buy that book. (Lucky charms at work) I was growing less and less grumpy. The sun was coming out.

So what’s my long and belabored point? If you get stuck, grumpy, pissy (as my husband says) …understand that you can’t change the past, but you can change the present and influence your future; get out of your routine, invite good vibes, look for pots of gold, talk to strangers, let someone make you their random act of kindness; buy a writer a cup of Joe. Smile.
I also think I was so wrapped up in my editing and staring at my novel day after day, that I killed the writer in me that just needs to be creative, write whatever is in my head and play with words. Because let’s face it, editing is NOT play. It’s work. So, I’m back at play, (still working of course) and my spirits are lifted back to where they belong.

So, thank you nice lady (who does not want to be mentioned) for the long and lovely note. YOU inspired me. And thanks kind guy at Lighthouse for buying a depressed writer a cup of Joe. And thanks lady at Starbucks who when I tried to return that act of kindness, said she could pay for her own ‘damn’ coffee, and then huffed and walked out the door. Both the barista and I laughed at your abrupt departure and the barista bought my coffee since you were so, well, crazy. Funny, but a little crazy. So, I bought coffee for an elderly man later in the day. Then, I sat down in a coffee shop and wrote absolute nothings. It was great.

So, I’m back. My muse is returning.  

There may not be any point to all the blogging, but if I write something, anything that motivates even one person, then there’s a reason. Oh, and I’m still waiting for someone to tweet that Daniel Craig or those lottery people are on my porch.

 In case you haven’t seen this, Sit back and watch this creative group – it’s my current favorite song – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9NF2edxy-M Then go be creative yourself.

Speaking of…

I’m always proud of my friend Maureen for her diligence in writing short stories and getting them out there. Congrats Maureen on your recent story. It moved me to tears. Check out Maureen’s story about a little boy whose mother couldn’t rise out of her drunkenness to pick him up from school … Nobody’s Home

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2 comments on “Reconnecting with my muse

  1. arleen
    March 28, 2012

    Thanks for the boost, Mindy. As I edit my second memoir, I have also found myself slipping. Going to writing practice and continuing to work on another project seem to help.

  2. Stephen Hayes
    March 26, 2012

    I'm glad you're back. I've been wondering where you were. I've gotten some serious knocks lately over my novel but the antidote to my depression is my blog. There I can write and post my stories and I get immediate feedback from readers. It's great. I may never be a published novelist but I can still be a good storyteller. Have a great week.

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This entry was posted on March 26, 2012 by in daniel craig, hunger games, muse, natalie goldberg, someone I used to know.
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