Sunday, January 19, 2014

BREAKING THROUGH RESISTANCE

One of the difficulties of writing a memoir is going back in time to relive, and describe in detailed scenes, bad times in my life that I would prefer to leave behind. But there is no leaving those times behind. They are loud and solid ghosts that haunt me night and day. I know that I must face them and write my way through them if I am ever to let them go. I have read Pennebaker and Progoff. I am a certified journal instructor having worked through the training at the Center for Journal Therapy with Kay Adams. I have no doubts that I need to do this. And yet resistance is an invisible but strong wall that keeps me from the page. I once had a therapist who said you have to go through all the fires in your life, there is no way to go around them. But I am stuck today.

But I think I've found a way to crack the resistance and that is through art journaling. I need to journal my feelings in paint and collage to get them out. I need to write things I want no one to see and then paint over the words. That way they will be out of me and yet immune to the eyes of those who may one day search my notebooks for secrets better kept concealed.

I am hoping that in an hour or so I will have gotten past this wall and can then continue writing my story.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A POET NOT A NOVELIST

Those who know me well are aware that I write in many different genres--short stories, novels, poetry, memoir and personal essay. I've had some nice publishing successes with personal essays and short stories and my poetry collection is being designed as we speak. Still, I have always had the feeling I should be writing novels. First because that's what I read the most. Second because it seems to be the most viable publishing option in commercial terms. But what about my heart and soul? What kind of creative work lies there?

I am writing a book length memoir and I will continue with it because it's an important story for me to write. But after that I need to seek my creative center and when I cut through the fog--which in real life was thick as whipped cream this morning- I do not find novels in the slivers of cleared space.

What I find inside the soft rosy tissue of my creative soul is poetry. Poems sing to me, both reading them and writing them. If I'm away from writing poetry for too long my heart seems to wither a tiny bit until I feed it what it longs for. I am also drawn toward mixed media art and creating art journals. I love when I can find creative ways to intertwine my poems with my art. That is at the core of who I am and that is what I need to do as a writer.

It's difficult to explain to people who write novels that I need to focus on my poetry and art. Not everyone understands the soul of a poet, and sometimes I don't understand it myself. And so I need to write more poems so I can understand my own creative soul better.

I am a poet and artist, not a novelist. And the median ground I find in writing flash fiction lets me follow the lines of a story while still using poetic language. And I love the act of writing short, letting it sit a few days, going back to revise and then having a finished piece to submit. And I can take these short pieces and put them together in a chapbook or even a longer collection.

I need to follow my heart through the fog of confusion and cut through the resistance to doing what lies in my soul. Clarity comes in the lines of poems and the swirls of paint on canvas. Let me be clear in my creative soul.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

AWESOME 2014

Here we are at the start of the new year with a rainbow of possibilities strung out in 365 days of awesome.
How will you make 2014 your most awesome year?

I've given up on making resolutions that are forgotten in the fog of real life. I prefer intentions and goal planning. When I create goals for myself I can envision the little stepping stones I need to follow in order to reach that goal. Here are my intentions for 2014:

  • focus on health and wellness and not let the pressures and stress of my job prevent me from doing what I need to do for my physical, mental and spiritual health
  • spend more quality time with friends and family
  • take time to meditate and be still every day
  • do more guided journal writing to enter more deeply into who I am
  • keep my mind set on the goal of writing my memoir and write 3-4 pages a day
  • be a kinder more spiritual woman who lets stress roll off her back and not strangle her
I wish my family, friends, and my dear readers a healthy and awesome 2014.