Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Answering Your Call and Buckling Down — MANN

Sometimes the position of between writing projects is as scary as the excitement of beginning or finishing an assignment. With the latter, I have my story down, I know my characters well and the setting is somewhere I’d like to spend the next month without a cell phone or Blackberry. However, that in-between position is a problem. It gives me too many options that take me nowhere, except to the flowerbeds to weed, or maybe the upstairs closet to fill that bag for Value Village. Feelings of regret that I can’t get going again, or fear that I’ll have nothing to write, or worse yet that the birthday I’ve just celebrated with my family, including my great grandchildren, tells me I’m tired of writing. Maybe I should just climb into our RV, turn on the engine and say, “Go West, old man, go West . . . and take me with you.”

Some of you who read this will say, Been there, done that. Either some of you will still be there or you will have taken a right turn and come full circle back to respond to your call of writing. Call is something that doesn’t go fishing, or hide in excuses or dismissals. Call is a gift. A fisherman became a disciple, a seller of purple cloth became a church leader, a Tax Collector became an author, a wife became a judge. They were someone else and they became something different—because of their call.

Writers in the between position have only to wait until the moment. Perhaps the key is using everything you do, see or feel in the in-between to reflect upon later. Then you will begin to think and dream and ask those funny questions of why, when and where. Pick up your pencil to write, boot up your computer, knuckle down because it’s going to be hard work to response to your call and give words new life.

Like a new baby that can’t do everything he or she will be able to do when mature, the new writing project goes through growing stages as well. Each time you pick it up and nurture it, it becomes a little more independent and takes on a life of its own. Until it is developed, enough to stand alone with out your help, and speak its voice to the world, it needs you.

Then you are back in the between position again. But, now you’re practiced at letting go and beginning again with the knowledge that your call will continue to draw you out to give birth to something new. Behold I make all things new, even those old dusty manuscripts in the back of the closet.

Keep in touch: www.homestead.com/the_meadows/mann.html
Take Time to Make Memories: a life time of living
WinterGrief: a personal response to loss
Aggie's Storm: the story of child who grew up to be the first woman elected to Canadian parliament.

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