March 2017 IWSG : Keep Working

Good morning! Welcome to the March edition of the Insecure Writer's Support Group. If you are unfamiliar with our gathering, or if you'd simply like to peruse the list of fantastic writers, click HERE and you'll be taken to the site and the sign up list. And while you're there, you might as well sign up and join us! You'll be so glad you did.

We are a group of writers who gather once a month to offer our insecurities to the writing world and/or offer support to those in need. We're all in this together. It makes the writing life a little less lonely when you know there are 230+ other writers experiencing the same highs and lows as you are. You really aren't alone :0).

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There have been two months this year. We tentatively step into number three. Some of you have already faced battles and great joys. Chronic illness fluctuates and I go from mountain top to valley in a matter of moments.

I subscribe to Poets and Writer's Magazine. It consistently inspires me and pushes me to be a better writer. I find prose and poetry that challenges who I am as a writer as well as what I'm doing, what I'm creating. Even in the midst of communing with the couch cushions I have been able to dig deep and think about what I'm doing and why.

The January/February issue is their annual Inspiration issue and this year's is filled with beautiful things, things that make me realize my short comings but that push me toward that distant apex of "the best I can be". It's still a long way off but I'm moving towards it every day. What really spoke to me was their annual look at debut poets. It wasn't so much the entire feature but what one poet in particular said in answer to a question about writing advice.

"Keep working," poet Ari Banias writes. "Follow the shape of your mind's particulars (its rhythms, its oddities) like a bloodhound, and take the poems [or narrative] as far as you possibly can, so that they (the words, the stories) are utterly yours, so that you're writing in that singular way that singular thing no one but you can write. Each time." (words in parenthesis, mine)

Oh my.

Take the narrative as far as you possibly can.

I started asking myself what this means. How can I take my words, my work, as far as I possibly can? I cannot unless I open myself up to the words, the story, and let it take me as far as it can possibly go. It's not up to me to take the story. It's up to me to listen, to stop trying to write a novel and start letting the story seep through my arms, fill up my blood and bones and pour through fingers to keyboard and page. Our soul's work can be seen in black and white.

That is truly amazing. It is the miracle of the call of the writer.

I encourage you today, Dear Reader, to let your story take you as far as it possibly can. Let the words be utterly and completely yours. Don't falter. Don't try to be what someone wants you to be. It doesn't matter if dear Aunt Essie is going to hate it. I doesn't matter if your mother doesn't get it. You have to let the story tell itself through you. Get out of the way. You can edit later.

But for now, right now, let the narrative carry you.

xo,


Comments

  1. Great inspiration! Definitely something to getting out of the way of the story.

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    1. Thank you! It's necessary but hard, hard to do!

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  2. If I'm ever to write anything again that's what I'm going to have to do.

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    1. It's what I have to do with every edit. I have a longer manuscript that I've been working on for a while now and each time I go to work on it, I realize I'm all over it! I need to take several big, steps back and let the story do the telling.

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  3. That is wonderful advice and terrific inspiration! :)

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  4. We tend to stop just shy of going too far, like we are afraid to jump over that imaginary line. Very inspiring advice.

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    1. Indeed. Right now, I'm trying to find out the best way to get out of my way so that my novel can be born. That line may be imaginary but it holds such a powerful weight!

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  5. Digging deep is where the gold is. I need to do more of this. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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  6. I love it. Too often we get caught up in the mechanics and forget the magic behind the work. It's time to let the joy shine through, eh?

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  7. Such inspirational words to keep pushing ourselves further and further.

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    1. Thank you so much! I find that I can only grow as a writer if I'm willing to push deeper and deeper into the soil of my story.

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  8. Inspiration is always welcome. Thank you.

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  9. Great words. Comforting and encouraging. Happy writing!

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    1. Thank you so much, Mary! I hope you've been well :)

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