Wednesday, June 12, 2013

You can run, but you can't hide from her.

When you know deep inside that you are a writer, you may try to avoid Writing or run away from her. You may procrastinate, but you get back to her. You can't help yourself; you can't hide from Writing.

I am completing a master's degree course in creative writing where I presented a portfolio of pieces developed over 11 months in the program.  My shining thesis project was a 90-page live action film script. I'm pleased with it, and it received a 96 from my instructor. Not bad. But we both know that I still have work to do.  Three weeks later, I haven't looked at it again.  I keep telling myself that I need a good break from it in order to return for another revision.  I haven't looked at it again. I've written some notes down, but I haven't opened that file.  It worries me a little.

I have a self-help book that has been in the works for...well, a long time.  It needs my attention, as do my several children's books and my newest literary baby, a pilot for a children's animated TV series. I love these works. I want to see them finished and sent out to the world.

I also want a break from Writing. These pieces are like demanding children who cry, never-ending, for my energy. Writing can wear you out like nothing else. I love her, and I hate her. Unlike human children, Writing will wait until I return. She knows that I will - I hear her siren call and smile. That is how our love affaire works.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Arrgh - how do you define a style that says "Tess"?

I could not believe how hard it was to sit down and find designs and styles and colors that would help define me and help me stand out.  I need to brand myself - so says the books, the experts, and my publisher.

What happens when I can't define a style on the outside that defines who I am on the inside?  I can tell you that it makes me crazy wondering what I'm going to present to the world. Don't I  already make those decisions every day when I walk out the door or write something that will be read by others anyway?

It really shouldn't be such a hard decision: colors, templates, and a design to represent me. It was.

But when I stumbled upon a background with Buddha, only half his face in quiet repose, I realized that this was who I was on the inside.  At least that is who I try to remember, along with my Christian faith. Buddha has the words that help me calm and center myself in order to find my way.

So, as a writer, I'll always go back to the inner me. I'll tell you upfront that it doesn't mean I write in one medium or genre.  I like to try new things, stretch myself, take on something I've never thought of or tried.  Part of this comes from hating to be defined, and part of that comes from the desire to model courage and vulnerability to my writing students.

I am completely cognizant of the blessing of living right here and now where I can publish to the Internet, have access to great education and mentors, send work into publishers of my choosing, and see my words in places that writers in generations before me never dreamed. I've already had something I wrote in a moment of passion on a discussion board become one of those inspirational emails that gets passed around for years, luckily it was a good post.  I can't find the original post, but the email that I saw recently, 10 years after the original, was pretty close. (I'll write more on that another's worthy of an entire post on its own.)

When I get into a whirlwind of chaos trying to fly in new directions, I'll come back to the picture here of Buddha to calm my feathers, settle down, and aim at the horizon again.