Arthur O’Shaughnessy put it interestingly:
We are the music makers
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers
And sitting by desolate streams; –
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world forever, it seems
I am not sure that I would call myself a ‘Mover and shaker’ so much as an observer and reporter and ‘what if’ er. I watch the world move past me, I catch glints of thoughts and I find the stories. And I tell them. I can’t help it: it is what I love to do, and I can no more not weave stories than I can stop breathing.
Everyone has something singular about him- or herself. We are not all built the same, but we all have something that touches us, that makes us shine, that brings us to action. Perhaps the hardest part (for me) is not to share this quirk, if you will. It is rather like having a gift and wanting to give it, hoping that those who receive it will enjoy it and – somehow, some way – be strengthened or refreshed by it.
|Listening to Poetry|
I remember speaking with some others like me. One fellow said that if people would only listen to him, trust him with their time, and let him entertain them, he would do it for nothing. I remember nodding. I understood him.
But then someone else spoke up and said that, well, what was the point of doing that? After all, there was ‘nothing to be gotten out of it’ that way.
I agree that no one should ever be sold short. If you are producing something that people are willing to purchase, well and good. Some things, however, go beyond buying and selling, and the pervasive ‘what’s in it for me?’ mindset troubles me. And I am encountering it more and more frequently in my own area of joy.
When will I start seeing money? What do I need to do to get more sales? Why aren’t people buying? What are the contacts that I need to start selling? Well, if people are reading this sort of work, then I guess I’ll have to write it!
I am not saying that it is wrong to sell your work. I am not saying that it is wrong to seek ways to find more exposure, to make yourself known to others, to make your offerings available to more people. There is nothing at all wrong with sharing, and there is much that is right about being paid for your hard effort, but I sense a serious disconnect or, perhaps, an area that has not been thought through.
Someone said, “If I can’t make any money, I don’t see any point in continuing.”
Is the measure of the worthwhile nature of an activity the amount that people are willing to pay for it? In that case, I know of a great many athletes who might as well take up a seat before the television set and forgo their archery practice, golfing endeavors or horseback riding because they will never win The Masters or star at the Devon Horse Show’s hunter/jumper classes. They aren’t ever going to be asked to endorse anything in exchange for money.
|What price agony?|
And what of the singers who do not sell their recordings? Singing for one’s own enjoyment or the enjoyment others is surely not pointless if others are enjoying it. Causing agony is another matter and should be addressed as it comes up.
But what of ‘the fire in the belly’ that makes me, at least, burn to bring my characters to life, to share them with others, to enjoy their antics and be touched by the things that they have done. I am at this moment about to quickly jot a scene where one character, a man with a difficult childhood who discovered the constellations in the night sky, tells another man who is despairing and somehow has fixated on the blackness of the night as a sign of his own despair, that “the stars are there – right there! – behind the clouds. Cassiopeia, The Swan, Orion – all are there, as they have always been. Trust that they are and don’t rely only on your own sight. I swear it! There is never any need for despair! I promise you– I promise you!”
No one else will read it. But I must write it. Every little bit of joy must be savored…
It is Friday again, and a time to stop and take stock of the small things we celebrate, often unknowingly. Thanks to VikLit, who had the idea for this wonderful bl0g hop, we can remind ourselves of the beautiful things in life that make our days just that much more lovely. You’re welcome to join – head on over to her blog!
Details are at the end of this post.
I have been what the French call hors de combat (out of action) for a while with a bad case of bronchitis and pneumonia. It’s clearing up, the solstice has passed (if you can survive to December 22, you can start seeing the days lengthening).
This morning I awoke to a view of a full moon hoving over the hilltop through a smoky lace veil of bare branches. I actually stepped outside (barefoot – don’t tell my mother!) to look at it.
I could feel that I was on the mend, and I’d had an idea for a twist in Book II of The Orphan’s Tale, which I am working on at the moment. A touching idea, introducing (incognito) a man who would be a major contributor to mid 1800’s Europe. To have the prison-raised hero encounter this fellow as a young man (the fellow, not the hero, who is in his mid-forties) and recognize in him a sort of wistful admirer, has me smiling.
There’s another character who appears in the trilogy (it’s shaping up to be that) and he’s always such a joy to write about:
|Larouche The Great|
He’s a street-child with a sad background, a lot of commonsense and some very good luck. He is the hero’s more-than-match. In fact, the conflict in the last volume might have been ably handled if Larouche had been given free rein.
I love writing about him.
The flow of creative juices is always a cause for celebration.
(And I am remembering that today is a Friday! I hope you all have wonderful weekends.)
Today is the first Wednesday of the month, which means it is IWSG day. The once-a-month blog hop started by Alec Cavanaugh . IWSG = Insecure Writers’ Support Group We share our insecurities and support each other with empathy, sympathy or practical suggestions. 2011 NaNoWriMoAs others have commented, it is NaNoWriMo time. That time when we are expected to crank out fifty thousand words in thirty days. If you prefer numbers, that is 50,000 words in 30 days. (It doesn’t look quite so frightening when you are looking at numerals rather than words, does it?)
Well, speaking as an insecure writer, I will say that something that we all fear has come to pass. No, nothing tremendously horrific. I just somehow, in adjusting the spacing in my post (I tend to get grumpy about spacing) I managed to delete the whole thing.
I clawed back the beginning paragraph from the preview, and I am giving a brief run-down of my post. I have learned something as an insecure writer:
If you mess up your manuscript (or blog post) you can carry on.
Here is what I said:
We are supposed to put out 50,000 words. Will they be any good? Can we write under that much pressure? This is my third time participating in NaNoWriMo, and since my big problem with writing is to just let the ideas flow and make myself Wait to edit. In otherwords, initial output does not have to be perfect.
This is a lesson I have learned.
My first NaNo (2011) is now a book called Mourningtide:
Last Year’s effort will be coming out at some point in 2014. I am currently working on a fable or fairy tale involving a rather large crocodile that comes to stay with a struggling family.
I tried an experiment where I just wrote. I turned on my laptop first thing in the morning (morning composing seems to be the time when my work seems the best) and I typed with my eyes closed. I had contemplated a scene involving the local busybody who was going to come bustling over, encounter the croc, and after some humorous histrionics go tearing out of there mouthing threats. It came out nothing like that. It was, in fact, rather moving to see where the story went and how it went. And it was all from me.
I think there comes a point where we have to admit that we do have ability, that it is there to be tapped, that we have to nurture it and not be so bossy.
It isn’t hard, is it? We see others as gifted and capable. Why is it so hard to see ourselves so.
(And, this second time around with this @#$! post, it isn’t such a bad things to let things be, is it?)