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The other night before feeding Cassie her dinner I made her run through a bunch of training routines. We are working on long stays with me out of sight. After about 10 minutes of working on stays I went through some of her tricks . . . roll over, take a nap, peek-a-boo and my favorite, tell me a secret.

She was hungry, really wanting her dinner, but I knew that to reinforce the idea that nothing in life is free, I needed to make her work for her food. Because I had done so much with training before feeding her I decided not to use the Buster cube. I filled her bowl with all the food at once and walked away.

It was completely quiet. So quiet that it took me a minute to realize that I was not hearing the sound of a hungry dog eating her dinner. I was not hearing the chomp, chomp, chomp of kibble between her teeth. I was hearing, well, the sound of waiting.

I turned around and looked at her. She was looking at me. Intently. Focus, they call it. And I realized what had happened. I had forgotten to release her, to give her permission to eat. My poor hungry dog was watching me, giant streams of drool starting to fall from her mouth as she waited for me to tell her okay, go ahead and have your dinner, you earned it. Of course as soon as I realized what I had done I released her and she broke focus and began to eat as though this was just another step in her training. Which I suppose, it was.

You know where I'm going with this, don't you? Are you waiting for someone to give you permission to write? Are you waiting for someone to release you so that you can tell the stories only you can tell?

Don't.

Don't wait. Don't believe you need permission from anyone to write. Don't believe you need to wait until someone moves away or dies or in some way, real or imagined, gives you permission to write.

If you really feel like you need permission from someone to write, let me know. I'll send you a personally crafted permission slip so you can release yourself to tell the stories you are meant to write. I mean it.

Writing is hard enough. Why make it any tougher on ourselves?

 

There are so many stories only you can tell.Tell them, please.



Comments

( 22 comments — Leave comment )
(Anonymous)
June 3rd, 2009 09:35 am (UTC)
yes!
I've been enjoying all your posts through subscription, but tonight had to come by and say I know you're right.

I don't know why I'm writing blog posts instead of working on my fiction, working on my submissions and queries ... but I am. When I read you were stalled the other day, I experienced such a fellow-feeling. But it didn't actually result in BIC work on fiction.

So please send me the permission slip. I guess I need it.

Book Chook http://thebookchook.blogspot.com
susanwrites
June 4th, 2009 04:59 pm (UTC)
Re: yes!
Send me an email address and I'll send you a permission slip.

Thanks for stopping by to share your thoughts. I have the same problem, obviously, as I can read what is going on with other people, even read their solutions, nod my head, and then proceed to NOT write for several more hours or days.
patesden
June 3rd, 2009 11:22 am (UTC)
I've got my permission slip, though it took me years to find it. It says I don't have to write lofty stories--that I can write about dragons and other fantastic things simply because that's what I want to do!

LOL--your dog is soooo much more motivated than mine. My girl does one trick well. She loves to "chill" --which means lay on the sofa between short trips to lounge in the sunny yard.
susanwrites
June 4th, 2009 05:00 pm (UTC)
Good for you finding your permission slip. It's hard work but once you have it, it is so freeing!

I am having such fun working with Cassie because she wants to work...and she's so food motivated it is easy. My last dog just wanted to be left alone.
artistq
June 3rd, 2009 12:37 pm (UTC)
I don't know Susan. These posts are so brilliant, I am very,k very sure they are a manuscript!
amygreenfield
June 3rd, 2009 07:20 pm (UTC)
I agree!
susanwrites
June 4th, 2009 05:01 pm (UTC)
Thank you both for the support. I've queried one place and had a no thanks. Trying to figure out some other markets for this type of book. If you have any ideas, I'm all ears.
kellyrfineman
June 3rd, 2009 01:36 pm (UTC)
"I was hearing the sound of waiting." What a great line!
susanwrites
June 4th, 2009 05:02 pm (UTC)
Thanks Kelly. :)
patty1943
June 3rd, 2009 03:12 pm (UTC)
I think I need to give myself permission to write, especially to write something that is fun. I have one published book, Recovering from the War (Viking'Penguin 1990 and Patience Press 1998) which helpful to veterans and their families, and I have written pamphlets and 2 self-published kids books about PTSD and seven years of a newsletter for trauma survivors.
Now I want to write YA fantasy/SF etc, but I never actually sit down and do it.
Maybe I do need a permission slip.
susanwrites
June 4th, 2009 05:03 pm (UTC)
Patty, yes, you need to give yourself permission to write some things that make your happy. You don't have to please anyone but yourself...joy in the process. Give yourself credit for you have accomplished and then let yourself fly free.

Send me an email address and I'll send you a permission slip.
amygreenfield
June 3rd, 2009 07:20 pm (UTC)
Taking this to heart, Susan. Thank you.
susanwrites
June 4th, 2009 05:03 pm (UTC)
You're very welcome/
lcovella
June 3rd, 2009 09:24 pm (UTC)
Permission and BIC!
susanwrites
June 4th, 2009 05:08 pm (UTC)
Yes, Linda, that's the other important piece, BIC.
(Deleted comment)
susanwrites
June 4th, 2009 05:09 pm (UTC)
So very true, Jenn.
sealy38
June 4th, 2009 03:19 am (UTC)
So I don't have to have permission to write? What a freeing bit of information, Susan. How about my kibble? Wait? Don't wait?

Thanks for the great post. Enjoyed it a lot and as always enjoyed your tying in Cassie Wonder Dog.

Lee
susanwrites
June 4th, 2009 05:11 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much, Lee.

It took me a long time to realize I didn't need permission to write and even now, sometimes, I forget it.
(Anonymous)
June 4th, 2009 05:09 am (UTC)
Permission
Hi Susan,
I seem to always wait until I think it is OK after I have taken care of everyone and everything else. You are so right. There is no reason to wait on someone or something.

Carma
(Deleted comment)
susanwrites
June 4th, 2009 05:58 pm (UTC)
Thanks Melodye, for the kind words and the support.

I've queried one place on the idea of a manuscript and had a no. Trying to think of some other potential markets for it.
( 22 comments — Leave comment )
WHO AM I?



Who am I?I was born on the Cancer/Leo cusp and share a birthday with Ernest Hemingway and Robin Williams. The similarities don't stop there as I can go from depressed to ecstatic without ever passing go. I feel scared most of the time though my friends call me brave and I find it easier to believe in my friends than to believe in my own abilities to make what I want out of my life.

Who am I? A wife, a mother, a daughter, and even, gulp, a grandmother.

Who am I? A writer who never gets tired of playing with words, even when the words are hard to find. A writer of books for children and articles for grown-ups and many things in-between.

Who am I? A motivational speaker, writing instructor, workshop leader and full-time follower of dreams.

Who am I? Read and find out.






Susan Taylor Brown

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"Successful writers are not the ones who write the best sentences. They are the ones who keep writing. They are the ones who discover what is most important and strangest and most pleasurable in themselves, and keep believing in the value of their work, despite the difficulties."
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"Writers write about what obsesses them. You draw those cards. I lost my mother when I was 14. My daughter died at the age of 6. I lost my faith as a Catholic. When I'm writing, the darkness is always there. I go where the pain is."
--Anne Rice

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