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  • January 7th, 2009 | 11:25 AM
Inside a writers a mind

I have now been away from the day job for a little over 2 months. During that time I was sick for 4 weeks. I also installed our native plant garden, front and back yard, worked more with training Cassie, finished up a bunch of work-for-hire projects, read some, worked on the budget 101 times, wrote a partial - the first 20 pages - of Flyboy for critique at an upcoming conference, and, oh yeah, did Christmas.

I felt like I was racing through each day to get to the next but with no master plan of where I really wanted to go. All of the sudden it is January and I am wondering where the time went.

Several people told me that after leaving the day job it would take a year to feel comfortable in my own skin again, a year to know where I wanted to go with my life. I didn't understand it at first but now I do. I am racing less now, trying hard to be here, be now - to enjoy the moment. But I know I am not "there" yet.

I can feel my writer brain kicking on again. That might sound odd when I know that I have actually done a fair amount of writing in the past couple of months but this is different. Last night I was going through my books on the craft of poetry and found my pulse racing once more when I pulled Wishes, Lies and Dreams and Rose, Where Did You Get That Red, both by Kenneth Koch, off the shelf. I spent a few hours looking through old manuscripts and getting excited about some of the ideas. I opened my WIP and greeted it with joy rather than worries that I didn't know what I was doing.

We are in horrible, crazy-making financial times. I haven't sold a trade book in years. I've been out of the loop so much online that I have lost a lot of the networking that I had worked so hard to build up. Many people are filled with gloom and doom about the publishing business and yet. . . 

I feel like a writer again. It is enough, for now.
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There are so many stories only you can tell.Tell them, please.


( 8 comments — Leave comment )
January 7th, 2009 08:44 pm (UTC)
I can feel my writer brain kicking on again. That might sound odd

It doesn't sound odd to me at all. During the holidays, especially with visitors (boyfriend came from the UK), my writer brain tends to get shoved to the back, worried about all the stuff "here" and "now". With him going home on Saturday, and the kids back in school from break, I can feel my own brain beginning to rev up and realise "Writing time off the port bow!" which is nice, even as I know I'll be depressed.
January 8th, 2009 12:37 am (UTC)
It's nice, isn't it, to feel that part of us come back to life?
January 7th, 2009 09:11 pm (UTC)
It took me at least a year to come to grips with being at home instead of at work (and with an autoimmune disease, no less - that took at least 3 or 4 years to get used to all on its own - I still have expectations that are too high, but feel as if they oughtn't be.
January 8th, 2009 02:18 am (UTC)
Ugh! I still haven't gotten used to the things going on with my body either. And I ALWAYS have expectations that are too high physically. It's hard too, as I am sure you know, when people can't see something that is wrong with you. They often draw the wrong conclusions.
January 7th, 2009 11:17 pm (UTC)
I think having the crit chapters due and your teaching & those two writing jobs lined up was brilliant--you didn't even have TIME to feel like you weren't going to be writing. :)
January 8th, 2009 02:19 am (UTC)
Well other than deciding at the last minute to do the crit chapters it was all accidental brilliance. LOL. But thank you.
January 11th, 2009 12:50 am (UTC)
Susan, I'm so glad you feel like a writer again. That is a lot. And we know you are. Always.
January 11th, 2009 05:16 am (UTC)
Thanks so much Jeannine.
( 8 comments — Leave comment )

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."
--Bonnie Friedman

"As writers, we must be willing to feel our sadness, our anger, our terror, so we can reach in and find our sweet vulnerability that is just sitting there waiting for us to come back home."
--Nancy Slonim Aronie

"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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