I’m continuing to join in with Kate Motaung’s online discussion group On Being a Writer, which is based on Ann Kroeker and Charity Singleton Craig’s book On being a writer: 12 simple steps for a writing life that lasts.
Today’s prompt is engage, and asks us to think about how we can engage with other writers to support/encourage us in our own work and how we can support and encourage other writers with their writing.
As with many of these prompts, I found this a very difficult one to reflect upon and to write about.
I’m as guilty as the next person of hiding my light under a bushel and complaining (inwardly) about my circumstances which I feel don’t allow me to flourish.
But, you know, conditions are never going to be optimum. I’m probably never going to feel 100% confident about myself and my writing abilities. The time is ripe now to just get on with it.
It’s a case of striking a balance between the regrets I’ll feel if I don’t do ‘this’ and the intimidation/fear I experience when I think about taking the bull by the horns and just getting on with it.
The balance is slowly but surely tipping over to ‘won’t be able to live with myself if I don’t do this’.
Every day I live owning and inhabiting this frame of mind, I seem to get that little bit more confident, the internal pep talks get that little bit more convincing.
Clearly it’s time.
When my mind starts to wander, to drift from the steadfast path of ‘Just do it, Helen‘, I wonder what an ideal place for flourishing would look like…
I envisage artist’s dates (thanks, Gabriele for the idea)…where you take yourself off somewhere that stimulates your creativity and have an artist date with yourself. A purposeful space to take time out to think, to get creative, to get back in touch with you the artist.
I often find myself thinking how amazing it would be if we all had our own personal cheerleader (be it a mentor, friend or family member), who kept us positive and mindful of our goals? It’d be so much easier to keep our dreams in mind, and that way, to slowly but surely complete the goals that will enable us to attain those dreams. [After all sometimes it is the accountability that’s lacking, unfortunately].
I dream of a small, friendly, community of like-minded women, open to critique(ing) gently and constructively, a little vital support group. Each with the same dreams, each with unique talents, each open to helping, nourishing, nurturing each other.
How does this all work in practice? I don’t know. I do know that I need this, need this outside support (however much I try to tell myself I’m an island and don’t need it).
I also know that I really enjoy and very much miss not being able to interact with other like-minded people because I enjoy being able to contribute positively to other people’s lives. Making a difference, in whatever small a way that might be. [Realising that, sometimes, actually, the smallest gestures can be the most important].
Joining in with On Being a Writer and connecting with other bloggers (via On Being and those who so kindly visit my blog)….it’s been a wonderful, wonderful time, a time for deep reflection….a time for me to realise, again, the fundamental need we have for community and connection and the great power of finding your tribe.
Thank you all,
[P.S. Bear with me as I ‘tweak’ the look of I Will Bloom; I’m aware that the font size is way too small in this template!]