On being a writer: engage

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.

Engage1

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. 

Engage2

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.

Engage3

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.

Engage4

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, 

Helen xxx

[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!]

 

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17 thoughts on “On being a writer: engage

  1. helen, i love the pictures that go with this post. i think they describe both what happens with engagement and what has been happening to you during this series:) your spirit seems to be blooming:)

    that idea of taking time out as an artist is a great one! also, realizing that life will never be optimal for writing…or anything else for that matter, is huge to realize! used to be waiting for everything to be perfect b/f i would do all those special things i wanted to do. then i realized they would never happen. i was going to have to fit them in between everything else!

    life has its share of drudgery for sure, but the art, in whatever form, is what brings delight and joy to so much of it…as well as the joy in worship of Christ in all i do wherever i am.

    blessings girl:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • iwillbloom says:

      Hi Martha, I too thought the pictures went very well with the content (thanks!)….isn’t Gabriele’s idea of an ‘artist date’ just fab? I’m planning my first one this week and have high hopes for it! And, yes, I feel that, mentally, I’m over the hardest hurdle in that I’ve managed to develop that ‘do what you can where you are with what you have’ mentality, rather than bemoaning everything I don’t (currently) have access to. And I absolutely agree: it’s the art that brings delight and joy…as I heard Arundhati Roy say in a podcast of a discussion of her book, “You have to pursue beauty to it’s lair”…it was one of those phrases that just encapsulated so much….will look forward to reading your post later tonight. Helen xx

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  2. Gabriele says:

    My dear Helen, what a wonderful treasure you are, to me and other writers who come into your circle. You have words that make me feel special and appreciated. You are in my special online artist friend club. We look for your friendly pansy everyday.

    Liked by 1 person

    • iwillbloom says:

      Hi Gabriele, thank you…you’re too sweet and I also look forward to reading everything you post (as you know). I’m so glad I have membership of your special online artist friend club (I feel I should have a badge or something and am now remembering that sweet moment in UP when they meet and she gives him the pop bottle top on a safety pin!)….I think I might be ditching the friendly pansy for the ‘I Will Bloom’ badge you should be able to see at the side of my comment…(haven’t decided as yet but I do really like this badge with flowers!)…Helen xx

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  3. Debby says:

    Helen, I’m really liking the look of your blog. The header is perfect for your blog’s name and your photo’s add to your words. The complement each other. You are contributing positively to others lives. You do to mine as I’ve appreciated your comments as we’re going through this book discussion. I’m very comfortable in this small group here and find it nurturing. Just what I’ve needed to encourage me to bloom. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • iwillbloom says:

      Hi Debby, thanks: it’s not exactly what I want, by any means, but it’s a big improvement on how it was….(!)…thank you for your kind, kind words: I’ve definitely also felt so comfortable amongst all of you ladies and it has, as you say, been such a nurturing journey. I’ve felt very enriched by it in so many ways….Helen xx

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Joy Lenton says:

    Helen, although I’ve lacked the mental clarity, physical wherewithal or energy to follow the group reading and discussion you’re currently doing for ‘On Being a Writer’ via Kate Motaung, I can see how well it’s already shaping your thoughts as a writer. And if you’re willing, I’d love to support your work and be a part of the community you have in mind, even if it’s only in an ad hoc way. Just a thought… blessings and love. Xx ❤
    PS:I agree with the comments above. The header is lovely and the images are both arresting and apt. Great job!

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    • iwillbloom says:

      Hi Joy, yes, I definitely feel it has shaped me for the good. I’ve really no idea how such a community might work/could be set up, but I’d love for one to arise somehow! I would *love* for you to be involved…Helen xx P.S. Thanks: will reply to your email shortly – had no time to do so yesterday and am just off for a run before I have to sit at my desk for 6 hours straight 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  5. blondeusk says:

    Lovely post and fab photos.

    Like

  6. What a fabulous post Helen. You actually made me cry, but don’t worry it was in a good way! I so understand what you mean! I’ve always written since I was a child, lots of scribbles in too many notebooks, but I didn’t start my blog until around 18 months ago and even then only because of lots of encouragement from my Hubby. OMG the terror on pressing publish on that first post! I felt like the internet as a whole would scream and my post would be booted into some online dark place with a door firmly locked on it to help keep others from reading such rot 🙂 It’s such a pleasure to have found your fabulous blog, sending heaps of huggles Helen xx

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    • iwillbloom says:

      Hi Rosie…your description..?! That’s how I often feel, too (*great* description!), but I’ve kind of learnt to push through it…we have to, don’t we? All these words inside…they need to get out….! So glad I clicked through to you, too, from Blog-tember!

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  7. carlybenson says:

    I really like your new header- I think it looks great. And I love your post too- it is really thoughtful with some great insights (as usual). I have been encouraged by connecting with you through this writing discussion.

    Like

    • iwillbloom says:

      Hi Carly, I’ve most definitely been encouraged by you and the other connections we’ve all been able to make during ‘On Being’….it’s been an eye-opening, confidence-building, idea-concreting sort of few weeks, definitely!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Tara says:

    I love the new header on your blog! 🙂 Great thoughts today!

    Like

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