Articles from the Write to Done- Unmissable Articles on Writing blog typically capture my attention and hold my respect. Besides being poignant for the blogging world, these articles are succinct and sensible.
Today’s post, Know Thyself. 7 Truths About Writers, was guest written by Joanna Penn from The Creative Penn, one of the Top 10 Blogs for Writers. The title caused me to rewind my speed-read-and-heed habit. These facts hit home. If we don’t know them, we’ll waste a lot of time figuring out where we fit.
Joanna succinctly describes the following seven facts about us, at this link:
1. We are loners
2. We want recognition
3. We are scared and doubt ourselves
4. We are deeply creative but sometimes forget this
5. We know execution matters
6. We are always improving
7 . We know there are dark places within
With reference to #4, Joanna writes, “Although we may spend years in the wilderness, we can resurrect that creativity.” I empathized with her description of her business life. I spent many years in the wilderness with two careers in the financial world. In each one, I grasped every opportunity to honour my creative cry to write.
Today, when anyone asks what I do, I say, “I am a writer.” There is no stumbling or uneasiness. I am a writer.
While still pausing over my creativity, thanks to Joanna’s article, imagine my delight to find I’d been given an award:
Serendipity or synchronicity? Does it matter?
Arindam, a young man in India who blogs at Being Arindam, hosted an Awards Night – complete with various cultural presentations that translated into a delightful taste of India; not to mention a few tears. True to his nature, he presented awards to so many of us from his bloghood that I cannot imagine anyone was left out.
Many thanks, Arindam. Your kindness is a complete surprise. I will now have to live up to it. When I don’t, may I blame the spelling of Kreativ? Don’t tell me the origin just yet!
As you requested, my generous friend, “Seven Facts about Myself”:
1. I am a storyteller. I may be more of an essayist than anything – I’m still discovering my springboard. I am generally not a fan of short stories, but if they have something to teach me, I devour them. For example, one of our #1 Bestsellers in Canada, is an anthology of Canadian women writers, “Dropped Threads – What We Aren’t Told”. My passion for my country’s history as told through lives of women older and younger than me meant I read through tears. These women have pushed beyond the fallacies and hypocritical nuances laid on women writers – often by other women. They learned how to be true to themselves. However, they had to discover what they didn’t know.
2. I lived a major part of my growing up years believing that my rural background put me in a position of not knowing all sorts of social subtleties that urban kids were automatically prepped with. When we moved to a small city at the beginning of high school, I was amazed at the behaviour of my city counterparts. I found them immature and silly. I befriended students who were three or four years older than me. It helped that I looked 21 when I was 16. Today, I hope to be mistaken in the other direction.
When, at 19, I dressed for my first dinner aboard the Carmainia of the Cunard Line, I was placed at a table of strangers. I looked at the setting of silverware and quickly thanked my father. Though a farmer and road builder, as a young man he’d boarded with British people who dined each day with the silverware properly placed. I noticed I was the only one who confidently reached for appropriate cutlery.
3. I taught myself to play two instruments. At age 8, while waiting for my mother to finish work as a teacher, I’d plunk out tunes on the piano in the room next to my mother’s classroom. I’m not sure how she tolerated the noise. Eventually, I played a rousing rendition of “God Save the Queen”. I ended my piano career years later with “Cryin’ Time”. I quit because I could neither sound like Barbra Streisand nor Ray Charles:
(I tried many ways to embed this video. Please excuse yet another link.)
Post piano, someone handed me a guitar and told me I could keep it. I bought a book, learned “The Streets of Laredo” and moved immediately into Spanish Flemenco. There was no need to follow notes when intricate finger work and hard strumming created visions of Jose Feliciano. I decided the poor instrument surely needed tuning. I took it into a guitar shop. The gentleman showed me an old crack in the neck of the guitar. “It’s been there for some time. You can’t tune a cracked guitar.” I haven’t the heart to listen to The Streets of Laredo on a tuned guitar.
I still play “Cryin’ Time” any time I am alone with a piano.
#4. I handed in my cell phone when I retired. I have not purchased one for myself. I thought I wouldn’t need one. However, my friends use the text feature rather than the phone. When texts were sent about the recent death of a friend’s mother, I was not contacted and had to hunt down the information. I need to make a decision since I want to keep up with the technology of communication.
#5. My close friends still have a tendency to read my blog and feel they’ve had a visit with me. I have to remind them I that I need a visit with them.
#6. I am an activist. This surprises me. However, I now have time to do homework, research and listen to interviews. At times I bang on a diverse number of doors, but the thread is single. I find injustice impossible to swallow, accept or leave alone. I don’t know if I really have any power, but I belong to Avaaz who has submitted numerous petitions of impact. With 10 million members from all over the world, we have had remarkable degrees of success.
#7. I am an old soul. I have an innate understanding of humans, animals and flora because every part of life has touched mine. I have spent many years observing life while meeting various obligations. Although an extrovert, I’ve been quiet most of my life about matters of import. I am no longer quiet. My gathering is done. It’s time to speak.
Although I’m asked to choose 5 – 10 blogs to honour, when I think of all the blogs I read, every one qualifies as being “Kreativ”. Like so much of life, it’s only a matter of degrees.