Sunday, January 24, 2010

On Fire

I apologize for taking so long to get back to you - I've thought about writing every day. Really.

Before I post anything else, I have to go back to my last post about writing. Specifically the part where I said, "We are on fire!" Because what I mean here is not that I get up every morning on fire to go to my desk and write fabulous short stories. This is absolutely not true. In fact, I would say, after being with all those writers at the workshop, that sitting down at the place where we write takes a great deal of willpower. Because, you see, we want to write, we are on fire with ideas, but we find all kinds of excuses to keep us from putting the ideas on paper.

One of the books that writer Peggy Payne mentioned in her blog and in the workshop is The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. On our way to the beach and home again this weekend, I read this little gem out loud so my husband could enjoy it too. I want to urge every artist, writer, dreamer, idea person, every person who wants to do a thing in the worst way, to buy this book and read it.

What I like about the book is the way it pegs the resistance that we throw in the face of achieving our potential, and the way it defines those who will succeed in overcoming resistance ("professionals") versus those who won't ("amateurs"). This part is great. But my favorite idea in the book is that I am a vessel of my talent, that there is a muse or angel or Someone who has my back as I pursue my talent, and that I have been put on this earth to fully realize my artistic best.

After participating in the workshop and reading the Pressfield book, I feel reassured that I am doing some things right. And I am on fire with stories and characters and plots. I just need to look Resistance in the face, spit in his eye, and put my hands on the keyboard. I've got what it takes.


Peggy Payne said...

You sure do have what it takes, Mamie.

mamie said...

Thank you, Peggy, for the compliment and the book recommendation.

My friends will thank you also because I have a new book to talk about. I've just about driven them crazy asking them to read The Hunger Games and Catching Fire!!