Thursday, February 24, 2011

Writing; the teacher and dicipline I never knew I always wanted

Before I discovered writing, (my muse birthed two and a half years ago, she's fully walking and talking and soooo cute! I just want to pinch her cheeks!) I would not say that I was a disciplined person, I was organized and did my stay-at-home mommy duties because I loved it. I've tried a myriad of things that would, from the outside (I suppose) look like I was really enjoying my life. And I was, there is nothing greater than seeing your babes grow into the people you know they can be and knowing that you have helped them do it, but I lacked that human drive that many with passions always spoke about and is never understood until you are stricken with your passion.

When I started my Novel, I knew that it wasn't going to be ready for a loooooooong time, and usually my fire for something would fade. It never did with writing. Writing gave me the discipline I had been looking for. It taught me that nothing comes out perfect the first time and with a little blood, sweat and tears (cliche, but give me one, we all know it's true :P) any of us could create something we are proud of.

I never knew I was searching for this, to be honest. I thought "I clean my house, take care of my kids, play with them, make dinners, set up play dates, work two days a week, pay the bills, mow the lawn...etc...I have the discipline I need to continue on in my life as a happy-ish person." But I never saw things completely clearly until Mackenzie sprinkled her magic dust over my brain and my heart. And this, my friends is not only something that can help in writing, but it also helped me with every day life.

So here is what writing has taught me;

Nothing comes out pretty the first time. No idea, no story, no piece of artwork, no exercise regimen. The bones are just that, bones. It is up to us to add the muscle, tendons, hair, eyes, teeth, the rhythm we want the heart to beat on.

Hard work is literally ripping your heart open, squishing out the juices of labor and creating something that has a spark of what we are trying for. Only with hard work are we able to get to where we want to go.

I have met those who have just started writing, just became brave enough to put themselves out there, I started in the same place. I have met those with phenomenal talent already published and well on the track to greatness the only thing that separates us? Time, hard work, and experience. There is nothing greater than watching the journey of others, while going through it as well.

Anything you want is possible. You just have to figure out your plan and go for it. Find what works for you (or me) and then, even if you have the bumps and bruises that life will always offer up with it's fists, nothing can stop ya.

Calmness. (Despite the nerve wrecking "What if I'm not good enough?" necrosis that all writers bare -- and is fleeting.) Knowing that something will come into bloom after you dust the petals off, peel them back one by one, until you reach the center, the shined and pretty little package we have been working so hard for. It will always come, if we are patient.

Confidence, I had a fake kind of confidence before I was writing, I didn't have anything that was mine, that I could say "This is who I am. This isn't going to go away and it will only get better with time." It took me a while, several rejections, many many many mistakes until finding the right formula for me to truly come into myself. To look at my skin and say "Hey, I like what is underneath, and I am not afraid to show it to others."

Fear, is nothing but a fog of fluff, you can run your hand through it, watch it disintegrate before your very eyes. It is our own minds that make it larger than life, it is the strength of our own minds that can squash it underneath our boots.

Complaints and frustration only bring you down. Problems are always fixable, even in the fiction world that has come to your head, there is always another way. Always ('cept if a cartoon Coyote throws a stick of dynamite in your lap and you can't get rid of it fast enough. But if a cartoon has beef with you...well....)

Grammar is not as scary as it seems. I have run across so many writers who say the same thing (myself included) "I don't know grammar." Yes. We do. And if you really don't think you know grammar, then learn. It's not hard or as hard as we make it out to be.

Okay. I tend to be wordy so I will cut it off here, but this is not nearly everything that I have learned from writing. Not even close.

Happy writing peeps!! Have a great day! (Oh, and I got a poem accepted!! More info to follow)


Aaron Polson said...

I've learned much about writing in the past five years, and most of it I've been able to transfer to my classroom. It's like double-coupon day!

Alan W. Davidson said...

There were some really good points there, Kara.

"Nothing comes out pretty the first time. No idea, no story, no piece of artwork, no exercise regimen. The bones are just that, bones. It is up to us to add the muscle, tendons, hair, eyes, teeth, the rhythm we want the heart to beat on."

Now that was a fine piece of writing...

Bea Sempere said...

Nice post, Kara and it made me think about writing. The one thing I've learned about it is it isolated me from others. Not that it's a bad thing, but I realized I didn't have much in common with those around me. Writing can be a lonely time for me...and it can also produce some of my happiest moments.

P.S. Thanks for the BLB referral. They accepted a few of my poems. ;)

Kara McElhinny said...

Aaron, i think that is so awesome! It's a great feeling (for me at least) to take things from one aspect and incorporate them into another part :)

Thanks, Alan!

Bea, I've always been a solitary person, so when I started writing it didn't phase me ( much) about people. Writing can be a lonely time, and you said it wonderfully, lady! Congrats on the publishments!! Me Too!! (our poems will be in the same antho together, how cool is that? :D)

Bec said...

I enjoyed reading that, Kara. And congrats on the poetry acceptance! :)

Kara McElhinny said...

Thanks for reading, Bec, I'm glad you enjoyed that Bec!! Hope you're doing well!

Diane Dooley said...

I want a muse! Where do I get one? On E-bay? How come some writers have 'em, but I don't? Snot fair.

Congrats on the acceptance, Kara!

Kara McElhinny said...

LOL! Sorry, Diane mine was birthed from a little seedling in my head. I don't know where she came from but once I fed her she wouldn't go away!

hope you're well!

Cate Gardner said...

Excellent post, Kara. My first drafts are ugly beasts.

Danielle Ferries said...

Hi Kara, I've found you through Aaron, Cate and Alan's blogs and thought I'd drop a line. A great blog post - it's certainly given me a kick in the pants :) I'm dragging my heels with editing these last few days as my first draft was indeed a shocker but it's slowly coming to life.

Kara McElhinny said...

Thanks, Cate!

Welcome Danielle!! Don't worry, we all have days like that, where we are sluggish and such. It just means something brilliant is percolating in your brain, takes a little extra time to come to fruition :D