Tomorrow is a big day for me. I am having cataract surgery. The eye doctor tells me I’m rather young for cataract surgery – but the fact of the matter is, cataract formation is a sure sign of the aging process. All I know is that I can barely see out of my left eye, which is causing me difficulty driving and reading.
I’m not quite ready for the nursing home yet, though.
I joined a writer’s workshop at my church. The reason I joined has less to do with working on writing skills and more to do with having a bit of time for friendship and fellowship. And it’s also so that I can spend some time one-on-one with my fourteen-year-old daughter. So I didn’t have any high expectations that my writing skills would improve measurably during this eight-week workshop.
For me, the coming of a new year signals it’s time to get restarted.
You never can tell what may bring on writing inspiration. This morning I was feeling a bit off-balance and turned on the movie “How Do You Know.” Romantic comedies are not usually my first choice in movies, but since I was out of sorts and I am a huge Reese Witherspoon fan, I started watching the movie.
Toward the end of a movie was a line that I found inspiring. It came from Paul Rudd’s character George. He said:
Do you have the courage to pursue your writing dreams? When I talk about dreams, I don’t mean dabbling in writing a few articles or blog posts here or there. I mean stretching yourself to truly meet your potential as a writer.
Consider the following quote:
One of my all-time favorite lines from a movie came from Al Pacino’s character in “Scent of a Woman.”
This is how it goes:
“Now I have come to a crossroads in my life. And I have always known WITHOUT EXCEPTION which is the right path to take.”
Life is full of intersecting roads. Sometimes there are more than one or two choices. Sometimes we know for sure which path we should choose, but sometimes that sense of clarity blurs.
I am an introvert and a writer. For me, the two go hand in hand. As an introvert, I find it draining to be around other people. I’m like a battery operated piece of equipment that needs to be plugged in from time to time in order to recharge.
My best writing is done in total silence. Unfortunately, times I’m actually able to isolate as much as I want to are few and far between. Sometimes I have to write in the middle of chaos. But when I’m immersed in stimulation for too long, I become unhappy and drained.
I love writing for the internet, probably because I really love the internet itself. In fact it’s hard to fathom that not that long ago the World Wide Web didn’t even exist. In my lifetime (and maybe yours) people functioned perfectly well without computers and without cell phones perpetually attached to their ears.
Yet the advances of technology are pretty exciting. The whole world is at our fingertips at every minute. The rapid growth of the internet has opened up a ton of opportunities for writers.
Picture a blank page in front of you. It could be a stack of actual paper. It could be a computer screen.
Your mission – should you choose to accept it – is to write what only you can write.
At times, all writers suffer from the blank page blues. New writers in particular can get in the habit of talking themselves out of ever getting started with endless criticism and self-editing.