I can feel it in my bones. This is the year of discovery — if not discovery of my work by my future fabulous agent and editor, then the self-discovery of broader writing interests and new ways to stretch my wings.
It’s not hard to imagine exploring new genres, writing articles, short stories, pithy comments, op-eds, or any number of other possibilities in the writing world. My slate is blank. My mind is open. If what I am is a writer, it should make no difference what I write. The point is to feel it in my bones, to find new ways of expression that are uniquely mine.
I remember one day calling my friend to tell her that I had discovered not simply my purpose in life, but rather, I had discovered who I was. I told my friend I was a writer. I totally ruined her day! In fact, I ruined her month. It seemed she was then compelled to figure out what she was. As of this date, I think she’s still trying to figure that out.
I suppose self knowledge of what we are is half the game. When I realized, with uncertainty, that I was born to be a writer, it didn’t mean that I knew how to write. It only meant that I had a course. A direction. Perhaps, a foghorn in my ear to keep me off those rocky writing shoals. Once I knew what I was supposed to be, the rest is, as they say, practice, practice, practice.
My good and faithful husband has a great saying about practice. He says, “Just because you practice, it doesn’t make you perfect. Perfect practice makes one perfect.” Of course, he’s talking about golf, but the same concept applies to writing. And so I now find myself daily, with my nice wrist-saving Dragon headphone bobbing in front of my mouth, practicing dictating out loud, adding punctuation as I speak, perfecting a new skill. Writing is writing, whether I speak it or type it. It would be much nicer if my hands were involved in this lovely practice. This perfect practice. Nevertheless, I am practicing. And where better to perform all this practice but in my blog, which is seldom viewed, but nevertheless a wondrous work of art.
For 2008, I’ll be working my perfect practice on my third novel, (this time with my good and faithful Dragon added to my daily Latte/Chardonnay regimen). I’ll spend some quality time writing short stories, articles, and pithy comments that may facilitate the discovery of who I am. In the meantime, my future fabulous agent and editor will surely be working on producing my most recent manuscript, All the Dancing Birds. Oh, I’ll also send out more query letters. In fact, I’ll send out as many as it takes. How else will my future fabulous agent and editor find me?
Being a writer means being a patient person. So says Anne Mini (see www.annemini.com. 12/31/07). I concur. But being patient doesn’t mean being idle. Now is the time for that perfect practice that just may help me hit that Tiger Woods long ball within the writing world. In fact, may we all find just the correct writing stroke we need to hit our hole in one to win the game.
All my best,