The follow up to My Value as a Creative is written, edited, photo-ed (you know, the photos carefully thought out and placed) and ready to go. I promised it was next, because indeed it was. Queued up and set to publish. Hours of work and "go forth and conquer Renee" ideas to tell you about.
Oh no... I didn't lose it. It's still safely here at FIMBY, hiding in unpublished. Worse than losing the post, I lost my moorings. Or rather, we lost our moorings.
From the time we moved last spring, actually before we moved, Damien and I have been talking about what project we might do together - creatively and professionally. He's my best friend and so much of me is wrapped up in him. We're partners in life, not just in bed and raising our children.
FIMBY is very much my perspective on family life (& everything else) and we want to collaborate on something. Because I think together, we're pretty awesome. I mean it.
Damien and I have a good thing going here (I just reached the half way point in my life - I have known Damien as many years as I didn't before meeting him) and we want to mentor, encourage, teach, support and inspire other families. We had an idea, our third (or fourth?) one to date. We were working on it, we were talking launch dates.
The infrastructure was being built, that was Damien's department. The writing, out of the starting gate, that was my department. And that's where things broke down.
I just couldn't unleash all that stuff I've been wanting to share - I have a vision bigger than FIMBY and I've been trying to find an avenue for that. So I went to Damien yesterday morning and said "I'm having a serious writing block because I'm not exactly sure what our vision is for this project and who our audience is". Oh, oh. That's serious.
There followed tears. Lots of tears. Mine, not Damien's.
Insecurity. In heaps. Mine, not Damien's.
The mounting frustration that I will never publish that book of notes I've been keeping for the last year.
And so, in one mid morning conversation and another after supper, my game plan, as I planned to publish in a follow up post to My Value as a Creative, is no longer the game plan. Better to come to this conclusion sooner than later.
I can't exactly publish that post as it is. Because I'm back to the drawing board with the whole thing. Rethinking "The Collaboration" and the projects I'm moved forward with at FIMBY (they're very related).
Sucky does not quite adequately describe how I feel about it all.
We have some soul searching to do again (thank goodnesss not about relationship stuff but how to bring the best we each have to offer to a collaborative project). Tearing down to build up.
Let's hope it's a Phoenix that rises from the ashes and not just a pile of rubble.
So, instead of that promised follow up post I want to share some writing quotes.
For my birthday last December, my mother - a writer herself - gave me the books Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life and A Circle of Quiet. Both requested by me.
These books are coming at a perfect time in my life - as I grow into my own as a writer and figure out how this looks in my life as mother, homemaker, and homeschooler. And also figure out how the heck I'm going to earn a bit of income from this craft!
I'm going to share the words of Madeleine L'Engle from A Circle of Quiet. I'll let her writing speak for itself (ie: no commentary). Her words resonate with me so deeply that reading them is like getting a peek into my writing soul. When worded that way I feel I should maybe cover up or something.
Bold text is my emphasis.
If a writer says he doesn't care whether he is published or not, I don't believe him. I care. Undoubtedly I care too much. But we do not write for ourselves alone. I write about what concerns me, and I want to share my concerns. I want what I write to be read.
It's easy to say you're a writer when things are going well. When the decision is made in the abyss, then it is quite clear that it is not one's own decision at all.
... and my only hope was not to try to be an expert but to offer them myself...
We each have to say it, to say it our own way. Not of our own will, but as it comes out through us. Good or bad, great or little: that isn't what human creation is about. It is that we have to try; to put it down in pigment, in words, or musical notations, or we die.
I made the mistake of thinking that I "ought" not to write because I wasn't making money, and therefore in the eyes of many people around me I had no business to spend hours every day at the typewriter. I felt a failure not only because my books weren't being published but because I couldn't emulate our neighboring New England housewives. I was looking in the wrong mirrors.
I think that all artists, regardless of degree of talent, are a painful, paradoxical combination of certainty and uncertainty, of arrogance and humility, constantly in need of reassurance, and yet with a stubborn streak of faith in their validity, no matter what.
But it's one thing to talk consciously about giving oneself away and another to do it, for it must be done completely unselfconsciously; it is not a do-it-yourself activity.
Those of us who write are responsible for the effect of our books. Those who teach, who suggest books to either children or adults, are responsible for their choices. Like it or not, we either add to the darkness of indifference and out-an-out evil which surround us or we light a candle to see by.
Inspiration does not always precede the act of writing; it often follows it.
And with that, I am back to the drawing board.