You Can’t Fix Grief

Last year I entered my local library’s Adult Creative Writing contest in the category of “Children’s Fiction.” I was awarded an Honorable Mention and the award gave me the confidence to continue to write.  At the beginning of January 2016, I set a goal to enter the contest again.  However, as the deadline of January 31st loomed large and I did not have a work of children’s fiction complete enough to enter, I began to panic a bit.  A lot. I can’t explain to you why but it felt to me that if I did not meet my goal to enter the contest, I would never meet another goal again.  Totally.over.dramatic.  With days left, I looked at the other categories I could enter and eliminating short story and poetry, I felt my best shot was the Informal Essay category.  I decided to write about grief because it is something I am intimately familiar with and knew I could get something done.  It didn’t have to be good, it just had to be done and in the mail, goal accomplished.  Long story short, I won.  Last week I had the honor of reading an edited version of my essay to the crowd at the awards reception.  I say “edited” because I needed to fit my reading in to a five minute time limit.  I think it is better than the original.  I took out the snarky, whiney bits, and got to the heart of my point.  I hope my words might provide insight or comfort to someone walking the journey that is grief.  Continue reading

Hello, I am Here

 

I recently read Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. One of the things she says she does in order to attract creativity is to say to inspiration, “I’m here.” It has taken me ages to write this first post on this blog. Ages. Part of the reason is because this blog is part of a bigger plan, my plan to have a website containing all my creative endeavors. This particular space is meant to be a place to think out loud. Steven Pressfield, in his book The War of Art, discusses the various forms that resistance can take in the creative process. Resistance takes the form in my life of fear and perfectionism. Wanting everything to be perfect before launching and fearful of being delusional when it comes to calling myself a “writer,” has kept me in stasis. Here but not here, writing in my head but not on the page. I decided, as most people do when they finally take the plunge into a new career, to just go for it. There will never be a perfect time or the perfect environment or a perfect set up. Life is messy and more than willing to provide endless excuses for inaction. So, I am here. I want to tell you a little about who I am and who I am not. Let me introduce myself.  Continue reading