Thursday, December 14, 2006

Ice skating, Piano and Writing

I watched some kind of ice skating competition a couple of weeks ago. Whenever I watch these amazing athletes, especially when its the Olympics I am just in awe of their dedication. They get up in darkness to go practice before school or work. They practice after school. They practice for hours and hours and hours. When faced with this kind of passion I ask myself a question: Do I have the same passion and dedication for my writing? If I did wouldn't it be easier to sit down and write for hours every day? If I did wouldn't I want to write more than anything like the 12-year old artist who paints after school and all night long instead of hanging out at the mall with her friends because it is what she loves to do. Or pianists who play for hours everyday. Do I not love to write? Do I love it enough? I begin to wonder what if I put in eight hours a day of writing, how would that improve it? But then I remember, that while I have the luxury of staying home for my family and working a very flexible freelance life, I don't have the luxury of eight hours a day. While I don't have the responsibility of needing to contribute to our financial stabilty I do have the responsibilty of creating a life that nurtures my family. But this is off the track of where I want to be. I am talking about dedication and putting in those hours and I am talking about it because I haven't been putting in those hourse. Not lately. I've put in some. I am still rewriting a story and everytime I finish a revision I say, "Finally, it's done." But then it's not. And I dread looking at it again for fear that it still isn't done after at least twenty major revisions. Then I think, that's dedication, isn't it? Of course it is. I have been filling pages and notebooks for the last fifteen years. That's dedication. I have to remember that these lulls are part of the process. Part of the creative cycle.

And while I've not been writing as much as I expect myself to I have been doing other things:
- finished Christmas shopping and wrapped them all- even the stocking stuff
- made a birthday card
- made a gift for a friend
- handmade over 40 Christmas cards and got them all sent out, many with handwritten notes
- did a family photo to put in the cards
- decorated the house for the holidays
- planned a holiday party and hand made the invitations
- cut 150 words off a story and sent it to Mid-American Review

Apparently my writing lulls can be quite prodcutive. And while I'm not writing a lot I am still writing and when I'm not, I'm mulling over stories and characters, trying to find that door back in. I think that is what the lulls are for. Just a gentle meandering in my mind of my stories, getting a little distance, keeping my eyes and ears open for that one thing that I see or overhears that breaks the story wide open for me again.


Anonymous said...

I just received one of your beautiful handmade Christmas cards--with a personal note!!! thank you so much, It was so great to hear from you. Loved the photo of you and your family.
So you're now a mom of a "teenager"--how did that happen. She was just a baby "yesterday!!!"
Pat and I are still doing our thing here at the Walsh Group. I'm glad you visited our site.
Would love to keep in touch! Now I can through your blog!
You are very talented and look forward to reading more.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Love and miss ya,
Peggie Walsh

Kim Haas said...

Peggie- what a lovely surprise getting a post from you! Let's absolutely keep in touch. We'll be out your way this summer some time. Thanks so much for visiting my blog and the kind words.

Anonymous said...

How funny, I had a blog entry about something similar brewing :)

I am 100% right with you on this one. I most certainly do not have the kind of drive I notice some other writers have (or claim they have). But we don't all have to be that prolific, do we? When 8 hours of dedicated writing might be important to one writer, a healthy balance is just as important to another. "Success" is a term we define for ourselves.

But I think you must be doing quite a bit more writing than most of us because you have A LOT of stories :)