Sunday, December 26, 2004
Cloudy and cold
First Day of Kwanzaa: Umoja (Unity)
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could celebrate our diversity with unity? Of course we can. It’s simply that so many choose not to. And it’s the diversity that makes us strong. Strongly distinct, creative individuals working together are what make a society work. Conformity does not create cohesion – it creates spiritual illness, which manifests in cruelty.
The place is tidied up and I will try to get some writing done while I wait for the guests. It’s supposed to snow today, and that would be lovely.
I worked on the material for the classes last night, in and around watching, for about the seven hundredth time Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera Ellen in White Christmas. I love the costumes in that movie.
I’ve visited some very interesting blogs over the past week, and, as soon as I get permission from the authors, I will post links. There’s one very interesting political blog – the author has a wide frame of reference. I can only write about politics in a personal context. Unlike most people, who believe that political decisions have nothing to do with them, politics affect my everyday life. I wish I could go back to a time and place where they didn’t, but they do. And I can only respond to them on a personal level. I can’t imagine that I’m the only person who is affected by political decisions – but many people choose to ignore them, and then are shocked when everything falls apart. Personal choice. Anyway, the author of this particular blog has the knowledge, the resources and the tools to not only see the bigger picture, but communicate it well.
I’m also going to ask some of my fellow bloggers if I can include their links in the Recommended Reading List I give to my students.
I’m glad I had a bit of a break from the usual time spent online over the past few days. I’ve found myself feeling less generosity towards “wanna-be” writers than I should. I get quite impatient with the writers with zero credits who bounce onto boards announcing that they’re going to be famous – but they don’t actually want to do the work to get published.
HOW BADLY DO YOU WANT IT?
That’s a question each individual has to answer for himself (using the pronoun in the sense of all humanity, not a specific gender).
If you want to be a writer, sit your butt down in that chair every day and WRITE!!! No whining, no excuses. If you’re not writing, you obviously don’t want it enough. There’s nothing wrong with that. There’s nothing wrong with keeping a diary as one’s only form of writing or occasionally jotting down something you find interesting, and having it be something you do on the side.
But, if you want to be a genuine, professional writer, if this is your passion and your career choice – you sit down and do it. The work doesn’t happen by itself. If you wait for the Muse to show up instead of invoking the Muse, demanding the Muse, challenging the Muse – you’ll never get it done.
Career Writers get it done. No matter what other demands are made on them.
Everyone is capable of carrying a notebook and jotting down ideas, formulating sentences in all the time spent on trains, in waiting rooms, waiting to pick up kids from activities, etc. Writers write. Others don’t. And sometimes you give up mindless TV and meandering phone conversations. And sometimes the mindless TV and the meandering phone calls are what you need to get back on track.
It’s about desire and priority. Those have to drive you.
How badly do I want the writing?
And I’m earning my way towards my Fantasy Castle of Creation – building it word by word, laying the foundation of ink and paper, coalescing the five elements to create my visions. It’s slow work, sometimes frustrating, sometimes tedious, and requires a supreme commitment. Word by word.
Will it matter to anyone hundreds of years down the line, or is it simply another form of narcissism?
But when I doubt myself, I remember the letter I received from the woman who, coming to one of my plays on a whim, decided not to kill herself; decided that life was still worth living and that she could and would turn her life around. Even if my work doesn’t affect anyone else, I made one positive difference, mattered to one person, and that’s worth it.