Open the door to your writing life

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What exists behind this door?
Image courtesy of Creative Commons: ezioman

Doors fascinate me. Not just the façade, but what exists behind them, the secrets they house, the lies and truths of what has been and the promise of what’s to come. Life dances behind doors in rhythms fast and slow.

Nobody would call me shy, but I am an introvert. I prefer days curled up in my Barcalounger with a J-Jo (my special-recipe coffee), a good book, and Squeaks to mingling with the cacophonous clamoring of the world. Life behind my door is quiet, and I love it. But how can I be true to myself and my writing if I remain safely ensconced in my comfortable world?

I have to venture beyond my haven to what exists outside of me. To see, smell, taste, touch, and feel. To understand the energy of crumbly bits and discarded gum wrappers.

For many years I kept the door closed on writing. The catalyst for sealing my creativity, imagination, passion, and words in a vault was the unabashed, vulnerable scribbling of my teenage mind – a severed artery upon the page – laid bare to prying, unwelcome eyes.  My angst-ridden musings betrayed me, became a self-inflicting weapon. I bolted that door, hoping and praying I could suffocate the story seedlings.

But passion has a way of growing, smothered or not. I removed the locks and tossed them into the refuse of my past. Each day I embrace words, my words, and breathe in the freshness of an open door.

Don’t be afraid to open the door to your heart. Open the door to your mind. Open the door to your writing life and sway across the page in the brilliant twists, twirls, and tumbles of your pen.

Open the door to your writing life
Photo courtesy Creative Commons: ezioman

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How writing is like shopping for a wig

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My sis and I went wig shopping this weekend with my mom. It wasn’t our first time in Judi’s Wigs. That was last July when mom received the news she had stage-three ovarian cancer and would need a minimum of six rounds of chemo. (She received twelve but is cancer-free!) Hair loss was not her (or our) biggest worry, but a concern nonetheless. We perused the selection, pointing out wigs that “looked” like my mom. She didn’t want anything too different from her everyday color and style, because she liked her style and was comfortable with it.

Halfway through the first round of treatments, something switched in mom. The warrior unleashed its “barbaric yawp” upon the world and my now-strong, brave mother was born. Let’s just say, she’s a little sassy. And I like it. She tossed her salt-and-pepper wigs to the back of the closet and opted for red with blond highlights. The first time my dad saw her in it, he said people would think he had a new wife. And honestly, he did.

When she’s wearing that wig, my mom is the person she always wanted to be. Before, her eyes danced the waltz. Now, the tango.

This is my waltzing mom.

Sitting in Judi’s Wigs on Saturday, watching mom try on ten different colors and styles, I realized how much the whole experience is like writing.

  1. When we decide we want to write, we tend to try on styles that fit us, and we work within that framework for awhile.
  2.  The more we write, the brighter our “tyger” burns and breaks through our self-imposed limitations.
  3. We branch out of our comfort zone and try on more daring styles – ones we NEVER thought we’d like.
  4. Then, we see it. That perfect match between style and inner warrior. The match that charges us, changes us, challenges us.
  5. We don the new style with sass, spunk, and charm and our pens dance in new rhythms across the page.
  6. We know, though, that this isn’t it. Because there’s a whole store of styles our there just waiting for us.

This is my sassy mom.