Sunday, December 04, 2016

Beacons of Light for 2016

As December arrives and 2016 comes to a close, I'd like to thank the handful of writers who were so generous and kind over the past year for taking time from their works-in-progress to share their knowledge and love of the writing process with us.

Their insights helped shed new light on some of the challenges that we may confront in our own work and reminded us that, though we may scribble our stories and poems in solitude, we aren't writing alone.

In the year ahead, I trust you’ll find generous Beacons of Light in your life to illuminate your path and help you discover the courage to follow the path wherever it may lead.

For now, I hope the comforting words of Wordswimmer's Beacons of Light for 2016 inspire you to keep writing in the days and weeks ahead.
Julie Larios:  “Some days I sit down at the edge of the water, look at the sky, feel the sun on my face, watch the clouds, hear birds chirping, think about what a lovely world it is. Those days I feel just as creative as the days when I'm writing. I don't even think about writing or about being inspired on those days - I just float in the world. Other days, and luckily there are not too many of them, I look at the water and I think "Brrrrrr..." or "Ugh..."and I go right back inside, in a funk. I wouldn't have produced good work that day, no matter what, so I'm better off admitting it. When I do decide to swim, I don't get into the water inch by inch - I go under completely and turn into a fish. I forget I can speak. I grow gills.”

Gigi Amateau: I’m hooked on my little rituals that make me happy and give me time to ruminate: clean the house, fuss over my workspace, practice yoga, meditate then FINALLY start working. Although in the winter, my favorite way to write is to get a big fire going in the living room, steep some tea, and revise by the fireplace all afternoon. And, if it’s snowing? The best!”

David Lubar: “I've been a freelancer most of my life, mostly because I have no marketable skills. So I can force myself to work during most of the potential dry spells. But there are times when I throw in the towel and accept that I won't be productive that day, or week, or (shudder) month. At least the towel doesn't get wet.”

JoAnn Early Macken: Although I try, I don’t manage to write every day. I’ve learned, though, that the longer I stay away, the more I miss it, and the harder it is to plunge back in. That thought, along with general itchiness, usually keeps me from missing too many days in a row.”

Jacqueline Jules: When a piece is close to completion, curiosity takes over. Writing can be like reading a book for me. I keep working because I want to know what will happen next. I often feel like I am discovering the story, watching it unfold. I swim with the story until it reveals itself to me.”

Kelly Ramsdell Fineman:  Much of what I write is poetry, and I find that as long as I have an idea - an inkling, even - I can explore that and get a first draft down. Sometimes the finished draft is just a slight tweaking of the first draft, sometimes it involves a lot more new writing, coupled with massive revision.”

Alex Flinn: “’Just keep swimming,’ as Dory would say. Not every day is going to be great, but you have to keep swimming even when nothing is happening.”

Debbie Reed Fischer: I love it when I'm writing quickly with the story pouring out of me. Those first drafts that are purely for yourself, before you have to show it to anyone or revise it, are my favorite part of the process. I love being alone with me and my characters in that time period before I have to share them with anyone.”

So, as we take a breath over the next few weeks and pause to look back at our year of writing, I want to thank you, dear readers, for joining us in the water.

Although we may post less frequently here (now that Facebook and Twitter have replaced blogging as a way of communicating), we intend to keep dipping our toes in the water here in the year ahead and hope you’ll join us.

Best wishes for a healthy and happy New Year. May it be a year that brings forth many more stories and poems from your pen.

With luck, we'll see you in 2017. In the meantime, keep writing!

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And if you enjoy yoga, you might like to take a look at our blog about yoga and keeping a journal:

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