Friday, March 22, 2013

For the LOVE of it

This is not a photo of me, but this gal has brown hair, so I thought it worked.

Lazy Writer Disclaimer:  I am such a lazy blogger.  At most I seem to blog once a month.  Sometimes months go by, and I forget to post something.  When I do have something to say, I hope that it is thoughtful, from the heart and engaging ... rather than my attempt to fill space, to meet some quota.  Besides, if I'm not writing a new blog post every day, it must mean that I am making use of every waking hour to write new poetry, right?  

OK, I won't go there right now.  It's enough to know that I am a busy mom of two boys who play soccer 4 days a week, and in addition to writing poetry, I also create jewelry stock on a regular basis for a local art gallery.   SO much of my time is spoken for.  Also, there is no laundry, dishes or bathroom cleaning fairy hiding in my hall closet, and waiting until I go out for coffee to make my house sparkle.  That falls to me - the multi-tasking, writer, jewelry artist, sometimes poetry workshop teacher who volunteers every week at my sons' school.  

But wait, I haven't even touched upon my title!  What is the point of this rambling blog post, that sounds more like I'm complaining to one of my girlfriends over a cup of tea?  

If you're not doing it for the sheer LOVE of it, you're in it for the wrong reasons.  I think this statement could apply to many aspirations and career choices, but it is particularly apt for the writer.  

Poetry doesn't pay very well.  There I said it.  I know, you were thinking that we all get paid a million bucks per poem and instantly sell all of the copies of our chapbooks in the first week they are published.  Umm ... no.  If I'm living inside that dream, I must be napping on the couch after writing for two hours, having 3 cups of chai, and falling asleep reading a book by someone MUCH more famous than me.

Poets and writers write, because we have no choice.  It is a way of life.  It is the first thing we think about when we wake up and the last thing we think about before going to bed.  It even wakes us up in the middle of the night, if an idea absolutely must be captured on a tiny notepad next to the bed.  We wait for editors to write back 3-4 months later, after obsessing over every word of our poetry submission letters.  We endure countless "thanks, but no thanks" responses.  We do this because eventually a "yes" letter will come.  In fact, several "yes" letters will arrive and give us just enough hope to go back to the blank screen or page and start all over again.  

When I say, do it for the sheer LOVE of it, what I'm trying to say is that the energy and persistence writers have wouldn't be there if money, success and the honor of being published were the true motivation.  You can want those things.  That's OK.  It's only human.  If you want to be writing 20 years from now though, you have to want it in your bones ... in your blood.  You have to eat, sleep, and breathe poetry and art.  Let it soak into your pores.  This is how you will know, if you are doing it for the LOVE of it.

Now - GO!  Write ... dream ... believe ... create ... make some magic happen for someone else with your words, music, dance and art.  Just imagine the change that could occur from that one poem, song, story, photograph, painting or sculpture that touches the soul of someone who is searching.  With your precious piece of art, you are giving back to the world.  Believe in the power of your creations!

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