Day 47: Time

Time is a funny thing.  When I was younger, my mom told me that the older you get, the faster time goes by and, being young and naive, I’d just think whatever and go on about my business.  But now that I’m older, I’m realizing just how right she was.  This year has gone by so quickly and it happened in the blink of an eye.  I look back and see all the time that I have wasted in regards to my writing.  I can’t blame it on lack of encouragement, because we as creatives need to be able to create even in a void.  The creation has to be its own reason…not accolades or the encouragement of others or thoughts of fame and fortune.  Those things may never come so we can’t depend upon them to spur us on.  I have always written because I love to write.  Even when it’s hard and the words aren’t flowing as freely as I’d like, I still enjoy doing it.  It would be nice to have neverending positive enforcement but we can’t count on that so we have to just create in spite of it.  So we have to stop wasting time because it’s going to continue rushing past us and one day we’ll realize that there’s no time left.  We are the only ones that can write the stories that we have inside of us.  Absolutely no one else can do it.  Our words have weight and meaning that only we can give them.  We mustn’t let the passage of time silence us.  We have to keep writing so that our voice is heard.  And our words will live on. 

“Words are timeless.  You should utter them or write them with a knowledge of their timelessness.” ~ Khalil Gibran                 

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Day 46: Late Post

It hasn’t been the best day.  Work was kind of blah but not bad.  I had a doctor’s appointment and that didn’t go all that well.  I didn’t get the best news but my PCP is a positive kind of guy so he didn’t put a totally negative spin on the news.  He gave me some positive take-aways but I am going to have to have some more tests to see just how scared I should be and I’ll have to make some changes but I’m going to enjoy Thanksgiving first.  I’m going to have 5 days off so I will be writing and that’s some good medicine right there.  I’m going to lose myself in it.  That’s the great thing about writing as well as any other kind of creative expression…you can immerse yourself in it and leave everything else behind.  Of course, you have to return to the real world and your problems but usually your head is in a better place than it was before and you have a better perspective.  And, even if that weren’t true, you at least had a mini-vacation away from your problems.  Well, since I don’t feel very inspired right now I think I’ll sign off now.  I don’t want to be any more of a Donna-downer than I already have been.  Have a good night.






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Day 45: Ruminating

Ruminating…to think deeply about something.  Over the last few months, I have been ruminating about my writing.  Am I any good?  Will others like my writing?  Can I fit it into my life and give it as much time as I’d like to…as I need to?  Do I have the tools within myself to make my dreams a reality?  Am I going to let my Inner Critic win or will my Inner Wise Self finally shut it up?  First, I am good and others do like my fiction and poetry.  Second, I have to fit it into my life…I have no choice because this is something that my soul desires to the point that it can’t rest until I give it my all.  Third, I have all of the tools…I might not have mastered them yet, but I will.  Fourth, my Inner Wise Self is growing stronger every single day…it’s already drowning out some of my Inner Critic’s bullshit.  My IC seems to become more vocal with each bit of progress I make so I’ve come to understand that it is afraid that I will stop listening to its lies one day.  And I will.  My dear friends in ROW have been very positive about my writing and are pushing me gently forward.  They also will give a little tough love when I need it.  Our Retreat, as SARK calls our 5-hour ZOOM meetings, yesterday was probably the most rewarding day that I’ve experienced in a long time.  Not because of the praise for my writing and abilities but because these people are so insightful and such talented and brilliant writers that I am learning so much that cannot be taught in writing books or academic classes alone.  And yesterday, I really soaked it all in and internalized it.  There was a shift inside me regarding my writing that I cannot even begin to put into words.  There is this feeling of expansiveness and wholeness that just overwhelms me when I try to verbalize it.  I think that there is going to be a real shift in my writing as well.  And, it’s about time because I’ve been dragging my feet for so long.  I am extremely excited to move into this next phase because I think it’s going to be awesome!  I will keep you updated.

“The art of writing is discovering what you believe.” ~ Gustave Flaubert              

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Day 44: Struggles That Writers Face

One of my biggest struggles comes from within.  It’s not trying to find the time to write or actually writing and/or editing, which I do struggle with every day, it’s the inherent belief that I do not have any talent and that there’s no reason to even try to finish Rapture and work at getting it published because who would want to read it.  I read others’ works and compare my writing to theirs and think about how much meaning and subtext there is and I think that mine is drivel.  But then I see others succeeding in writing and publishing similar books that go on to become bestsellers and even hit movies.  So, I go back to thinking that I’m a no talent hack and my writing doesn’t measure up to theirs.  It’s basically a vicious circle that never stops repeating in my brain.  The weird thing is that I do know that I have talent and that Rapture, before I sent it off the rails, is good.  People have told me it is.  It was optioned by a publisher.  A production company wanted to produce a web series based on it.  So somewhere deep in my brain, I know my book is good…or will be after I do some editing and rewriting then finish it.  I sometimes think that in a weird way I’m protecting myself from disappointment when I tell myself all of those negative things.  If I never finish it, then I’m the one in control and I won’t face the possibility of being told that it sucks by an agent or a publisher.  And that is really screwed up thinking.  I know that I have to finish the book.  I think about it constantly and know that it has to be written otherwise I will always regret it.  Even if it doesn’t get published, it will be complete.  And there’s another part of me that thinks about the possibility of the book being published and actually finding readers.  The way I’ve written it so far leaves it open to sequels but what if I can’t write another book…what if it’s just not in me.  What if did write it and it sucked?  See, I keep sabotaging myself and letting my inner critic have its way inside my head.  My inner wise self knows Rapture is good.  My inner critic says it’s garbage and I’m a failure.  I’ve been letting my inner critic win this battle for far too long.  It’s like the old cartoon where the devil is on one shoulder and an angel is on the other and they’re both whispering in your ear trying to sway you one way or the other.  Well, I’m about to flick my inner critic off of my shoulder.  It’s holding me back.  I need to finish the book and see where it goes from there.  I don’t want to be a “could have been.”  I am going to trust my inner wise self and take this as far as it can go.  I will not stop myself from at least finishing Rapture and trying to get it published.  There are too many naysayers in my life as it is…I am not going to be one of them. We can’t give up on our dreams because we’re afraid or feel unable to meet the challenge.  We have to keep trying because if we don’t then our life really will be one of disappointment and unrealized dreams.  We cannot be the reason for that because that is a sad life.  We were given this talent for a reason…we can’t squander it because we’re afraid of failure.  Dreams are one of the things that make our life interesting and more enjoyable but if you leave them in the realm of dreams and don’t at least try to realize them, you will regret it for the rest of your life.  So, we have to stand up to our inner and outer critics.  This is our freakin’ dream and no one is going to stand in the way of us realizing it…not even ourselves. 

“A dream can become a reality when you realize that your dreams are your reality.” ~ Amanda             

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Day 43: What Writing Wisdom Can I Possibly Pass On To Anyone?

Every single time I sit down to write this blog, I wonder what do I know that is worth passing along to anyone?  I know a little about success…my book was optioned in the past.  I know a lot about feeling like a failure…my book isn’t finished so it’s obviously not published.  I know about persevering…I’m back to working on Rapture again and determined to type “The End” sooner rather than later.  I know about desperation…when I was struggling to write the scripts for the web series that they wanted to base on Rapture and I figured out that I was not a screenwriter.  I know about struggling to find the right words and coming up blank, or even worse, coming up with the absolute wrong words and then having to rethink and replace them.  Or just backspacing through them all, leaving a blank page.  I know about writing through the night and the high that you get from writing something completely awesome.  I know about trying to fit writing into a life with a full-time job, a husband, 3 dogs and 5 cats, a feral cat colony I care for at work and strays that I care for at home, a creativity group and writing incubator that I attend via ZOOM throughout the month, a blog, and a need to sleep a few hours each night.  I also know about writing through physical and emotional pain as well as fitting doctor and hospital visits into my schedule.  And so on and so forth.  So I do have the knowledge to share with others.  But that begs another question…who cares about or needs the things that I know?  We all have our own successes, failures, and various issues so mine aren’t anything new, earth-shattering or mind-blowing.  So, maybe what I have to share is the fact that even though writing is a solitary practice, we are not alone.  There are shared experiences that make us a community.  No one really understands us or what we do and go through when we write except other writers and creatives.  Maybe I’m just a daily reminder that we are not alone and, honestly, I’m fine with that.  Maybe I’m also a cautionary tale that warns you to not make the mistakes that I’ve made.  And if I occasionally share something that inspires or helps someone then good for me.  Even with the anxiety that creeps in each time that I open this blog and try to come up with something worth reading, I do enjoy writing it.  It’s great writing practice and it helps to keep my mind agile.  So, the takeaway from this is that we’re not alone.  Others do understand our struggles, successes, and failures.  So, when you’re struggling to find the right words at 3:00am, there are others out there doing the same thing.  Take heart in that.

“Writing can be a very solitary business.  It’s you sat at a desk typing words into a computer.  It can get lonely sometimes and lots of writers live quite isolated lives.” Paul Kane                                      

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Day 42: Perseverance

From where exactly does inspiration spring?  Do you have a muse?  Do you see or hear things that inspire your writing?  Do you sit down in front of your laptop and pray as hard as you can for some glimmer of inspiration?  Or do you just fake it until you get to a point where you do feel inspired?  And when your well of inspiration runs dry, how do you handle that?  Shake your fist and curse the day that you decided that you really wanted to be a writer?  Blame everyone and everything for your lack of inspiration…the music is too loud, the neighbor’s dog is barking, it’s too hot, it’s too cold, it’s this and it’s that and then it’s something else?  Give up in disgust, slam your laptop closed, and storm away in frustration?  Decide that you have developed permanent writer’s block and think about becoming a full-time Uber driver?  Or do you persevere?  Do you keep writing no matter what…even if it totally sucks?  We have to persevere.  I have to write…it’s a huge part of who I am.  If I try to ignore it, it would probably eventually drive me insane.  I tried to do that over the last few years.  I’d tell myself that I was too old, not talented, that my book was garbage, that I’d never get published, etc….  But there would be flashes of truth mixed in with those lies.  I need to be on a different path because the current one wasn’t working.  I need a tribe that I could trust that would support me and hold me accountable.  I need to trust my instincts.  I just need to freakin’ write!  The “I’m too old” thing is just another excuse…a lie I told myself to make it easier to put my novel and aspirations away.  Yes, I’m 58 but the truth is, and you know this as well, I will never be this young again.  I also tell myself another age-related lie…who wants to read a book like Rapture that’s written by a 58-year-old?  I personally don’t care how old an author is especially if they are a good writer.  My brain seems to be stuck in my late 20’s and early 30’s.  I enjoy the same types of books that I did back then…mostly horror and thrillers.  The same is true of movies…I love horror, apocalyptic, and thriller type movies.  I have an Xbox 360, a Wii, a PlayStation 3 and 4 and tons of violent video games.  I’ll eventually upgrade to the newest generations of Xbox and PlayStation but I’m currently happy with the ones I have.  I listen to everything from the ’70’s to current music, from metal to country to baroque classical to alternative but I’m a little stuck in the 80’s and 90’s.  Sometimes I just can’t believe I’m nearing 60.  My body is that old but not my brain.  Look at the late, great Stan Lee.  He was an icon, a hero to a multitude of generations from the very young to the more mature such as myself.  My name is Donna and I am a Marvel Universe geek.  And proud of it!  My point is, yes, there is ageism but if your talent outshines your age, then you should be good.  So you have to persevere.  Don’t let the lies you tell yourself shut down your creativity and desire to write.  Some of those are told as a way to protect you from possible disappointment and rejection.  But just think about would happen if your dream of being published came true.  I’m not talking about the money or possible fame…I’m talking about your sense of fulfillment that you’ve been pursuing all of these years.  Isn’t that worth the risk?  So, don’t give up on your dream…persevere.  You might just surprise yourself.

“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” ~ Walt Disney

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Day 41: Writing

When I write, I have 2 modes.  If I’m writing poetry, odds are something or someone has either depressed me or pissed me off.  I type furiously, hitting the keys hard as if that could be infused into my writing.  And when I finally finish, I’m wasted and all the anger or depression that I felt has been magically defused.  When I was originally working on Rapture, I would be lost in it for hours at a time.  Absolutely nothing broke my concentration.  And when I stopped writing, it was as if I were emerging from a hypnotic trance.  I would feel as if I’d been drugged.  When life rudely inserted itself between my writing and myself, I let Rapture lay dormant for too many years.  I’d attempt to add to it but I didn’t get that almost primal feeling that I did originally.  And the writing, well, it definitely wasn’t on par with what I’d written previously.  It was forced and fragmented.  It didn’t flow at all.  So, I grew extremely frustrated and decided that there was no point to writing anyway so why do it…just let 1 more dream slip away.  Then, SARK reappeared in my life like my fairy godmother and helped me to find my desire for writing again.  I don’t know if I’ll ever find another publisher that will be interested in Rapture…no matter how well you write, there’s no guarantee of that happening for anyone.  But that isn’t the reason that we write.  We write because we need that outlet.  Something inside of us has the need to be expressed on the page.  Our words paint pictures.  We create wondrous worlds and characters that we control with our words alone.  Sometimes I think that I began writing because I needed to feel as though I had control over something…even if it was fictional.  I have suffered horribly from anxiety my whole life and my writing helped me escape from those sometimes debilitating feelings that made my mind race and imagine the absolute worst outcome for the situation.  I didn’t know what anxiety attacks were until I was 21 years old and my doctor put a name on it.  I literally thought that I was dying.  I felt as though I couldn’t breathe so I’d end up hyperventilating and passing out which I attributed to my inability to breathe.  I was medicated at that point but I couldn’t get used to the drugged feeling I had from the meds, so I finally stopped taking them.  I’ve learned to deal with it pretty well by talking myself through the attacks.  I also learned that if I distracted myself from the attack, I could stop it.  I’d watch something funny or read something that was somewhat benign (Winnie the Pooh was my go-to book when I was younger) and that would usually keep the worst part of the anxiety at bay.  Writing is a better coping skill though if you can immerse yourself in what you’re writing.  I do think that was the impetus for my writing in the beginning.  And all of the reading that I did and still do.  Reading for escape and writing for escape and control.  I’m not glad that I have anxiety attacks but I am glad that it lead me to write and read as ways to cope with it.  We all have our own personal reasons for why and what we write.  And it doesn’t matter what those reasons are as long as we are able to express ourselves in this medium that seems to have chosen us.  Once you have the writing bug, it stays with you.  You can walk away from it for a time but you will be back because it’s part of your soul and because we were born writers.  That’s why I’m back at it.   

“But when people say, ‘Did you always want to be a writer?’, I have to say no!  I always was a writer.” ~ Ursula Le Guin   

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Day 40: Freeing Ourselves from Our Backstory

One day in my twenties, I had the realization that at some point we have to take complete responsibility for our lives and our choices.  We can blame anyone we want for the things that are screwed up in our lives.  We can talk all day about how circumstances doomed up.  Did my parents give me everything that I needed to be able to become a writer?  No.  Were my circumstances ideal?  Not really.  Did those things hold me back?  Probably, to a degree.  Can I, at 58 years of age, still blame everything on my parents and my earlier circumstances?  Sure, but what purpose does that serve?  Well, none, but it takes all the blame off of me for not being where I want to be in my life.  That, my friend, is bullshit.  Our parents could have done a horrendous job of raising us and our circumstances could have been dire but at some point in our lives, we must take responsibility for ourselves…for our failures and our successes.  We have the ability to untangle ourselves from our backstory and I promise you that it is one of the most freeing things you’ll ever do.  It’s so easy to blame others but what does that get you?  An excuse.  And what does an excuse get you?  Pretty much nothing.  All the time and effort that we put into the blame game could be used so much more constructively.  The second you became an official adult and moved out of your parents’ house you should have begun distancing yourself from the parental blame game.  No one had perfect parents.  No one grew up in ideal circumstances.  But those things are your past so stop making them your future.  Leave them behind along with your excuses.  Move forward with your life and your writing.  If you fail at something, get up, wipe yourself off, and be determined to do better next time.  If you succeed at something, be proud and accept the accolades.  This is your life so make it what you want it to be.  Nothing can hold you back as long as you don’t let it.  Not even your past.  So, stop playing the blame game, take responsibility for where you are in life, and then take aim at what you want.  It’s inside you…it’s always been inside you so don’t give up now.         

“Healing comes from taking responsibility; to realize that it is you – and no one else – that creates your thoughts, your feelings, and your actions.” ~ Peter Shepherd   

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Day 39: I’m Not At All Normal

So, tell me, are you normal?  Are you a square peg that fits perfectly and happily into that square hole?  Or, are you like me, a round peg that’s been trying to fit into the square hole all of your life?  First, it’s parental pressure, then peer pressure, then school pressure and then finally the all-important societal pressure that makes us believe that square normal is the only normal.  I fell for that early in my life but with every year that has passed, I’ve discovered that being a round peg is pretty cool.  It’s allowed me to approach life in different ways and to not ignore paths that might have seemed strange otherwise.  I’ve acted impulsively, experimented, made mistakes, corrected those mistakes, then made new mistakes but I’ve learned so many things and met so many different and wonderful people that I probably would have never encountered on that square path.  I knew from a relatively early age that I wasn’t like most people that I knew.  My home life was a bit chaotic and it did affect emotionally.  I was somewhat of an introvert that could be outgoing under the right circumstances.  I was very introspective with an active imagination.  I entertained myself with worlds and people that I created and tended to live more in those worlds than the real one.  They were more welcoming and understanding, of course, since I invented them.  I wrote letters to imaginary people and answered those letters.  I kept a diary that was part fact and part fiction.  I never shared any of this with anyone because, even at a young age, I knew that it wasn’t what anyone would consider normal.  It was definitely not square peg behavior.  As I got older, I realized that if this behavior were discovered, people, parents included, would think of me as odd, if not downright mentally impaired, so I stopped most of it.  I still invented worlds and people but I didn’t interact with them any longer.  I moved on to writing poetry and short stories.  I honestly don’t remember ever sharing any of my writing with my family.  I doubt that I did because I didn’t always feel especially nurtured or valued.  Don’t get me wrong, my parents loved me but throughout my childhood, my mother favored my younger brother in every possible way to the point that I sometimes felt that she didn’t even love me.  My dad owned a construction company and would usually leave the house before I woke up and work until the sun went down, ate dinner, read the paper, watched the news, and then went to bed.  We’d spend time together on the weekends but I don’t think that he really understood me and I can’t lay all the blame on him for that because I wasn’t the most forthcoming child.  As I got older and learned more about them, I really did understand that they did the best that they could with us.  They both grew up during the depression on farms so it was a hard life and there were a lot of kids in both families.  They showed their love for us in other ways.  We never wanted for anything.  Christmases were amazing as were birthdays.  They paid for college and cars and helped with down payments on our first houses.  After we were both married, they’d gift us with cash.  After my divorce when I was working a full-time job and 2 part-time jobs to just pay my bills, they helped me with car repairs, a deposit on a rental house, and various other things.  So, yeah, they did love me but they weren’t the best at demonstrating it emotionally until we were all much older.  So, I kept my creative side hidden and protected from everyone.  Maybe that was because I was a round peg in a square peg world and didn’t think that anyone would understand or place any value on my creativity.  Maybe it was because of my introversion.  I never wanted to be the center of attention which also made me odd peg out in my family because they were all extremely extroverted and my dad and brother were very talented musicians that loved to be center stage.  The problem, I think, is that our society places more value on intellectual abilities and aspirations than it does on creative abilities so the majority of people don’t know how to really appreciate or even acknowledge their child’s creative abilities and aspirations.  And, as children, we’re taught to learn and excel in subjects that don’t feed us creatively so we sense our roundness and everyone else’s squareness and everyone’s square expectations so we bury our creativity to protect it and try to keep it round.  I spent too many years trying to force my round peg self into that square hole and I’m tired of it.  I am a round peg and I will NEVER fit into that square hole.  For now, I have to work in a square peg job to support my round peg aspirations but I have other plans for my life and I have the support and understanding that I need now to make an all-out effort to implement those plans.  So get out of my way…round peg comin’ thru!       

“When you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.” ~ Maya Angelou                          

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Day 38: Organizing My Space

My little writing haven that I’ve created is very small mainly because of all of my crafting supplies, equipment, books, etc…, so it’s difficult to fit everything in here that I’d like to have available while writing.  I am thinking about getting another of the larger ottomans to use for my cardmaking equipment so that I can clear an entire table (there are 3 arranged in a U shape) so that I’ll have enough room for more of the books that I like to keep handy and for all of my notebooks that are filled with information and things for ROW and SWW.  I’d also like to have a clear space that I can use for actually writing in notebooks.  I can do it now but I have to rearrange things first.  As a writer, my brain is a jumble of things…what I want to write, how to find time to write, this blog, how to organize my space, work, laundry, chores, this and that and something else, etc….  I think that I might think if I can organize my space, I can organize my brain…or vice versa.  I don’t think that we, as creatives, have in our heads the same thing that the “others” have in theirs.  Or maybe our brains are different…they process information differently.  We perceive things differently, think differently, organize information and things differently, and just process everything differently.  I believe that creativity comes from a “shift” in our brains.  Have you ever noticed that the majority of truly creative people have a history of performing poorly in school and many were considered to have learning disabilities or to be “special needs” as children?  I, personally, did fine in grade school and junior high, where I was placed in advanced English classes, but once I was in high school, except for a few classes, I despised it.  I skipped school a lot, did the bare minimum of homework but aced my tests so I’d pass with C’s.  The classes I loved, I did well in them.  The classes I loved were a very eclectic mix…ROTC, Honors English, German, Creative Writing, Aerospace/Aviation, Power Mechanics, etc….  The guidance counselor administered an IQ test and it came back in the genius range.  He called my parents and me in and told them that I was gifted and needed to be in Advanced Placement classes because my regular classes were boring me.  Fortunately, the counselor was a pretty cool guy so when I told him that I was perfectly happy with how things were and that even in the advanced classes, they were only going to be regurgitating the same things that I’d been hearing since at least junior high.  So, he and my parents agreed that I should just continue on just the way that I was.  So, I graduate with almost no idea what I wanted to do afterward.  My dad told me that he didn’t care if I went to college or a trade school but I was doing 1 or the other.  So, I went to junior college and took general classes and a few others that interested me and guess what…I flourished.  I was a 4.0 student but could never decide what to major in.  I have 4 disparate majors that I dropped out of within a couple of semesters of completing…religion, a double major in psych and social rehab, accounting, and legal studies.  I was too ADD to stick with any of them all the way through to the end.  I loved all of my majors but I think that somewhere in my brain, I knew that I wanted to write but there wasn’t a clear writing career track that I felt was solid enough to jump on.  Aside from my junior year creative writing teacher, a freshman/sophomore English professor, and a creative writing professor in college, no one had ever complimented me on my writing.  No one in my life even considered it an actual career.  For me, it was something to dream about.  I knew that I loved writing but it was a hobby…nothing more.  So, I became an accountant.  I enjoyed it but it didn’t completely fulfill me.  So I wrote in my spare time and then one day, I was “discovered” by a publisher that had read some excerpts of my novel, in its infancy, on the website deviantArt.  He optioned Rapture.  It ended up not going anywhere because he got sidetracked by a production company that wanted to do a web series based on Rapture.  I ended up telling him that I couldn’t do the scripts like they wanted and that I wanted out of the deal.  We came to an agreement and I got to keep the option money.  Then, as I’ve written on here before, life went a little haywire and I stopped working on my book.  And, now I’m back and I have a lot of support.  I guess that one of my points is that schools need to stop just teaching the 3 R’s.  They need to look at kids as individuals that have different abilities and talents.  Some will grow up to be academics, some will be career people, etc…, but some of these kids will grow up to be artists and writers and schools need to learn how to teach them rather than just trying to herd them onto a traditional career path.  If a career as a writer had been presented to me even as late as high school, who knows where I’d be now.  There’s no guarantee that I’d have a different life but I would have had a different outlook and I could have at least entertained a career as a writer earlier in my life.  I lived in a smaller, somewhat traditional town when I was growing up so the schools were very traditional as well.  Now, at least there are arts magnets schools that kids can attend but not all school districts have them.  And there are more progressive schools that introduce kids to these other possibilities but, again, not all districts are progressive.  So, our best bet is what it has always been…the teachers themselves.  Teachers will be the first ones to recognize the kids that are like us.  They need to encourage those kids and tell them that they aren’t defective just because they would rather draw or write poetry than figure out what X stands for in that algebraic formula.  But they’ll also have to figure out a way to teach them what X stands for because the more traditional ways might not work.  I’m not a linear thinker and I’m sure that a lot of you aren’t either.  We learn differently.  The teachers that were successful when teaching us kept us engaged rather than just reciting dry facts and formulas hour after hour.  Actually, to break it down to the lowest common denominator…treat all students as individuals with different gifts and abilities.  And when you ask one of them what they want to do when they grow up and they say that they want to be a writer or artist…don’t discourage them.  Sure, it’s a difficult path for most aspiring writers and artists but so is becoming a physicist but that’s encouraged wholeheartedly.  Traditions are great but when it comes to education, we need to do better than what we’ve always done.  There have to be more paths that we can send students down other than the ones that adults deem to be appropriate and viable.  And parents need to be more encouraging when their child tells them that they want to write.  I know that the odds are against them but what if that child is the next Stephen King or J. K. Rowling?  Don’t crush their spirits by trying to force them to be “normal.”  Encourage their individuality and talent.  We all need that in our lives whether we’re aspiring writers, artists, or even physicists. 

“Everyone is a genius.  But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.” ~ Albert Einstein (it is disputed that he actually said this but I personally want to believe that he did)                  




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