I am getting excited about writing again like that time, three years ago, when I started this blog and wrote my first blog post. It felt like a liberation. Back then I was too hungry for self-improvement and success to worry about rejection or the intimidation that a blank page often brings. I just wrote. But last year, around this time, Iowa University sent me a rejection letter in response to my application to their prestigious MFA in Creative Writing programme.
(Sun) 8:10 pm
I’m learning to be patient with myself. I’m learning to put my fears aside and take things one step at a time. I’m learning that sometimes the worst critic is the self-critic.
He tells us we should be smarter, richer, leaner, more beautiful. He tells us we aren’t strong enough, wise enough or good enough to accomplish the things we desire.
We’re too slow to get it done. We’ve made too many mistakes. He tells us we’ve waited too long and that now it’s too late. Well, I’ve got news for that self-critic in me.
Anything is Possible With God in the Midst
I may not be smart enough but I know someone who is. I may not be strong enough to remove the obstacles from my path. But I know someone who can.
His name is Jesus Christ.
These past few weeks as I’ve committed my full efforts — or at least tried to — in working on my creative manuscript, the GRE and other pursuits — I’ve felt most capable when I’ve relied upon the Lord instead of my own strength. The thing is, every time I try to do things on my own, I’m reminded just how incapable I am of perfection. But my Heavenly Father and His son Jesus Christ, they know and they understand.
This week when I return to editing the stories I’ve been struggling with for the past few months, I’m going to try my best to exercise patience. I’ll think about being simple instead of profound. Being clear in my communication rather than overachieving with metaphors and similes and paradoxes.
When I get stuck in a sentence whose words seem incapable of carrying the weight of what I intended to say or with characters whose voices aren’t quite yet their own, I’ll remind myself that I’m still learning. I’ll remind myself that it’s okay to make mistakes, to get stuck, to struggle to figure things out. Isn’t that what it’s all about? Doesn’t every talent, every righteous pursuit or worthwhile goal take time to accomplish?
So no more shortcuts, or complaints when things get tough. Writing — and even life itself — is meant to be hard.
Upcoming Publication via Akashic Books
On a happy note, I have an upcoming publication we can both look forward to. A short story of mine will be published on Akashic Books’ website (I’ll do a post and share the link to the story when it comes out in January 2016). I’m really excited because it will be my first published work of fiction 🙂
It just goes to show that patience works wonders. The first short stories I attempted to write — well let’s just say they needed a lot of work. My longtime editor and friend Robyn has put up with me all these years — reading some stories I’m sure gave her a few headaches and now here I am celebrating my first upcoming fiction publication. In a few years time it will be my first children’s book, my first poetry collection, and many other achievements — I’m keeping my dreams in sight like I promised I would.
So onward to a new month and a more patient life. I know I’ll get there and so will you. You can accomplish what you will.
a contented Tricia 🙂
Last week’s poetry event dubbed “A Literary Lunch” was literally a meeting with the stars: wordsmiths, social commentators, creative vessels. All who came had one thing in common — a love for the spoken word. It was a perfect day made even more special due to friends like the Vances who came along.
So after a long week I’ve finally gotten around to keeping my promise. So here’s a recap of the JCDC Short story reading event and a bit about my new business.
The day started off with some abdominal pain, the type that most women dread. Thankfully, I had DoTerra essential oils to ward off the pain and nausea. I shuffled out of bed minutes after 8am and slowly began getting ready while telling myself that nothing — not even debilitating cramps — would ruin my special day. So off I went, arriving at the St. James Parish Library one hour before the event would begin.
How is 2015 treating you two weeks in? Things have been good here in Jamaica, especially since I’m participating in another free online course and making the time to write. On January 2, I joined a free online course called Learning How to Learn: Powerful Tools to Help you Master Tough Subjects. I spotted the course a few months back while creating my Lifelong Learning curriculum but was too busy to hop on board. Thankfully, I’m loving the experience since I’ve joined the course and learning lots in the process.
This month has been exhausting and yet I am grateful for the things I have accomplished. I finished my book — the third draft — after years of trying and failing and dreaming and praying and setting goals and forgetting goals and trying again. Throughout the process I’ve learnt what it means to really stick to a hard task even when it feels like only a miracle could see me through. Most of all, I’ve learnt how to be patient.
Continue reading “Learning Patience in the Creative Process”
Poetry, poetry! I’m in the zone again or at least near it. Thanks to the poetry course I told you about recently, I’ve been writing more poems again. It’s like magic when I’m walking or sitting in a bus and words just start singing in my head. I could be walking on Habour Street during the evening crowd and the words whoosh by just so and I snap open my notebook as I try to capture them in hurried scrawls. My days are full of those moments and I feel so alive again, like that time three years ago at UWI when Prof. Mervyn Morris — now Jamaica’s Poet Laureate — was listening to my poems float from pages like melodies no voice could hold.