Welcome to A Life Examined

What is the examined life? A life worth living! As I look at the road ahead, I take all the baggage from the past and use it as experience - the pain and the passion, the sorrow and the joy - allowing it to carve wisdom into my mind and hope into my spirit.
There is no experience that can't be useful to me at some point in my life. There is no lesson learned that cannot make a contribution to the future.
A tiny drop of water is a part of the ocean. A tiny speck in the night sky is a ginormous star in the distance. It all depends on perspective.
So, this examined life is to offer reflections in the hope of discussing things which are of value to myself and to others.
Love, Sarah






Thursday, 11 April 2013

On Being a Writer: writer's block.. authorship and other ruminations


Artists, be they writers, painters or dramatists must perform their art or be less than they were made to be. We are by nature:

"One equal temper of heroic hearts
 Made weak by time and fate but strong in will
 To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield." (from Ulysses, Alfred, Lord Tennyson)

I must be a writer because it's official, I have now experienced 'writer's block'.

Sometimes I have an idea to write about, but I stare at the keyboard without knowing where to begin.
Sometimes I've not even got an idea, though silly expressions roll inside my mind, aching to be expressed but without a platform on which to stand.
And now, lacking clarity, I'll simply 'dive in and see where the tide takes me...'

I haven't always wanted to be a writer. In 2000 I felt 'called' to write. I wrote a novel, a bad one. Perhaps there is enough of character and plot in it to construct a short story, but the same theme erupts from me every now and then, expressed through different characters or a different plot, so I've never gone back to the original one.

My first book was published last year. I began to write it in 2004, during a flight from Turkey to the UK... about a 2 1/2 hour flight. In that time I had the outline from start to finish and a few striking phrases. I completed the first draft, shelved the book, wrote a second in 2007, and went back to tidy, re-write and complete. It was released in 2012.

There was a moment, sometime after I'd completed the index and just before approving the final proof, where my nerve endings tingled and I realized, "I'm an author!"

Nothing will take that away from me. Not mediocre sales, not lack of an agent, not dubious comments. So far, I've not sold a zillion of copies of FREE TO BE, and I've not yet sought an agent  (launching a website and drafting other books have taken priority over seeking out a very much wanted and urgently needed agent), and I've only had positive comments. But regardless of how good, bad or indifferent folks may respond to my book, I'm an author and it feels good!

So I'd like to emphasize to all readers: if you need to write, write. Likewise, if you need to paint, act, compose, sing or dance, make the time. Creativity is life's expression of individuality. It's an essential part of being human (how many books have been written by dogs, how many sculptures created by cats...??) It's one way, perhaps the best way, of expressing our uniqueness.

It's best to do a good job, to create well... but even tatty interior design or confused poetry is better than no design or poetry at all.  And practice is the road to perfection. Artists never seem to manage perfection (Van Gogh was never satisfied with his work), but we strive and through our efforts the output improves.

So, my writer's block is a rung up the ladder just like falling off a horse is a sign of improved horsemanship. We can't improve but with failure. So to myself and to all I say, keep going...
The flashing cursor will one day give way to a new story.

(LOOK HERE: bit.ly/11mXDIz For some really cool tips from famous writers in history)
(LOOK HERE: bit.ly/Zj2Ddn For my FREE TO BE website)

Me with my first book FREE TO BE at a public reading




Next Post: Thursday 18th... I'm going weekly!!



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