Attending my friends’ barbecue to kick off the holiday weekend was fun. It was rainy outside, but warm and cozy inside with a fire blazing, delicious food, and beer on tap — a great way to start the summer! I was happy to take a break from my novel, but it turned out to be a busman’s holiday, because I ended up talking about writing.
Whenever this happens, I learn so much! First, I ran into Jennifer, a lovely writer and publicist I’d met before at another party. We recognized each other and instantly began talking about books. Jennifer remembered about my novel in progress and told me about a YA novel that she’s been thinking about for a while. With freelance work and two young children at home, finding time isn’t easy. Jennifer talked about taking three hours or so a week to write and I told her what Junot Diaz told me at a talk he gave: “Be kind to yourself — writing is hard.” Finding time — this is always the challenge isn’t it?
Then I met Tara, who teaches ESL. She told me that she loves historical fiction and gave the name of a book that sounded fascinating: The Bridge or The Golden Bridge, I’m not sure of the title, but I’ll have to check it out. She also told me that she loved reading The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver so much that a week after reading it once, she started reading it a second time. Now, that’s enthusiasm! I told her about one of my favorite writers, Willa Cather, and gave her some titles to check out.
Then, as so often happens, Tara told me that she has always loved to read and at one point had dreamed of writing. She has so many ideas she’d like to get down on paper, but somehow, life seems to get in the way. I suggest that she treat herself to a beautiful notebook and keep it in her bag so when an idea hits her, she can jot it down. Just having it handy will signal to the universe your intention I told her — and ideas will start coming to you. This works for me — I hope it works for Tara!
All this reminds me how lucky we are to be pursuing the writing life in whatever form works for us. It also shows me once again how many people yearn to express themselves and share their thoughts through writing. It’s such a universal human impulse — and so fulfilling. We re truly blessed to be wordsmiths, scriveners, storytellers, bards. Write on!