When a former colleague and I disagreed about something, she would always say “that’s why they make different color refrigerators.” Which is funny, but true. If we all thought alike, or approached life the same way, it would be a very uniform world view, and we would all have monotone appliances.
I love that I usually blog the day after Deborah Lee Luskin. Though we have some similarities (we are both writing novels, for example), we have a number of differences as well. She lives in the country, I live in the city. She writes literary, I write genre. But I really started thinking about our different lives when I read her post at the end of May, “Be Boring”.
It was after a particularly busy week when I was out every night to an award shows (the Norton awards), a Crime Bake meeting (I am the c0-chair this year), a theater show opening, dinner with friends I haven’t seen for a while, and a trip to the Cape for a mini-writing retreat. I was exhausted, and thinking a lot about my life choices. And while I appreciate the idea behind the rule, but my life doesn’t work that way. In a world where leaning in is encouraged, and at a place in my career where I can make a difference by taking on another challenge, not taking on too much is very, very difficult.
And aside from that, boring is not the word I ever want used to describe me. (Nor would I use it to describe Deborah.) Balanced. Peaceful. But boring? Please remember that I work in the arts. I have spent my thirty year career breaking out of an introverted shell into this place I am now.
In thinking about that post, and rereading it again, I realize I am getting stuck on the word, and missing the message. In order to live a creative life, there are many paths. If you ask a dozen people about their path, you will get a dozen different answers. My path is not boring. Sometimes it is too not boring for productivity. “Be balanced” is the rule I would set out for my creative endeavors, and what I am working on this summer.
Balanced or boring? This is why they make different color refrigerators.
Julie Hennrikus (aka J.A. Hennrikus and Julianne Holmes) is two weeks closer to her deadline, and writing every day.