Weekend Edition – Resurrecting Your Love Plus Good Reads and Writing Tips

Resurrecting Your Love

Happy Valentine’s Day.

I am not a big fan of this, one of the most awkward in our vast panoply of overwrought and over-commercialized holidays, but I am all for Love in all its glorious manifestations. I am a fan of swoon-worthy romantic love and the binding ties of familial love and the supportive, unconditional love of good friends and the unspoken, almost magical love between humans and their animal companions. I am also a fan of love in the more abstract, do-what-you-love-love-what-you-do sense.

But, that’s often a tragic love story, isn’t it?

Because, too often, we don’t do what we love. We do everything else first, and the thing we love to do gets pushed further and further down The List until its presence in our life feels like a sad, little ghost.

When I was a kid, I spent my days reading, writing, drawing, and building things. I loved exploring different worlds, ideas, and characters through stories, pictures, and other creations. I wrote bad poetry, short stories, and countless journal entries. I drew the “real” world I saw around me and the fantastical world that existed only inside my head. I built faerie houses, time machines, space ships, and snow dragons. My days were full of creative work and play.

But then, as children will do, I grew up. And in the process of growing up, I betrayed the things I loved to do. I set them aside. I tucked them away for some unnamed day in an uncertain future. I could make all kinds of excuses. I had new responsibilities, obligations, and demands on my time. I had to make sensible decisions. I had to put food on the table. I had to be an adult.

It’s all true. I think. I’m pretty sure. I mean, maybe I could have done things differently. Maybe what I thought was an impossible situation actually held more possibilities than I’d originally thought.

But, that’s all in the past now. You can’t go back. You can’t undo decisions you’ve already made. You can only start from right now.

And that’s okay. Now is a good time. Now is the best time. Now is the only time.

It’s time to resurrect your love. No one but you can do it. No one but  you can make it a priority – breathe new life into that old passion and let yourself surrender to the delightfully unreasonable demands of true love. You don’t need a formal invitation and you definitely don’t need anyone’s permission, approval, or blessing. This isn’t a matter for rules or regulations or red tape. This is a matter of the heart, and you know what they say about matters of the heart.

And don’t start feeling guilty because you think that following  your heart is selfish and self-indulgent. It’s the exact opposite. You have a purpose and a gift to give. You need to discover what that is and then by fiercely generous in how you share it with the world. Let love take over and make you do crazy things. Sometimes crazy things are exactly what the world needs.

 

What I’m Learning About Writing: Practice may not make perfect, but you should do it anyway.

In 2009, Ira Glass gave an interview about the art of storytelling. As the iconic host and producer of This American Life,  Glass knows a few things about storytelling. He also knows more than a few things about developing  your ability to tell good stories.

Filmmaker David Shiyang Liu took an excerpt from the interview with Glass and created a beautiful visual interpretation of Glass’ advice to beginners. I’d like to share it with you today because if you’re anything like me, his heartfelt advice will hit home in a big way. In this excerpt, Glass acknowledges the scary and frustrating gap that exists between your good taste – the thing that drew you to create in the first place – and the not-so-great fruits of your initial labors.
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Ira Glass on Storytelling from David Shiyang Liu on Vimeo.

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What I’m Reading: The Chronicles of Harris Burdick

book harris burdickI picked this book up a few years back at a library book sale. I was drawn in by the illustrations, which it turns out were created by Chris Van Allsburg, the artist behind such beloved children’s books as Jumanji and The Polar Express.  The Mysteries of Harris Burdick is a collection of fourteen short stories written by a wide variety of authors including Lois Lowry, Kate DiCamillo, Stephen King, and Cory Doctorow (to name a few). I would not say that these are necessarily children’s stories, but they are certainly full of mystery and wonder.

I still feel fairly new to the “art” of reading and appreciating short stories. These stories all feel a bit dark and most leave things unresolved. They are mysteries without solutions – more questions than answers. I’m learning to be okay with that. The stories in Lucy Wood’s collection, Diving Belles, share similar traits. If I had to compare the two collections, I’d have to say that I prefer Wood’s stories and prose.

What I find most intriguing about The Mysteries of Harris Burdick is the collaborative creation of the book. Not only are the stories written by fourteen different authors, but each author worked with Allsburg to combine story and picture into a multi-faceted piece of art.

 

And let’s not forget the blogs. Here are a few of my favorite writerly posts from this week:

Finally, a quote for the week:

pin quantity bradbury

Here’s to resurrecting your love of stories and writing and  following it like a lovesick puppy. Go create. Create today and tomorrow. Do more. Fail faster. Have fun.
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Jamie Lee Wallace Hi. I’m Jamie. I am a content marketer and branding consultant, columnist, sometime feature writer, prolific blogger, and aspiring fiction writer. I’m a mom, a student of equestrian and aerial arts (not at the same time), and a nature lover. I believe in small kindnesses, daily chocolate, and happy endings. Introduce yourself on Facebooktwitter, Instagram, or Pinterest. I don’t bite … usually.
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41 thoughts on “Weekend Edition – Resurrecting Your Love Plus Good Reads and Writing Tips

  1. I’m not good in doing “the love” thing. There was a time I cannot even bring myself to write the word in black and white. I still have trouble doing it now. I can blame my background and past experiences for that but I will not because funny thing is: my heart is never been broken romantically wise. I am yet to fall in love. On another aspects of loving, my heart suffered a lot and I carry the invisible scars and it still occasionally bleed. But enough of that.

    “When I was a kid, I spent my days reading, writing, drawing, and building things. I loved exploring different worlds, ideas, and characters through stories, pictures, and other creations. I wrote bad poetry, short stories, and countless journal entries. I drew the “real” world I saw around me and the fantastical world that existed only inside my head. I built faerie houses, time machines, space ships, and snow dragons. My days were full of creative work and play.”

    I like this part because I recognize myself in this. I always wanted to be a pirate. A notorious one. Sail the seven seas and leave devastation behind. I wanted to be Sinbad. Later on, an FBI agent like Mulder and Scully. I better stop here I guess. Another great article Jamie.

    • I love that you wanted to be a pirate, and not just any pirate, but a notorious one. That’s wonderful! Thanks for sharing that peek inside your imagination. No need to stop – I’d take that and run with it! 😉

  2. Okay, this is flat-out beautiful. Your words of encouragement to bring back the things that gave you joy as a child. Thank you for writing this, and I have to reblog this. I hope you don’t mind. You picked a great to day to post this, as I feel like it’s a love letter to those passions inside of us that we’ve kept down and haven’t let out. And that’s a fantastic video with advice about being persistent. Thank you!

    • Thank you for your kind words, August, and thank you for reblogging.

      The post is a bit of a love letter and also a gentle kick in the pants directed at my own metaphorical derriere. (We are always writing to ourselves, aren’t we?)

      I’m glad you also enjoyed the video of Ira Glass’ wonderful, wise, and witty advice.

      Thanks for coming by! 🙂

    • Thank you for coming by!
      That is a tricky gap, but much less so after Ira Glass has defined it and explained how to get past it. Thank goodness there are people like him who are willing to share how they cleared such obstacles.
      🙂

  3. Valentine’s Day gives me headache..:P Everyone we meet keeps asking the 1 same old question, “who’s your valentine this year?” Pretty awkward when you don’t have any..

      • It is a bit daunting. I believe the key is in creating a diverse range of revenue streams, even if some of them don’t inspire your muse. 😉

  4. Hello Jamie, thank you for another great weekend post :). I love them. Your words on love, and doing what we love, were beautiful. We neglect ourselves so, don’t we? I loved the image of you as a child, writing away and building fantasy worlds. I enjoyed that clip of Ira Glass’s words too. Absolutely so true. I think the key (for me, at least) is to start small. Blogging is like that for me, and social media, websites and newsletters. All of these are ways to hone your writing skills in manageable chunks. If we launch straight into a novel or another large writing project, and we haven’t written much before, we are going to be disappointed. Continually. I think, start where we are, and as our skills increase our aim will raise higher.

    • Hello, Sara. Always so nice to see you. 🙂

      I love what you’ve said here about starting small. I think we sometimes get caught up in the Big Dream and overlook all the Small Joys that we might enjoy along the way. Would I like to complete a novel? Yes. But, I’ve also learned that I get a great deal of creative satisfaction from writing essays and columns, and am now also working on some short story ideas. These smaller bits give me the chance to do exactly what you’ve talked about – hone my skills. It’s a bit like doing daily exercises to build up enough strength and skill to successfully complete a larger physical goal – like daily runs in preparation for a marathon.

      Thanks for adding perspective!

  5. I was thinking exactly the same thing – why do we stop doing things we love? Maybe time and duties are just our excuse. What we really fear is that critic inside us that doesn’t allow us anymore to be a beginner.

    • “What we really fear is that critic inside us that doesn’t allow us anymore to be a beginner.”

      I think you’ve hit on something really important here.

      We do become more self-conscious. We compare ourselves to others and find ourselves wanting. Although it makes no logical sense, we expect to be masters instantly. We lose the willingness to make mistakes and learn from them.

      Ooh! So much to dive into here. I think it may be another whole post!

      Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  6. Okay – since you clearly a far more prolific writer, I am just going to say “DITTO”! LOL

    But, seriously, I agree with every single syllable of this post! I too don’t understand the hype around Valentine’s Day; I call it the most prevalent marketing scam in the world! 😉

    Love should not be commoditized – it should be felt; love should not be compared – it should be shared; love should not be manipulative – it should be artless!

    As for living in the NOW and taking control of your TODAY, that was part of my morning message on Facebook: “Leave the hindsight for later. Give you TODAY your all” – hehe

    Finally, I too don’t quite enjoy short stories. They leave me feeling incomplete and I HATE that feeling. UNLIKE you, however, I haven’t been able to bring myself to read any (barring Ms. Marple’s Short Stories and that’s only because I am an ardent devotee of Dame Christie 😉 )

    Thank you so much for yet another AWESOMEtastic post, dear Jamie #HUGSSS

    LOVE YOU SO MUCH
    Kitto

    • Thank YOU for such wonderful enthusiasm, Kitto. You make me smile. 🙂

      And I’m intrigued to learn that there are short stories about Ms. Marple. I had no idea and will need to look into that. I’ve read a few short Sherlock Holmes stories, and found them quite intriguing, even though mystery isn’t usually my genre of choice.

      Thanks, as always, for being here.

  7. By the way, I LOVE this passage: “It’s time to resurrect your love. No one but you can do it. No one but you can make it a priority – breathe new life into that old passion and let yourself surrender to the delightfully unreasonable demands of true love. You don’t need a formal invitation and you definitely don’t need anyone’s permission, approval, or blessing. This isn’t a matter for rules or regulations or red tape. This is a matter of the heart, and you know what they say about matters of the heart.” – woohooooo

    And thank you for that excerpt from Ira Glass’s interview – it’s one of my favorite quotes! 😀

    #HUGS

  8. Pingback: Weekend Edition – The Secret of Creative Space Plus Good Reads and Writing Tips | Live to Write – Write to Live

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