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.
What I’m Reading: The Chronicles of Harris Burdick
I 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:
- Talking About Money: Why Writers Need to Be More Honest About How We Earn by @lisatella via @thewritelife
- 5 ways to practice smarter when you don’t have much time to practice by @sowulwords via @lvanderkam
- How to Build an Efficient Social Media Workflow to Increase your Traffic by @problogger
- 7 Barriers to Writing You Can Leap Over Today by Bryan Collins via @writetodone
- Recommended Books For Writing, Self-Publishing, Book Marketing And Creative Entrepreneurship via @thecreativepenn
- Your marketing success may hinge on Gray Social Media by @markwschaefer
- No Room of One’s Own by Allison K Williams via @brevitymag
- How to Build a Loyal Audience on the Web by @neilpatel
- Best Advice: Poke Your Nose Out. No One Is Going to Invite You. by @AnnHandley
- It’s Time to Own Your Social Community by @JayBaer
- My Letter from Terry Pratchett by David Grimstone
- What I’ve Learned, MFA in a Nutshell, Part 2 by Katia Raina via @kathytemean
Finally, a quote for the week:
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.
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 Facebook, twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest. I don’t bite … usually.