Writer’s Weekend Resources – Calm in the Chaos

I'm dreaming of a quiet day-after-Christmas ...

I’m dreaming of a quiet day-after-Christmas …

At this time of the year, I always feel as if the days are passing in a kaleidoscope-like frenzy that leaves me wondering which way is  up. No matter how prepared I intend to be, I am always running late. On everything. Shopping, writing deadlines, cleaning, visiting, card writing … you name it, and I’m behind on it.

I do my best to manufacture small havens of quiet amidst the chaos, but lately those moments of respite have been few and far between. It’s  okay. Over the years, I have grown used to this routine and I know that the wildness of these days will eventually spend itself and I will be left to happily curl up on the sofa with a soft blanket, a mug of tea, a satisfyingly thick book, and my journal.

That day can’t come fast enough. 😉

How goes your journey through the last few weeks of the year? Are your celebrations shaping up to your liking? Are you feeling ready for the holidays? What kind of goodbye will you wish 2016? What are your favorite guilty pleasures at this time of year?

_jamie sig

As promised, I will continue to highlight one or two “deep” posts in these Sunday missives – posts by writers who are exploring and addressing the role of art and specifically writing in the world today.

In the New York Times article, Now Is the Time to Talk About What We’re Really Talking Aboutnovelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie writes, among other things, about the importance of accuracy in the words we choose and the stories we tell:

Yet, a day after the election, I heard a journalist on the radio speak of the vitriolbetween Obama and Trump. No, the vitriol was Trump’s. Now is the time to burn false equivalencies forever. Pretending that both sides of an issue are equal when they are not is not “balanced” journalism; it is a fairy tale—and, unlike most fairy tales, a disingenuous one.

Now is the time to refuse the blurring of memory. Each mention of “gridlock” under Obama must be wrought in truth: that “gridlock” was a deliberate and systematic refusal of the Republican Congress to work with him. Now is the time to call things what they actually are, because language can illuminate truth as much as it can obfuscate it. Now is the time to forge new words. “Alt-right” is benign. “White-supremacist right” is more accurate.

And from Lisa Cron, author of many excellent books on the writing craft, comes the post, The Power of Story, Now More Than Ever via Writer Unboxed. In this piece, Cron

Stories aren’t merely for entertainment – no matter what the writer intends. Stories are entertaining so we’ll pay attention to them – it’s biological. Stories press the pause button, allowing us to slip out of our own lives the better to experience the protagonist’s inner struggle. Stories thus tacitly change our perception of what’s right and wrong. What is sacred and what is profane. What is fair and what is not.

Stories are simulations that put facts (real and imagined) into a human context that gives them meaning and makes them actionable.

And so your novel will change how your readers see the world. It will also – in ways large and small — change what they do in the world.

Last but not least, in his post Putting Your Purpose on the Page (also for Writer Unboxed), Don Maass writes about the power of fiction to change the world and offers inspiration and tactical tips for writers who want to do just that:

If your intention in writing is to “illuminate” or “explore”, or simply to entertain, why are you aiming so low?  Make a statement.  Declare yourself.  Teach us what we don’t know.  Show us how to accomplish that which we are afraid to do.  Don’t just challenge our thinking, change it.  Don’t just create conflict, shine a light on injustice, stir our timid hearts, make us want to leap up and act, show us the better world in which we could live.  Don’t just warn us, inspire us to change.

The novels that will change the remainder of the 21st Century have yet to be written.  You have a keyboard.  You have the craft.  You have the eyes, mind and heart of a great storyteller.  What are you waiting for?  As I commented the other day, we are all writers.  The worst thing we could do, especially now, is to keep quiet.

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My Favorite Blog Reads for the Week:





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Sundry Links and Articles:

The Oatmeal is mostly known for it’s snarky style, but “Plane” is both poignant and inspiring. It’s a story I didn’t know about one of the most prolific and successful storytellers of our time, and a story that reminds us that even though we may feel helpless, we should still try to help people.


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Finally, a quote for the week:


Here’s to pockets of calm in whatever storm you’re navigating, holiday cheer that lights up your days and nights, and the courage and passion to tell your stories.
Jamie Lee Wallace Hi. I’m Jamie. I am a content writer and branding consultant, columnist, sometime feature writer, prolific blogger, and aspiring fiction writer. I’m a mom, a student of equestrian arts, 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.

This post originally appeared on the Live to Write – Write to Live blog.

12 thoughts on “Writer’s Weekend Resources – Calm in the Chaos

  1. This is a fantastic post with so much for writers and non-writers alike. Finally, to speak the truth with certainty is what journalists are suppose to do. There is nothing real about “fair and balanced” reporting – how ridiculous! Thank you for speaking truthfully and with certainty. K. D. 🙂

    • Thanks, K.D.. I’m so glad you liked it and found it helpful.
      I agree about the need to speak truth. There’s also a huge need to help people accept truth. Facts seem to be on the endangered species list these days.

      Thanks for being here! 🙂

    • I always love to hear that someone is enjoying these posts along with the requisite Sunday-morning cup of goodness. 😉 Glad you “took delight” – that’s awesome!

  2. Suddenly Jamie -you made my Sunday more creatively bountiful and challenging,Actually yours too should have been spiritually and cerebrally productive.Past few minutes have been exceedingly fruitful.Though tacitly anguishing I have to quit my device now for a seminar to popularize alkaline coffee and alkaline chocolate aka globally known as MYCHOCO ,fortified with DHA and good for adults and kids much more for the memory enhancement and immune boosting than the favour. .My precious successive orgAnised it and we have to be there to interact and train and gain for prospects lifestyle and being an opportunity for creating more millionaires globally by Alianceinmotion it WIl be interesting if they are complacent to live their lives ordinarily or will want to aspire to extraordinary one – which isn’t impossible via the network and the power of the grace of Jesus which is rampart ly ap Lied here to tackle situations. Do have Pleasant Sunday evening and hope I will be able to reply properly within this blessed night and the day that will soon follow like a beautiful moon or bride.. Gbemi Tijani Ibadan Health & life coach(alliance global ltd Hlc rep ,Lagos

    Ps forgive errata MST 11/12/16

    Sent from my iPad

    • Thanks, Gbemi. I hope that your seminar goes well and that you find time later in your day to enjoy your writing pursuits.

  3. I tend to spread my way of celebrating any occasion. I rather have little treats each day than a big one just once. Much like those advent calendars, there is some little surprise behind every number. About writing and speaking the truth, well… what can I say? I’m not a good liar and always try to tell my stories and opinions straight but most of the time it rocks the boat and they throw me overboard. Good that I’m a decent swimmer enough.

    • I love that idea. the BIG celebrations always overwhelm me and stress me out, but I love the idea of small pleasures dispersed throughout the season – how much more fun!!
      Love your boat/overboard/swimmer metaphor. Nicely done. 😉

  4. Inspiring stuff, Jamie 🙂 It’s year end rush, trying to tie up loose ends and do some PR for next year. And mainly organize myself mentally to tackle a New Year with determined goals. For the first time we’ll be taking a small break in northern Italy between Christmas and New Year, so it’s a tall order 🙂

  5. I’m behind too Jamie, but I think it’s going to be alright 😊 it’s a funny year, with a kick in the tail – instead of winding down, I feel as though I’m winding up…

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