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Posts Tagged ‘Writing’

#ifnotnowwhen

If not me, who? And if not now, when?  Mikhail Gorbachev

 

 Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.   Winston Churchill  

#Ifnotnowwhen

Image courtesy of swbusiness.com.au

I’ve sat and looked at this screen, day after day and hour by hour, so unsure of what to say. It’s a frightening thing, being so unsure of what to say. I know that in what seems a lifetime ago, the words tripped over themselves trying to get onto the page. Perhaps even more frightening is being afraid that what I say is just taking up someone’s time without purpose.

OMG I thought, what if, after all this dithering around, what I write is just a waste of time. Now I realise that it isn’t. I’m writing for myself at the moment. I have to, at least until my “mojo” decides to get itself together and understands that this is what writing is all about. The courage to keep talking about what I think about – whether it’s a story or a “simple blog” – is the key to the magic.

So, for today it’s a simple blurb to say “hello”, “I’m here, not quite sure if you will hear me or not, but that’s okay. I’ve made the first step, a giant leap for me today”

#Ifnotnowwhen

Image courtesy cover_not_living_in_fear..anon

“Laugh, even when you feel too sick or too worn out or tired.
Smile, even when you’re trying not to cry and the tears are blurring your vision.
Sing, even when people stare at you and tell you your voice is crappy.
Trust, even when your heart begs you not to.
Twirl, even when your mind makes no sense of what you see.
Frolick, even when you are made fun of. Kiss, even when others are watching. Sleep, even when you’re afraid of what the dreams might bring.
Run, even when it feels like you can’t run any more.
And, always, remember, even when the memories pinch your heart. Because the pain of all your experience is what makes you the person you are now. And without your experience—you are an empty page, a blank notebook, a missing lyric. What makes you brave is your willingness to live through your terrible life and hold your head up high the next day. So don’t live life in fear. Because you are stronger now, after all the crap has happened, than you ever were back before it started.”
Alysha Speer

I’ve read some amazing blogs during my “sabbatical” which have made me hope to visit strange and wonderful places, see the wide vistas, empty ranges and places filled with flora and fauna I have never seen before. There are too many writers out there to thank for this inspiration, yet to one and all I say a heartfelt “Thank You, I will visit these places, not just in my mind from your words and photos, but in person, to feel and experience these people and places”.

I’ve read about your battles with your demons, whatever they are. I’ve felt the strength you’ve shown in writing about it. I’ve felt my struggles are pitiful when aligned next to yours – and in the end I know that I have to put that aside too. We all have a right to our struggles, our physical demons. We can allow ourselves to be overwhelmed by them. We can use the pathos of our situation to keep calling people back, or we can simply say, “Hey, this happened and it can happen to you, so keep going and after you’ve told me about it, leave it and keep going.” Our stories are important – to us, and sometimes to others, so if we are unsure, write for yourselves. Write your hearts blood on the page, your fear, shout out and tell the world, because it’s the silence which is deadly. It’s that simple thing, the silence we strive for at other times which is often holding us back.

The silence of emptiness.

#Ifnotnowwhwen

Image courtesy of maxresdefault

 

“All that is left to bring you pain, are the memories. If you face those, you’ll be free. You can’t spend the rest of your life hiding from yourself; always afraid that your memories will incapacitate you, and they will if you continue to bury them.”
J.D. Stroube, Caged in Darkness

This caught my attention and I thought, Wow, that’s exactly what I was thinking. So I know that I’m not alone.

I’m simply human – I fell off the bandwagon in truth… not once but several times. I have the bruises and scars to show for it! Today was just one more day in the struggle to “be”. It’s boring in its simplicity, my damned back is being a pain in ways I never believed possible. Simplicity itself – I leaned on something which moved when I thought it would stay where it was. I fell… right on top of new bruises from the day before and pain flared majestically through the synapses of my brain once more. I should be used to it, but the odd thing is, you never become blasé about pain. Ask any of the people out there with Fibromyalgia…. I have it and it doesn’t take a holiday, it just decides to let you think it might be going away… til it returns once more.

I realised I said it “majestically flared through new synapses of the brain” and I realise it is that and so much more. Colours you never imagined fire through your vision and logical speech and thought are devoured in an instant.

#Ifnotnowwhen

Courtesy of wildlyfreewoman.net

“I have always been afraid… Always been pretending to follow you closely, always been pretending to sharpen my teeth, when the truth is, I am … scared to death just treading on your shadow.”
Tite Kubo

 

Blessings, Susan ♥

© Susan Jamieson 2015

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#Shareyourworld

image from artelartlivejournal.com

“The power of getting to know one another is so immense, eclipsed only by first getting to know ourselves.”
Bryant McGill, Voice of Reason

~

If you were an ice cream cone how many scoops and flavours would you be and why?

I have to admit that where ice cream is concerned, because I have so little of it, when I do my inner child comes rushing to the fore and so I really enjoy myself.

I love the waffle cones, there is something really childlike about trying to get around the cones and stop the ice cream from escaping. Since the cone is so large I’ve found two scoops more than enough, but I manage somehow to finish it all. Flavours, at the moment (and I’ll be honest and say I had an ice cream just a few days ago), I really enjoyed the white chocolate and macadamia vanilla ice cream and teamed that with the boysenberry ripple. I just love the boysenberry flavour so it’s a winner hand’s down.

Of course having a deep red/purple ice cream with a white one makes for some interesting inner child at work time. All I will say is thank heavens all those little serviettes come with it.

#ShareYourWorld

image from en.paperblog.com –

Are you left or right handed?

I’m right handed, always have been and never felt the inclination to try left handed except when I’m trying some automatic writing. It still looks more like an angry gerbil has scrawled across the page but I’m hoping for some improvement.

Before making a phone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say?

This is such a loaded question. If I’m on an information hunt I’ll have as many questions prepared as I think I need to cover the issue. I’m sure I may have driven some poor sales people to the brink of insanity but “them’s the breaks”.

If I’m about to tell someone what I think of them – because I’ve been on the receiving end of bad service, then I definitely don’t rehearse. I’ve found my creative juices flow and I’m wonderfully pithy and can shred the unwary with little effort. I even feel sorry for them occasionally.

If I have no idea who may be on the other end then I have a range of one liners to ditch them quickly if I have no reason to be pestered, but if it’s family then it’s time to let the loquacious beast loose. (My Mum and I used to talk for hours at a time and never noticed the time passing, and we could do this every day).

#ShareYourWorld

image from footage.shutterstock.com

How many rings before you answer the phone?

Psychology again. If it’s a return call and I need to read the riot act it’s always good to let the phone ring a little before answering. Yes, I know it’s cruel. However, most of the time I just want it answering as quickly as possible. I have yet to find a ring tone I really want to sit and listen to.

#ShareYourWorld

image from doggysstyle.wordpress.com

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I got my new computer last week and think I may have ironed out most of its peculiarities (fingers crossed, cross your eyes and spit into the wind). That being so I have to now get Skype set up so I can get in touch with my Bestie who is not well at the moment. (That’s fingers crossed and a nod and a wink to the powers above).

I hope you’ve enjoyed the light hearted approach to this week’s answers. It’s good to let the inner child out to play occasionally. You never know what might happen.

See you next week.

Blessings, Susan ♥

© Susan Jamieson 2014

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image from http://www.tumblr.com – Fox Mulder from the X Files

Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.”      Mark Twain

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There have been times, and more than a few, when I wondered if I was doing something wrong. I mean, I love to write, there are rarely times when I cannot think of something to say, but then I wonder if what I’m saying has any relevance for anyone except me.  I’m sure there are many people who write, prose of poetry, simply for their own fulfillment and enjoyment. It must be a wonderful feeling to write and not be in the least concerned whether anyone likes or will read what you have put part of yourself into.

Perhaps there are people out there in the blogosphere, the  land of poetry and the world of stories whose joy at seeing their thoughts and feelings on a page is sufficient gratification for them. However, I am now equally sure that there are many more who would be more than delighted, not simply gratified but reassured when their labours of love are recognised by another.  Sadly it has taken until now for me to realise I’m not strange in wishing for a little recognition. Adulation would be a bit much but I’m sure there are those who ache for that too.

I have wondered what it takes to be part of the tight-knit Writing Groups I hear so much about. The wonderful support networks who buoy each other up if they don’t get much support for the blood, sweat and tears they’ve expended, and applause for those whose every utterance seems to garner accolades at every turn, even for the most trivial of things.

I’ve read the blogs which give the hints at tips at enlarging your following, the likes you receive and I’ve been amazed and somewhat disappointed.  If you ‘like’ me, or enough other people then you may start to get the ‘likes’ in return. If you promote my blog or product and form a network then you’ll get reciprocation for your promotion.  Pardon me, but that doesn’t quite ring true if you are writing for pleasure and entertainment. Sure everyone would like to think that one day they may write something more substantial, a short story or even an epic, but not by buying the audience. Perhaps I have it the wrong way around?

“I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to
succeed, but I am bound to live up to what light I have.”     ― Abraham Lincoln

I could do just what has been recommended. Find the people who are writing about the things which interest me, which is not a narrow field, and like and/or follow them in the hope they will come to my blog and like and/or follow me. There are thousands of us out there.  If I ask for someone to review what I’ve written and I get a crushing response will it affect how I write? Holy Cow but it smacks of being back in school again having to conform to some arbitrary curriculum.

So today, I’ve done something completely different. I’m making a statement that I may not find all the blogs I would like to read, who have amazing content FOR ME, but I appreciate the effort each and every person puts in and if I could ‘like’ you all I would, just to let you know you are not “insignificant”.  In point of fact if i could locate everyone who has something I’d like to read I would never get a chance to write anything at all.  Some of you may say “Well that’s no loss” and you’re entitled to your opinion.

You see, if there is one thing I learned from my love affair with the X Files it’s that “The Truth is Out There”.  I may not find my audience. I may not have the Midas touch with getting the right Categories and Tags and therefore be lost somewhere in Cyberspace.  I may never get to find or form a group who will mutually support each other, and that’s OK. It might hurt now and again when I’m feeling fragile but I’ll survive.

Malcolm Gladwell wrote a book called “The Tipping Point” where much hard work has to be put into an endeavour before momentum is reached. Once that critical mass (the Tipping Point) has been achieved then the endeavour takes on a life of its own.

image from antranik.org

So for all those solo bloggers who are feeling unrecognized, take heart, one day, when you reach the Tipping Point, you will also be well recognised, applauded and lauded for your ideas and writing. Until then, it’s one word at a time.

.

“Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts.”
Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind

May all your ideas be great ones, may all your writing be seen.

Bright days.  Susan x

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Sunset at Byron Bay Lighthouse – beautiful

 “The power of imagination makes us infinite.”   John Muir

What makes us, writers, bloggers, artists, photographers and so on, different from everyone else “out there”?  We all have the same bodies, give or take, we have similar backgrounds within a huge range of possibilities, but what is the indefinable something which sets us apart from the rest of society.  I feel it is that inner drive to make yourself understood. It is the need to share your ideas, to craft them and polish them and then put them out there, into that vast unknown sea of the ‘audience’ and find out if we have managed to resonate with others.

Some artists do what they do for their own satisfaction and need no acceptance from others. For most of us it is not simply nice to be acknowledged, it is the standard by which we measure how well we are at putting forward our ideas and inspiration.  From books to art, to the landscape of nature we seek and find inspiration for our ideas, our incredible imaginations which craft together thoughts, ideas, rich tapestries which spread a canvas of possibilities for others to share. To be acknowledged as successful in that endeavor must be a heady brew indeed.

At present I’m drawing with broad strokes on a huge palette until I find, or rather narrow, my niche. Perhaps it is also true that I need courage to grasp that idea and run with it and see how far it can take me. It is also true that I have no real desire to narrow my area too far and thus stifle a spark of genius which may float my way.

Let me share with you some of the sources of inspiration which have been given to me recently.

DSCN2745

The beginnings of sunrise. The blazing light of the sun behind the clouds and the shadowed trees in the foreground. The ocean seems almost peaceful as it gently rolls to the shore.

Darkness banished, the sun in all it's glory and spirit orbs welcoming the dawn.

Darkness banished, the sun in all it’s glory and spirit orbs welcoming the dawn.

Golden sunlight pours out from the cloud cover, bathing the land with molten gold. No wonder the people of old believed it was magical when the sun appeared each day. It shows us the power and majesty which surrounds us and that anything is possible. It’s a palette of colours any painter would be thrilled by.

The beauty of the full moon, mysterious and magical.

The beauty of the full moon, mysterious and magical.

The terrific days and nights of the past full moon when she was the closest to earth for years, bringing with her thoughts of the ‘wild hunt’ with Pan, the Druids and mystery and magic in the air.

The stirring view of the moons light across the ocean as she rose into the sky.

The stirring view of the moon’s light across the ocean as she rose into the sky.

I found this picture irresistible to take, thinking of how luxurious it would be to soak in the water as the moon’s light washed over me.  Just an old-fashioned romantic, or perhaps a sorceress of old, charging up her powers by the light of the moon, and so wonderful for charging up your crystals.

Two pairs of wood ducks wandering around the garden.

Two pairs of wood ducks wandering around the garden.

It was a pleasure to see the ducks wandering around in the garden, totally without fear. I spent hours just enjoying the freedom they made me feel and they waddled along finding grubs wherever they went.

Rolling ocean waves.

Rolling ocean waves.

You cannot help but be overawed by the power and majesty of the ocean as she pounds on the beach. It makes you realise how small we are in the grand scheme of things, but it is thrilling to watch as the waves cleanse the air and refresh the body and mind. Simply invigorating to be a part of it.

High seas and stormy weather.

High seas and stormy weather.

The same section of coast during the storm – the power and intensity were even more awe inspiring as they thrashed the beach over and over again. The roar was incredible, you could imagine the old timber galleons being pounded to pieces with the ferocity of the waves.

The magic of a rainbow after a storm.

The magic of a rainbow after a storm.

A beautiful rainbow after a storm, with the colours so defined. I made a wish and looked for the proverbial pot of gold. Perhaps the pot of gold is seeing the rainbow arching across the sky.

Still feeding her babies.

Still feeding her babies.

We’ve watched this family of Eastern Rosella’s grow up. There is a nesting box in the poinciana tree and over the weeks we have been able to watch the parents make their trips back to the nest and watch the babies pop their heads up to be fed.

A Major Mithcell standing guard on the bird feeder.

A Major Mitchell standing guard on the bird feeder.

This was a rare treat. Major Mitchells are usually found in inland Australia. I’ve been told this is really unusual so we’ve made the most of watching them. They may be Corellas or Bare Eyed Cockatoos.  Whatever their name it’s been wonderful watching them, even if we did lose all the figs on our tree.

These are some the things which give me inspiration, which motivate me to think, feel and dream outside the box. The world surrounds me with inspiration if I look to see it.  The desire to write, to communicate my ideas only means that I haven’t yet said all I want to say and if I have a ‘dry’ period, as a friend said, I only need wait for my next dream. Either way I know that I am ‘polishing my craft’..

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”

– Harriet Tubman

Blessings  Susan x

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Where to from here? It’s a question everyone will ask themselves many times over the course of their lifetime. Today it seems like a simple question and yet it is also confusing.  I started out on one path, wanting to get my thoughts, ideas, feelings into words, not only for myself but hopefully, finding that they resonate for someone else also.  I believe at times we all strive to make that connection with someone else.

Then, quite suddenly I found myself writing a poem. There was no conscious decision to do so, but from there they seemed to flow. It’s an interesting change, to suddenly find oneself in a totally different place from where one began. I am able to truly be ‘in the moment’ as I write either poetry or prose, I am deeply grateful. They form a small, but essential escape and one I will continue to  explore.

If my head stays on for the night, and my trips to the bathroom decrease, I will try to write a story tomorrow, but  that is in the lap of the Gods. At present things are hanging by a thread – just like my climber.

 

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This life is yours. Take the power to choose what you want to do and do it well. Take the power to love what you want in life and love it honestly. Take the power to walk in the forest and be a part of nature. Take the power to control your own life. No one else can do it for you. Take the power to make your life happy.

 Susan Polis Schutz

There are times when, despite the best of intentions, there seems to be little you do which turns out the way you intended it. It’s frustrating to say the least, and when you have worked for hours trying to get it just so, it can be heartbreaking. Sometimes you can sit there and wonder – why? Is there really any purpose to this, to keep trying to do this, when no-one seems to know or care?

The purpose is just that – it is the reason why you started ‘this’ in the first place. What motivated you to begin this  course of action, this group, this course, this painting, craft work or blog? To understand the reason you have to delve inside, not always the easiest place to delve, and find the true reason there. It may be a short journey or a long one. It may be pleasant or not. It may bring sadness or pain. You may even feel as though your ‘strings’ are being pulled by another – for a time at least.

One of the hardest questions I’ve needed to answer has been why I wanted to write a blog. It should be simple and on the surface it is, I wanted to share my words with someone. I had so many words trapped inside waiting to find an avenue to see the light that I wanted to write them down somewhere. Sounds nice and easy and straightforward, and it is as far as it goes. That’s what I’m doing, but why has it become difficult?

I have a failing, well in fact I have many, but the important one here is impatience. I have found a forum where I have been entertained, delighted, entranced and mesmerised by the writing of others. Sometimes to the extent that I wonder what I have to offer that anyone would want to read. (My heartfelt thanks to my followers and those heartwarming ‘likes’ which let me know my words are not falling on deaf ears, or worse yet, empty air).

I needed to reassess my reaction to seeing some bloggers write their hearts on a page and see no response and others, who put as much work in receive what could amount to tumultuous applause. What is the different ingredient that sees some succeed and others appear not to? What magical spell was there to see everyone’s efforts recognised?

The answer is – there is no magical ingredient, no magic spell, which is only my opinion of course.  There are lone writers out there who may be slowly found by people searching for ‘something’ as I have found different blogs.  Then there are those who may have a wonderfully large social network or belong to a writers group and they all support each other. “Like begets Like’ so to speak.

Yet for everyone it is the same beginners rule, you can only go “One step at a time”.  Some may say “it’s the luck of the draw” others “the roll of the dice”. Then there are my often heard homilies; “you can’t run before you can walk”, and my favorites:” good things come to those who wait” and “everything in its time”.

By the time I’ve worked my way through these I have to laugh at myself. I write because the words want to come out and the topics choose themselves – most of the time. My reality checker (hubby) often reminds me that all things eventually reach a ‘tipping point’, in this case, perhaps more importantly from a recognition perspective, a point at which the number of people ‘Following’ and the number of ‘Likes’ for each post, indicate that your audience has grown sufficiently to show others that ‘here is a good writer and blogger’. This person has something to say which others want to hear and like.

It seems that irrespective of how large a following you have, more is better. When I first wrote I felt incredibly excited and rewarded by the first ‘Like’ and then “Follower”. It was a huge “WOW” factor.  Now I appreciate the time and effort people show by reading my blog, “Like” and/or “Follow” it. I am immensely grateful for their graciousness and I am still excited to see those ‘Likes’ after my blog.

It appears Mark Twain found “The Secret” long before “The Secret” became famous.

So, despite my challenges, and today the brain fog has been infuriating, apparently only a minor impediment at present, I have taken, “Just  One Step” and figuratively speaking, put pen to paper and started writing again.  I will still have days when I doubt that what I say is of any interest to anyone but myself, but then I am also human.

All writers have doubts, it is in the nature of the beast. If success is meant to come, then I will need to be patient (please send it by the bucket full), and allow time to flow as it always does. After all, my words will resonate with some, at some time, in some place and that is all a writer may hope for.

image from en.wikipedia.org –


“May it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out.”

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Thank you very much Sarah, ( http://starrystez.com/2013/02/05/inspiring-blogger-award/ ) for the Inspiring Blogger Award

I feel truly honoured and totally surprised by this award.  I had begun to wonder at times how many people were seeing my blog – just one of those funny things  when you’re writing in the middle of the night like the proverbial owl 🙂

Guidelines for accepting this award:

1. Create a post and reveal 7 things about yourself.

2. Post the blog award on your site, indicate who nominated you.

3. Present the award to up to 15 bloggers that inspire you and include links to their blogs in your post.

Seven Things about myself. Believe it or not this is really difficult.

1. I’m a very private person, in person, and writing helps me to express myslef more easily.

2. I really love writing, it allows me to explore parts of myself I don’t look at very often.

3. I am really painfully shy. I’ve worked really hard to overcome this and hope I might be able to say I have when I’m up on the big stage! (OK I know its similar to 1. )

4. One of my ambitions is to be a speaker on the big stage.

5. I was the P&C President, Chairperson of the School Council and Head of the Budget Committee all in the same year where I lost my nerves over Public Speaking.

6. I am going to have my own farm (with my husband) which will be our private retreat and sanctuary.

7. I have two children who know nothing about my clandesine writing life.

The  blogs I have found inspirational and a font of knowledge or excitement I nominate are:

P.J. Hodge, Freaky Folk Tales

Ben Furrows, Travelling Thane Furrows

Daniella, Lantern Post

WOW,

All the wonderful authors at Thrive on News

Kathleen’s Writings

There are so many more I love to read and these people have been wonderful sources of inspiraton for me.  Many thanks to you all for your generosity and time.

Blessings

Susan x

 

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