Do What you Imagine

Wednesday’s word of the day, quantum (from Wordsmith.org) illustrates, in one word, my perception of time lately: there isn’t much of it.

Instead of crafting a quick story for a Wednesday’s Word post, I searched for a quote that might give color to the word. I found one that indirectly speaks to my desire to write and the courage it takes to keep me writing, even when the inspiration flickers out.

Today’s word:

quantum. noun.
1. A quantity or amount.
2. A portion.
3. A large amount.
4. The smallest amount of something that can exist independently.

Doing is a quantum leap from imagining. Thinking about swimming isn’t much like actually getting in the water. Actually getting in the water can take your breath away. The defense force inside of us wants us to be cautious, to stay away from anything as intense as a new kind of action. Its job is to protect us, and it categorically avoids anything resembling danger. But it’s often wrong. Anything worth doing is worth doing too soon.”

— Barbara Sher, American business owner, career counselor, author.

A new year approaches. And,2010 calls for fresh goals but demands repeat determination.

Don’t just imagine, Someday I’d like to be a writer.

Write.

Because “anything worth doing is worth doing…” now.

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7 responses to “Do What you Imagine

  1. Interesting that you consider it courageous to keep writing even when you’re not inspired. I’ve never thought of writing as courageous … well, not fiction writing. I want to know more of your viewpoint.

  2. I read that quote and immediately thought about the risk in writing.

    For years I wanted to call myself a writer; I wanted to take the plunge. But I never ventured outside of my journal or a few personal letters that recounted a silly experience.

    Starting a blog was taking a risk. Submitting my first piece (in it’s own infancy) was taking a risk.

    It would be easy to imagine the smile on my face when that first novel is finished and published, instead of actually rewriting that novel to submittable quality. And, then sending it out into the query world.

    And, I thought of your recent post (http://lindacassidylewis.com/2009/12/30/keep-paddling/), and how even when I feel uninspired or unrecognized (with just one more rejection email to archive), I still write.

    • I’m in a weird mood, I guess, or maybe I’m completely missing your point, but I’m not being flippant.

      Is what you feel you’re risking only the rejection of your work? I know it’s hard not to feel like a conjoined twin with your writing, but I’ve finally accepted that agents and editors are just businessmen and my work is only a product to them.

      I realize, of course, for a writer who has to make a living from her writing, selling the product is extremely important. I don’t have to sell my work, so I’ve come to the point where I view the act of writing, the creation of story, as the valuable part … not the selling. So, in that sense, writing is not a risk to me.

      I would like to share it, and so I will try to sell it, but if I never succeed, it does not diminish the accomplishment of writing a novel (or story), nor does that make me enjoy my work less.

      • I don’t think you’re being flippant. Maybe I’m not expressing myself well.

        For me, the risk in writing comes in the act itself: to write is to make myself vulnerable, whether I write memoir or fiction, since each story I write reveals a small part of myself or my psyche.

        The risk also comes in sharing that story (and that small piece of myself) with others, whether they pay to read it or not.

        I hope that reads more clear than my first comment.

        • Ha ha, you were clear. I was trying to let you know I didn’t want you to think I was being flippant in the comment I was about to make.

          I guess a year ago I felt like you. I’ve had enough experience in critique groups now that I don’t think of it as a risk to share my work. But I think I feel more separated from my work than you do.

  3. Christi, I also feel the act of writing takes courage. For me, writing (including fiction writing) is often a painful, fearful experience. What I fear isn’t so much that others will reject me but that I will reject the parts of myself exposed in the writing process.

    To be honest, I never thought, Someday I’d like to be a writer. Instead, I thought, Someday I’d like to stop lying to myself. A tiny part of my psyche decided years ago that I’m writer, so now I try to earn the right to say so aloud.

    “2010 calls for fresh goals but demands repeat determination.” Yes, and I like the clarity in this statement.

    • Ann, I love this: A tiny part of my psyche decided years ago that I’m writer, so now I try to earn the right to say so aloud.

      Earning the right to say so aloud hits home with me. Thanks for your comment.

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