2. I still have lots of anxiety issues about writing. I thought they'd go away - or at least diminish - when I had my short story published. But, to my surprise, I think it's gotten worse.
3. One of the things I have problems with is my internal editor. He just won't shut up. Ever. I know I've blogged about this before (I'm just too lazy to find the link). Whenever I sit down to write - or even think about writing something - he steps in and tells me how stupid the idea is or how I'm just wasting my time.
4. For Christmas I got The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. Whenever I'm browsing for books about writing or creativity in general, I come across references to this book. It's been around for ten years and it's supposed to be very helpful for removing blocks to creativity. I'm going to make a concerted effort to follow the program and see what happens. One of the activities the book recommends is "morning pages" where every morning you try to write - long hand - three pages of whatever. It's not a journal, it's not writing. It's more like a stream of consciousness mind dump. This morning I started doing it and my internal editor went crazy because he hates stream of consciousness.
5. When I started this Thursday Thirteen, I thought I'd have no problem coming up with thirteen things to say about writing. I was wrong.
6. My mom is creative - she's an artist. Among other things, she draws, paints, sews, does decoupage and needlepoint. Lately she's been into photography and creating her own cards from photos she's taken. All my life I've compared myself to her in the realm of creativity and I always felt like I fell short. I could never draw like she does. I hate sewing. Needlepoint is too tedious for me. I wasn't any good at the things she was good at. That doesn't mean I wasn't creative - just in different ways. Maybe because my creative outlets were different from my mom's, I didn't value them as much as I should have.
7. I know this sounds cliche but I always worried that a creative career wasn't "practical" enough. I started working at a talent agency after college because I could be close to the arts but still get paid a (not really) decent salary. That's something that Julia Cameron talks about in The Artist's Way - people who dream of being artists but are afraid to take the risks often go into careers associated with the arts. Eventually, I became dissatisfied with what I was doing. I thought it was because there wasn't enough of an intellectual challenge which is why I ended up a law school. Looking back I think I was wrong. I was probably dissatisfied because of the lack of creative challenge.
8. Not that I didn't like law school. It was an intellectual challenge and - in a different way - a creative challenge as well. It involves lots of writing, some of it creative. I wrote some kick ass papers. One of my favorites was a paper about why the enforcement of animal protection laws could violate the separation between church and state because some religions use animal sacrifice as part of their ritual. What made it most interesting is that, at the time, I was a vegetarian. I started writing the paper thinking I would come out on the side of animal protection and ended up on the side of religious freedom - even when it involved something I found personally abhorrent.
9. That's the great thing about writing - for me at least. The act and the process of writing helps me learn things about myself that aren't otherwise accessible to my conscious mind.
10. I started working on a book awhile back and was making some progress (well, for ME a couple short chapters is progress) but I stopped working on it. The idea of writing a book is overwhelming and my internal editor tells me I'll never do it and I'm not sure where the plot is going and I'm not sure I want to go where the characters appear to be taking me and I worry that even if I do write something it'll be so bad that everyone who reads it will laugh at me and I'll feel like I did back in junior high. Awkward and unlovable. Have I mentioned that I didn't really like junior high very much?
11. Here are my writing-related new year's resolutions: 1) do The Artist's Way program, 2) continue to work on the book, 3) write some more short stories and submit them for publication, 4) go over the class notes from the writing class I took and try to incorporate more of those lessons in my current writing, 5) blog more regularly.
12. I've never been very good at keeping new year's resolutions. That's why I tend to keep them to myself so no one will know that I broke my resolution just days after the new year. So now I'm making my resolutions public (at least the writing-related ones). Hopefully that'll shame me into keeping them!
13. I hope everyone has a happy, healthy new year!
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