Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
In essence, I explained my absence and what I've been doing since my last post.
I'm taking care of myself - getting up at 4.00AM for some quiet devotional time, getting to my writing at about 4.30AM and stopping at 6.00AM to begin my daily chores and other tasks. I am trying to be mindful during the day, grabbing every free moment to sit and breath, to jot down ideas for my weekly column, or just to return to my center and be calm.
I didn't intend to stop blogging. One day, two days and well, here I am today.
I've been thinking of merging my blogs and I did it. Just about an hour ago, I did all the technical stuff and Cheryl Wright - Perspectives was created. I imported all my posts from my other blogs.
Boy do I feel Internet savvy!
I needed some simplicity with this or overwhelm will be the order of the day where blogging is concerned. Cheryl Wright - Perspectives will be a one-stop shop for sharing my perspectives on my passions: life (self-improvement/inspiration for lifestyle choices/ finding and pursuing our dreams), writing, home and design (creating spaces to reflect our personalities and lifestyles and to nurture us on every level), and spiritual reflections.
I hope your will visit, follow and subscribe.
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Don't you just hate when that happens?
Contrary to how my days end, my mornings are usually relaxed, contemplative, mindful. In the blissful pre-dawn moments I pray, I read, I meditate and most mornings, I write in my journal. Oh joy!
However, from the moment, I switch to daily-duties-mode, it is an all-day struggle to remember and maintain the essence of the early morning ritual. In fact that essence fades the further I
By noon I'm into ARRRHHHHGGGG-mode and it doesn't let up until the sun goes down around 6PM. By that time of course, I'm too tired to appreciate the gift of silence and solitude that darkness brings.
I have been building a new practice of writing at night. It was going so well and I was so proud of my progress but it is waning. These days, my life resembles the days when I was a fulltime frustrated, overwhelmed, disillusioned, depressed and stressed employee (it was so bad that each of those words, though similar in meaning, deserve to be individually noted). I didn't have time for much else and my tired mind shut down from the moment I left the office at 5PM.
Like my friend Jan at Awake is Good and so many others, I have a bedtime ritual. However, mine runs a three - five day dash and frizzles out into a few mindless activities before crashing into bed. Somehow in the first few days after my bedtime ritual crashes and falls into a neglected heap, I still manage to sleep. It is not the most restful sleep but enough so that the next morning, I awake bright-eyed and bushy-tail. Eventually, my nighttime sleep (if you can call it that), begins to mirror the mental anxieties of my day - busy, conflicting and converging thoughts jostling for attention and action.
In between tossing and turn, when I am aware of what's happening, I groan,
Maybe I am not mining my morning moments for enough of its sustaining properties. Maybe I need to get up earlier, dig deeper and see what I can find. Yes. That's what I'll do beginning Monday morning. I'll let you know how that goes.
Friday, July 24, 2009
Since we are all friends here, let's set modesty aside and share some of the "nice" comments people have made about our writing.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
"Our bodies are garbage heaps: we collect experience, and from the decomposition of the thrown-out eggshells, spinach leaves, coffee grinds, and old steak bones out of our minds, come nitrogen, heat, and very fertile soil. Out of this fertile soil bloom our poems and stories. But this does not come all at once. It takes time. Continue to turn over and over the organic details of your life until some of them fall through the garbage of discursive thoughts to the solid ground of black soil."
When we think we can find nothing to write about, we have only to look at our life experiences, fluff it up a bit and we are sure to find something to craft into an essay, an article, a story or a journal entry.
Many of the articles I've written over the past eleven years were sparked from and garnished with scraps from the compost heap of my life.
Tell me, what kinds of garbage have you found in your life compost to ignite a writing session, jumpstart an article or story or garnish a piece for presentation?
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Saturday, July 4, 2009
I've been a subscriber to Rob Parnell's Easy Way to Write for quite some time and Rob never fails to catch my undivided attention with his informative and inspiring articles on writing and the writing life. I've taken up many of his free offers and benefitted from the guarantees he has made about his gifts.
Once again he delivered a timely dose of encouragement to writers at every stage of the writing journey.
I am so happy to share his latest article with you.
by Rob Parnell
People take writing for granted nowadays. It's everywhere: the Net, newspapers, magazines, books, novels. You can't go anywhere or do anything without coming across words - and the images, even industries they spawn. It's easy to forget that everything starts with a writer.
Writers are often taken for granted too. The news is apparently more important than the journalist who records it. Movies are often regarded as more important than the screenwriters who craft them. Publishers frequently bemoan authors for being the most irritating aspect of their jobs. Even some websites today become far more influential than the scribes who put them together.
But without writers, nothing much out there would exist!
Everything starts with writing - and a writer, just like you.
You Gotta Start Somewhere
I've been helping writers online for about seven years now - and one thing I've noticed is that at various stages of their careers, all writers beat themselves up. They're plagued with self doubt and often lack confidence in their work.
This is bad news if you want to be productive and successful - in many cases it can even stop you from writing at all.
But the good news - if you like to call it that - is that self doubt never quite goes away. No matter how good you get, or how long you write for, you never lose that side of yourself that questions your ability, or your talent - even your sanity sometimes.
Why is this good, you ask?
Well, it's good because it's your self doubt that actually makes you better at what you do. You internal commentator - you know that guy? - is the critical faculty in your brain that forces you to perfect every word, every line, every piece until it's as effective as it should be.
To me, there's nothing worse than a writer who are totally satisfied with the first thing he puts down - and will not change it! No, it's writers who are obsessed with perfection that impress me - and whose careers inevitably transcend all the others.
Flexibility is Control
It's hard sometimes, I know, to murder your darlings, those pieces of prose you love so much.
It's hard to change characters because they're not working in your story.
It's hard to incorporate publisher's suggestions into your work.
But in all these situations, you have to.
You need the strength of character to understand that your writing lives on the outside of you, not just on the inside.
When your writing is on paper, it's fair game, so the thinking goes.
That's why the journalist is forgotten, that's why the screenwriter is used only as a starting block in Hollywood. That's why publishers tend to treat newbie authors with such contempt. And it's why websites take on a significance way beyond their creator's copy.
But this too is good. It's part of the process. Writing creates 'things'. The writing is the piece of clay that creates an idea or an object that editors, publishers and producers want to mold and shape into something everyone can use and enjoy.
Your own writing has the power to inspire.
Don't be afraid of changing your writing, honing and perfecting your skill, to make your writing better. Over and over if necessary.
There's no shame in that - quite the opposite is true.
A Writer's Time is Never Wasted
Being a writer is about having a certain mindset - a different way of looking at the world. Where a normal person sees life and and accepts it with fatalism, a writer sees the world as a place filled with opportunities to create and improve on reality.
That's why the world needs writers so much - to offer escapism or solutions, to make sense of everything and make life more meaningful.
Writing is a noble profession. We are creators.
It doesn't matter how long we take to get things on paper - or perfect what we do. A writer's life is organic, it feeds off experience and we improve, sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly, depending on our needs and our desire to learn.
Even when not writing, the true writer is gathering information, sensations and stimuli that will eventually find their way into the writing. It's all good. It's all purposeful.
Writing matters too much to let our self doubt get the better of us.
Don't let your inner demon grind you down.
Don't ignore the voice that makes you doubt yourself.
Make friends with your inner commentator.
The two of you have important work to do.
Now, let's get to our writing because with Rob dishing out information and inspiration like this, it is easy to write.
Friday, June 26, 2009
Today, will you join me in saying thanks to those who have encouraged us by their inspiring words and/or by their example, to improve our writing (style, voice, practice, process etc.), in some way.
If you think your list is too long for the comments section, share a few and post the rest on your blog, with a link back to Perspectives on Writing.
Monday, June 22, 2009
- a comic take on a serious issue, a pet topic, a classic romance, your personal story or someone else's -
Write a short (up to 250 words) description of your dream book and share it in the comments.