How to be Fierce on the Page




I finished Fierce on the Page and Cohen really inspired me to get my butt back in the chair with all her wisdom.  I'll share a few more tidbits noted on my reading journey:

Get to the Place of Grace:  "No matter how experienced you may be, each piece of writing arrives on its own terms, and you must learn to interpret its cries and give it what it needs.  When and what to revise, if and when its finished, and when to let it go into the world are questions whose answers must be sourced from the writing itself.  It can be difficult to know and much of what we writers do is trial and error (or practice)  I think the most common mistake we writers make is to hurry a piece of writing out of our hands and into the world before it is ready to go."

Hubby keeps asking me when am I going to be finished with Eyes in the Ashes.  He read the first few chapters in the rough draft and fell in like with the story, in all its rough glory.  Little did he understand, it had a lot of holes, too many points of view and needed lots of editing.  Unfortunately I let too many eyes review and over edited my voice out of it.  I set it aside for a long, long time, then had an epiphany, several of them, and I've been letting it percolate.  I'm almost ready to start rewriting with fresh mind and attitude. 

Love the Dog you Pick: "I believe our job as writers is to welcome the writing we are called to do with the same way we love the animals in our lives; with everything we've got.  To trust that the material we have chosen (or has chosen us) is the path to our deepest riches.  When love leads us, day by day, we cultivate a practice through which our accountability to ourselves and our work becomes undeniable."  

Once I decided to be accountable to myself and not look outside myself for someone to be accountable to, it kind of all slid into place.  

Practice Closes the Gap:  "Ask now what your writing life can do for you, but what you can do for your writing life. Welcome yourself and your writing as you are.  Adore the deep, messy, wobbly middle of your work and your writing in the same way you would love a child who hasn't mastered language or bike riding."

I'm learning to embrace editing. I'm  learning to embrace all my foibles when it comes to writing and not worry about an audience or whether I'm doing it right or wrong. Being a writer means being a perpetual student of the word. 

Sticks and Stones:  Words gives us a way to retain, make sense of, and even transcend our experiences.  Every kind word opens us up a little and every unkind word closes some part of us down. Since we have a choice, why not find a way to use words to craft a lifeboat that will sustain what we value most?"

Build up those we love, not tear them down.

Cupid hits an Artery:  "When cupid hits an artery, we can simple write it down and see what words come after. We can trust the words as companions. They don't have to be perfect or good. They just have to land on the page as we land in our lives: one foot, one word, after the other. This is what makes a writing life."

I like cupid hits an artery better than bleeding or vomiting on the page.  Much more elegant way to say it.

From Impossible to Inevitable:  Inevitable success starts with knowing what you desire and then holding your focus there.  As you move toward what you want, seek out what you need to grown and appreciate your evolution each microstep of the way.  You have enough and you are enough to become the writer you were meant to be. 

Baby steps, focus on what you want, don't fear change and practice, practice, practice.


Listen to your Mother:  "I hated writing thank you notes until I loved it.  What I discovered was that practice is not only the path to mastery, but also a means of initiation into ourselves.  Through the repetitive  act of giving thanks, I discovered how deeply grateful and fortunate I am."
   
What a wonderful idea. Write thank you notes to all those people who help you, from the gardener to the teacher who pulled you up by the boot straps to the author who entertains and makes you think. Not a email, but a written letter.  My book group has a postcard/book swap list and I've been quite remiss in not sending anything lately. Time to get writing a few notes.  

If I ever needed a kick start to get back into writing and back into blogging and journaling, Sage Cohen provided that with her Fierce on the Page. I'm still working on the long list of questions she asked in Chapter 62 about intentions, clarifying your actions and choices when it comes to the writing life, but I really need to write Ms. Cohen a thank you letter.  She totally inspired me. 


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