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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Time Crunches and Paradigm Shifts

Have you ever found yourself crunched for time? It’s obnoxious, no?

I’ve found myself in one big crunch here lately when it comes to writing. Ok, so I had surgery, recovered for a week, and back to work I went. But instead of working part time, I’ve been working full time (with the exception of about a day and a half) for the past two weeks.  

How do authors do it???

I can’t imagine working a full time job while also working off hours to make writing deadlines while also taking care of children at home while also attempting to keep the house relatively clean and SURVIVING, much less functioning.

Many authors have managed to perform this feat, but I am definitely not one of them…

For the past two weeks I’ve accomplished maybe 3-5 things on my writing list. And I am ashamed to admit this, but I don’t think that those things really had anything to do with writing itself—more like checking up on edits and such.
I’m a little frustrated.


Ok, maybe a lot frustrated. Especially because my house is still messy :(. 

On a more positive note, because I think I’ve ranted enough in one post…

I joined a critique group about a month or two back, and it has been immensely rewarding. Being in the group has given me a heap o’ hope (for some reason I am picturing a barn and bales of hay as I write this post, so…just go with it) because I have always believed that everyone who seriously considered writing to be their passion/calling/career path had a gift.

Until now.

I don’t know how I missed out on the fact that the gift or talent of writing has not been given to everyone who feels this way. Maybe I’ve known it to be the truth for a long time, but never acted on this knowledge because of denial (I didn’t want to be pompous).  

I can’t deny it anymore, though, after reading what I have. I sincerely believed that people who called themselves writers found the art of writing as easy to mimic as the act of breathing. I’m not saying writing is “easy,” or that it doesn’t require practice or instruction. I’m saying it was shocking to discover that so many writers struggled to use moving syntax, grammar, and diction.

Writers didn’t automatically know how to use a comma. Or a period. Or a semicolon, a dash, or an ellipsis—the rhythm of writing was not immediately in their grasp as soon as they started a sentence. Writers didn’t automatically know how to use repetition for the sheer joy of effect. Writers didn’t automatically know how to use sentence and paragraph structure to create movement.

I was under the impression that every 'true' writer automatically knew how to use syntax, grammar, and diction. Clearly, I was wrong!

I can no longer deny that God has given me the gift of writing—something that I have been trying to deny/downplay for years—even if I am only a teensy bit above average. 

And that is an encouraging thought!

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