Sunday, March 4, 2012

Keeping On

This afternoon the sunlight glistens on the snow that fell two days ago. The brown-green grass has finally been covered up. Although it feels colder than -8°C, it actually feels like winter, and it’s a great day to hit the ski slopes. Seated at my kitchen table, the warm sun beaming into the room gives a much-needed lift to the day as well as my spirits.

Over the course of the past few days, I’ve had to trick myself into writing. I don’t have any trouble completing my Morning Pages. I’ve been writing Morning Pages for over ten years so that comes naturally to me. It’s the “real” writing that I’ve been struggling with lately — doing the necessary work on a short story or the novel I’m working on. I tell myself that if I write 1,000 words on the novel, I can watch that episode of “Criminal Minds” that I just downloaded. If I rewrite the opening of the short story that’s been sitting on my desk for the last three days, I can take myself to Le Tassé (the neighbourhood coffee house) for my afternoon Americano. I feel like a little kid whose parents are trying to get him to behave by bribing him. It seems silly that I have to coax myself into writing sometimes, but as silly as it does seem, it works — especially on a day like today when I feel restless.

Maybe restless isn’t the right word. I’ve been anxious. As an artist, I have opened my art, and by extension myself, up to criticism. Just like I had to learn not to take rejection personally when I first started writing, now, as a first-time author, I’m learning how to cope with criticism. My good friend, Adrienne, recently reminded me that I need to “just stay grounded in your conviction that you're doing what you want to do and feel called to do and you don't need the approval of strangers.”

That’s what I’m trying to do, stay grounded in my art. After all, I held stubbornly to a dream and the dream came true. That took courage and faith. Sometimes I forget that. And what was it that Polonius said? Ah, yes, it was this: “Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice; take each man’s censure, but reserve thy judgment. […] This above all: to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.”

I am being true to myself. Each day I do something to edge myself, and my art, forward. I have great friends who encourage me, and my art. I have to hold onto faith. That is why, just for today, I will keep on keeping on.

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely, my dear. Art and writing and music are all very subjective in any case, so stick to what you do well and march forward. I am so proud of you!