Thursday, February 25, 2010

Brain Clunk

“For every failure, there's an alternative course of action. You just have to find it. When you come to a roadblock, take a detour.” – Mary Kay Ash

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A few days ago I read something that stopped me dead in my tracks (Cue the sound of an engine falling out of a car). I couldn’t shift back into gear for the life of me until I reassessed my thoughts on the matter.

It doesn’t happen often.

For the most part I read and glean all I can and move on.

What was all the commotion about? Janet Reid had posted a Typography link that held these two lines ensconced.

“What has happened to our conviction?” and “Where are the limbs out on which we once walked?”

I balked, stammered and watched the video again and again, until I ended up going in search of the original poem by Taylor Mali. I was enthralled, wanting/needing to follow suit and reaffirm my own convictions.

Convictions - Those strong persuasions of belief that lend strength and credence to who we are and what we stand for. Sound familiar?

It’s effortless to forget things which once stirred us to speak out and up. What happened to those times we made decisions with the utmost conviction, knowing this is what you were meant to do – be?

In this day and age of choices it’s all too easy to leave it to someone else or better yet - give up, because the road has suddenly become unbearable and difficult. After all without our convictions what could possibly drive us to pursue that avenue of hardship?

Take my choice to be a writer for instance, it’s a long difficult journey to get to the publishing stage. There are self doubts and days of pulling your hair out, screaming fits of what am I doing to myself. It’s a rare opportunity to get that pat on the back with exclamations of you're doing great, keep up the good work. A choice in which you learn you’re a company of one, who may or may not have that best seller in you.

So why do it? - Because I can’t imagine doing anything else. Life is a process of repeatedly falling and getting back up until you’re strong enough to stand against the tide. The only way you get there or anywhere in life, is having the conviction to believe in yourself.

Without a doubt there will be days conviction in itself won't be enough and you'll need all the courage and brute determination you can spare to stay the course.

So the question belies – Am I writer? Do I see things in poetic detail or lives played out in the form of characters in a book. Am I a storyteller who loves to imagine all the possibilities of consequences? Better yet…go ahead and ask the hard question. Do I believe I’m a writer?




Picture from here

25 comments:

  1. Love that Ash quote that started this fine post and your line: "because I can’t imagine doing anything else." Amen. That's where I'm at. Writers write. And we do.

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  2. I agree with David... "because I can't imagine doing anything else" keeps driving me.

    As to conviction, I think I am changing in to Stupendous Man as I say, 'The hero business is left to me," as I put on my tattered cowl & cape and take to the fray once again!

    I never been shy about standing up for what I believe in. In fact, when I stand alone and draw the crowd to me is better than me simply walking behind someone and the gang.

    Alone I know why I am going in a direction... if I follow someone then I am relying on them ... and what do they know?

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  3. This post has left me inspired and looking to answer some question of my own!

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  4. The key is to find convictions that are worthy. Writing is a worthy conviction.

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  5. I gotta second or third what everyone else agrees with "because I can't imagine doing anything else." I had a professor in school say that we are only allowed to be artists if we can't imagine doing anything else - and then to move confidently forward from there with the conviction that this is what we are meant to do. We all have gifts...we must use them as we would our own limbs.

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  6. Have no idea if I am a writer, but I love to write. It is the most satisfying and healing thing I do. I think as the written word. So...am I a writer? Who knows.

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  7. I think you are a writer--a damn good one! :) Julie

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  8. Conviction..believing in one self...this is what I'm contemplating while I'm reading Faith by Susan Salzburg. love this entry. just what I needed today..hugz!

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  9. I have been having the same doubts myself. I cannot help but think it comes with "cabin fever." The winter doldrums. Whatever you want to call it. Nothing a romp in the grass or walk on a beach would not cure. You are a writer! PLease do not stop. Hang in there, spring is on the way

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  10. you have a natural ability (that's what it looks like to me anyway) to write. don't ever doubt yourself!

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  11. Lynda Barry's book 'What It Is' covers this topic nicely. I recommend it very much

    Russ

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  12. Food for thought..It makes me think about things I have let go in times of every day living.
    Thanks for sparking the ember.
    Hugs,Sheri

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  13. Well can not a story teller be also a writer, and/or the opposite be true? Anyway, Indigo YOU are both!

    And *I* believe you are a writer...

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  14. You have conviction, and that my friend will carry you through. Writers do because them must. You must and that answers your question.

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  15. You are most definitely a writer and I have heard from many that the publishing world is a fickle and drawn out process. Keep at it, hon -

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  16. Is this a question that needs to be asked? You seem as if you would be compelled to write no matter what. Isn't writing a part of who you are?

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  17. My point exactly Stephanie. It's about knowing the answer to those questions. Having the conviction to believe.

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  18. I believe you believe you're a writer and I believe you're a writer and everyone else seems to believe you're a writer so I believe that makes you a writer.

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  19. To thyself be true..you know the answer. It's a hard undertaking but you can do it.

    You have a distinctive voice, I believe that is the mark of a writer.

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  20. I think that you are a writer if you want to be one. It is what is within you and what drives you that determines so much. I like what you write about convictions. That's a word that I don't hear much about lately.

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  21. Dear Indigo. Clunk.

    Look at all the comments you get. If you try to imagine yourself being something else and can't do it then you can say I can't imagine being anything but a writer. We write because we must and it doesn't matter what anyone thinks of it. It's what you think of it that matters, and as someone said, don't doubt yourself. About giving up, I give up at least once a day. I've been doing that for about 50 years worth of days. The limbs are still all out there. We get older and we know more about the dangers, that's all.

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  22. As always a thought-provoking entry, Indigo, even when you're suffering from brain clunk. Are you? Somehow, I don't think so. But you are feeling what we can't see...

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  23. I believe you are a writer. You write amazing entries.

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  24. "Without a doubt there will be days conviction in itself won't be enough and you'll need all the courage and brute determination you can spare to stay the course."

    This semester.....is exactly how I feel and have gotten by.

    Love and admiration to you my dear friend.

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Thank you for giving my silence a voice, my muse your words, and taking the time to discover my prose.