To write or to have written?

In truth, I skim uplifting forwards in my email, and only if I have time.  But today, one of the messages resonated and I want to share a piece of advice:

Give up the past. I know, I know. It’s hard. Especially when the past looks so much better than the present and the future looks so frightening, but you have to take into consideration the fact that the present moment is all you have and all you will ever have. The past you are now longing for – the past that you are now dreaming about – was ignored by you when it was present. Stop deluding yourself. Be present in everything you do and enjoy life. After all life is a journey not a destination. Have a clear vision for the future, prepare yourself, but always be present in the now.

I so love the idea that the past we are longing for was ignored when it was the present!

I am finishing up my semester with my Goddard students.  As we look back on what we have written, and face a future of ripping that apart and rewriting, it can be exhausting and scary to think of the work ahead; how much easier it would be to be able to rest on what is already done!  This takes the form of what I call page conservation, and editing (moving those blocks of text you like around with your handy computer!) instead of re-envisioning. I have a book now that needs re-envisioning, even though I have re-envisioned it several times.  Yes, it would be lovely if my readers could just see it the way I would like it to be seen now.  But since they cannot read my mind, only my pages, the reality is this:  If I don’t rewrite, if I am not writing, then what am I?  Not a writer. Just a woman who is putting her books in a box and taking them out again.

 

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Posted: May 18th, 2012
Categories: Random Thoughts, The Writing Life
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