Sniff shows us balance
Talking to the Wall
I teach school.
Some days, a better way to describe it might be doing battle with teenagers.
My school is an alternative school. When the kiddos get in trouble at their home school, they get assigned to us for 20, 30, or 90 days.
This means they are often only with me for a short part of the year.
Part of my job is to process how to make healthier, more productive choices in the future. When I talk with them about changing behavior, I cringe when they use the words “I’ll try.”
Translation: Heard this a million times. Yeah, I know I need to do better. Get off my back.
Feels like I might as well be talking to the wall.
True teenage commitment is a rare gem.
Usually, I see them at the lump of coal stage. The fun part is when I see them several years later and I can detect the metamorphosis into the precious gem I detected buried within.
Noticing the Wall is Actually a Mirror
Lately, my own lack of productivity has reminded me we all go through these lump of coal periods.
Overwhelmed by work, family, circumstance?
Flick the game spinner and the arrow will likely point to one of these. Next month, the arrow could point to another challenge.
When I think about my writing, I pull out my calendar, make lists, read articles and how-to books on the perceived problem, and promise myself tomorrow, next week, next year “I’ll try to do better.”
There it is… “I’ll try.”
Actually I avoid those actual words, but my avoidance of actually getting more words on the page amount to the same thing.
That wall I resented talking to at work has followed me home and I see my reflection in the mirror.
Finding the Balance
As a writer, honing my skills and practicing my craft are what I need to do to find success.
I’m an idea person. I excel in seeing the big picture. Follow through; the writing piece is the greatest challenge for me.
As I read Barbara Baig’s How to Be a Writer: Building Your Creative Skills Through Practice and Play I am reminded to not be so focused on the abstraction of my story. Baig warns about “developing ideas about reality rather than engaging directly with the world, using our sense and our imaginations.”
I need to Walk the Walk: Translation—WRITE.
Not think about writing.
Not plan to write.
Not stay in the developmental stages of story.
I need to WRITE.
Finding that balance of theory and practical application is what I want Story Structure Safari to be all about.
Come back and join me as the Boot Meets the Story Trail.
Picture Credit: Andi Ferguson