I’m reading a book called Show Your Work by Austin Kleon.
The clever little book is written for writers or artists of any kind—those of us who are trying to make a living off our creativity and hard work (and momentary flashes of brilliance). The guy who wrote it is a rich writer. His book Steal Like an Artist made him a ton of money, as I imagine this book will too.
For me, pieces flow out in one long deluge, so when other thoughts interrupt, it makes for disjointed writing. It also makes writing feel like a chore instead of an outlet.
I sat down to write this post multiple times over the last week or so. Each time, I had some wonderful gem ready to shine, but once I began typing, my thoughts were hijacked by worries about the cancelation of pretty much everything, especially events that were important to my high school senior.
I start to write and then find my mind wandering to my foster dog beside me or hear the one in the kitchen howling and I wonder what else I could be doing to rescue dogs, especially now that rescues are canceling transports (not ours!), shelters are closing to adoptions and dogs continue to wash up at their doors.
Even now, you probably still have no idea what I’m writing about because I keep interrupting myself.
As a writer, I hear from would-be writers all the time. They used to write, hope to write someday, had a teacher who told them they should be a writer, and a few who have been working on a novel for years.
The thing about writing is that anybody can do it.
I’m not just saying that. It’s true.
Anybody can write.
What they write, the quality of it, the success of it, well, that’s another story, but that’s not the point.
This was the first year in five years that I didn’t have a new book released.
(And yes, it does feel kind of surreal to say something like that and yes, I am one lucky writer and no, I am certainly not complaining. My cup and saucer runneth over.)
2019 was a year of growth and pain and frustration for me in terms of writing, and maybe in terms of life, but that’s for another post.
It wasn’t that I wasn’t writing. Oh, I was writing. Working like a little devil. I had a book contract for 100 Dogs & Counting and the manuscript was due December 1 and will be published July 2020, so the work has only just begun.
The thing about writing is that you are always taking a risk. If you aren’t taking that risk, then you’re probably not writing anything that matters.
If there is no danger involved, you are likely regurgitating a five-paragraph essay for your high school English teacher.
Doing what’s expected, what won’t raise any alarms or get anyone fired up enough to challenge you, is flimsy writing. It won’t hold up; it won’t motivate anyone to change their lives or fire off a rebuttal, let alone turn the page.
Today is Remember Me Thursday. It’s a day to light a candle to remember the countless dogs who are waiting in shelters for a forever family or who have lost their lives while waiting.
Having just spent over a week visiting the shelters and seeing the faces of so many good dogs, it is especially poignant.
There were definitely moments when the situation overwhelmed, when it seemed like an impossibly tall mountain that we will never be able to climb. I hear again and again that the number of dogs losing their lives in shelters is shrinking, but as I walked along cement floors Continue reading “Remember Me Thursday”
I’m reading a book called A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Don Miller. I’m not sure how it landed on my bookshelf, but I’m making a concerted effort to read the books I have, so I recently picked it up.