Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Finding the Answer to my Writing Problem

This post is going to be a little bit backwards: Instead of first telling you what my writing problem is, I am going to start with the answer -- and not surprisingly (at least for this book loving gal), the answer has come in the form of a book: THE BOOK OF JOY: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Bishop Desmond Tutu with Douglas Abrams. I read it a few months ago on my Kindle. Here are some quotes that spoke to me:

Impermanence, the Dalai Lama reminds us, is the nature of life. All things are slipping away, and there is a real danger of wasting our precious human life. Gratitude helps us catalog, celebrate, and rejoice in each day and each moment before they slip through the vanishing hourglass of experience.
As part of ARTSPEAK! Portraits, I wrote a poem titled Gratitude.

Gratitude, as we have seen, is an important part of joy because it allows us to savor life and to recognize that most of our good fortune in life comes from others.
The book offers this as a "Joy Practice:"

Gratitude: Think of three or more people or things that you are grateful for in this problem of your life right now. Can you find ways in which your problem is actually contributing to your life and growth? Are there people or things that are supporting you to face this challenge?

storm rolling in
(while we were boating)
The problem I am having right now is this: I am feeling a little lost and not-quite-there-yet with a work-in-progress --- and it's due July 1. There's no time to wander. It's got to be done NOW. I feel under pressure, probably mostly from myself: I want this to be the best book ever!

So when I apply this practice to my problem, here's what I've got:

3 people/things I am grateful for:
1. my editor and agent -- for having the opportunity to write this book at all.
2. my writing partner -- I am not alone!
3. the subject matter of the book is really making me think about what's important to me. I mean, it brought me back to the BOOK OF JOY, right? :)

almost home
Yes, I am growing through this process. I am writing things I'd never have written before. Yes, it's hard. But I've got support from so many corner of my life -- and blessedly, this slow-down season and this beautiful (lake) environment to cushion me as I do the work.

I'm going to keep at it -- with joy! Because yes, this moment, our lives, are impermanent. And yes, I'm grateful. xo

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