Friday, February 12, 2016

Valentines...or the lack thereof

The upcoming holiday has always been something that both bumused and annoyed me. What began as a Roman ritual for virility, was later named for a Christian martyr in the 5th century. So's been around a while. Now days, it's a billion dollar commercial event that can cause stress or elation in equal measure, dependent on your particular perspective.

The annoying part for me is the social expectation to celebrate the love of your life on this day. Shouldn't we be doing that every day? I would think that the person most important to you would be worthy of acknowledgment more than once a year but hey, that's just me! While I have no issues with treating your significant other to a 'special' day out or a gift for no particular reason, I DO have a problem with designating a time and place. What's romantic about that? Where's the delight in discovering an unexspected surprise or treat?

The truly bumusing aspect is how many couples, young and old that allow this scheduled event to define their relationships! I've worked with folks that have had some truly horrific battles over percieved failures in demonstrating their 'feelings' on this day. As a former police officer, I dreaded the inevetabile domestic calls and epic arguments. As in all things, there's the good as well. Proposals, well thought out trips and extraordinary dates and successful nights out together or as a family. I just think that by and large, the vast majority of us have become insensate. Which makes this celebration of love, mediocre at best. want romance? Try this. Take the time each day to really talk to one another. Listen. LOOK the love of your life in the eye and sincerely care about what they're conveying to you. Tell them consistenly and often that you love them. Hold their hands, wrap them in a hug and kiss them. None of us know, when we walk out that door each day, what will happen. It could be the last time you ever see that person. Happens all the time. Don't wait. Don't leave any doubt or room for regrets. LOVE them each and every day like it could be the last day!

If you each really put the other first, you BOTH win...each and every time. Don't get a Valentine...BE a Valentine. Treasure that which you hold most dear and remember that no matter your status, we are each equal in not knowing the number of our days. 

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Life Support

The challenge of the blank screen or page is something that we as writers face each and every time we sit down to begin a project. At times the words seem to flow effortlessly and when they do, that feeling of creation is a heady thing indeed.

Unfortunately that isn't always the case...for whatever reason, there inevitably will be a time when we struggle to keep our writing schedules or feel uninspired. Then that blinking cursor or the empty page are not only daunting but can seem insurmountable. We falter...questioning our abilities and our chosen path. Is this story worth telling? Am I doing it right?
The nothingness reflects like a mirror and the longer you stare the greater the void  becomes...the hiss of air escaping into the cold vacuum of space, would almost be comforting. Shuddering, we close the window and redirect our attention and in that moment our nemesis grins.

Is it over? It shouldn't be...not if this solitary profession is something you believe in! As writers, it's our JOB to overcome such challenges; to fight with our intellect and will. To mold that barren wasteland into something interesting and believable for others to see and appreciate. Creator of worlds and the shaper of destiny...not a bad job title, eh?

Writers, for the most part work alone and therein lies the biggest part of the problem. If you don't know why you're stuck or even if you DO, finding the solution on your own is akin to solving a rubics cube while juggling vials of hydrochloric acid and taking a polygraph. Sure, you can do it but there's gonna be scar's!

Having a support group of like minded folks is not only important but vital to keeping the muse in an agreeable mood. Spending the time and effort needed in finding a writiers group in your area that is positive and encouraging, will likely make the aformentioned task seem like childsplay but it's worth it!

Having a trusted group that will listen to and understand your frustrations and concerns is like having a team of crack EMS personnel at you disposal. Use them. More importantly, be there to lend a helpful hand of your own to a colleague in their time of need.