The recent Pikes Peak Writers Conference in Colorado Springs was a wakeup call for me. My conference notebook is filled with ideas and inspiration. Every presentation and panel I attended gave me at least a couple of A-ha! moments.
The most powerful of these moments was when Bob Mayer, during his presentation on the writing process, gave us this advice:
Profile yourself for twenty-four hours, and ask yourself, “Is this the kind of person who will succeed as a writer?”
The floor dropped from under me. I knew the answer to this question without having to profile myself. It was the wrong answer.
I’ve been lazy. Depressed. Discouraged. I’m hearing the same from writers on all fronts, and from non-writers, too. The state of our world frightens us. It’s difficult to focus or motivate ourselves.
Yet, I don’t want to quit. Some small part of me knows we need fiction now more than ever, to escape into sometimes, yes. But also to showcase what’s wrong with our world, and what’s right. To fuel imagination, because without imagination, we are lost. We can’t make a better future if we can’t imagine it.
Stories are our links to one another. A world without stories would be worse than a world without color. Without stories, we are flesh robots. Without stories, our existence is a bleak science fiction, a world that needs saving from itself.
So it’s important, what I do—telling stories. I want to succeed at it, again and again. All these emotions and habits that keep me from it are my enemies, as long as I allow them to separate me from my writing.
If I chose a random 24-hour period over the past few months, even years, to profile myself and ask Bob Mayer’s question, the answer would likely be no. This is not the kind of person who will succeed as a writer. My time focused on my stories has been far outweighed by my time turning my back on them.
Maybe blogs are a thing of the past. I haven’t seen many posts lately. They’re probably all going to my junk mail due to my lack of response to them. But blog posts are tools to keep writing, to lead into stories, to sharpen my senses and my prose. To hone my instincts.
Beginning on January 13th, 2014 (Was it really that long ago?) and ending on January 13th, 2015, I posted 13 blogs, one on the 13th of each month.
It’s the 13th again.
I am back.