Pythian Games

put on your track shoes and write the miles

Posts Tagged ‘soul food cafe

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painting by Susan Seddon Boulet, collage by Kerry

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Written by kvwordsmith

June 15, 2008 at 11:33 pm

A Writer Without a Page

with 8 comments

She had been around the writer’s block a few times.  She had read her Natalie Goldberg and her Julia Cameron.  She knew all about writing practice and morning pages.  She had been published over the years in small press, trade mags, newspapers, poetry collections.  She’d even been paid a couple of times ($700 over a 20-year period – you do the math.)

She had a minor in Fine Arts and attended workshops and two different writer’s fellowships over the years. 

She had done freelance articles, newsletters, brochures, marketing collateral, computer program instructions, document editing/formatting/proofreading, was even making a living by hack inkslinging.  Long ago she’d given up her dream of being a paid, published serious writer, making a living at what she loved.  It was so hard to break in, find an agent, get a deal.  The publishing industry had changed.  Few independent bookstores, fewer independent publishers, no room for the less-than-mainstream.  It was hard not to be bitter.

She had been discouraged for a long, long time.  Why write?  No one cared, no one would read it.  She had given up, mostly, although she still kept her journal – it helped.  “Focus on the process, not the product” was her creative mantra anymore.  She turned to other art forms, beads and stained glass and flameworking.  She was a writer without a page.

So who was this Heather and her Soul Food Café, and why did she need to be a part of it?  She wouldn’t get paid.  No royalties.  New York publishing houses didn’t review it.  Was blogging just a hobby, an Internet-age vanity press?  She’d look into it, make up her own mind.

So she clicked here and there and found – kindred souls!  People who cared! People who still think art makes a difference.  Warm, welcoming folks, willing to share their hearts and their knowledge and wisdom.  People who understand writing is not mere self-indulgence, it is a way to nurture the spirit.  A support group for artists – an answer to the loneliness of working in isolation, as so many writers and painters do.  A world of connections, all across the globe, of people who believe in the healing power of creativity, of transforming tragedy into significant art. 

She found herself looking forward to seeing what had been posted, who said what, to challenging herself with the prompts from the Mad Challenges, to posting her own work, receiving kind words, publishing something daring, learning that it might inspire someone else to create a response in another medium, sharing pain, being comforted, making new friends, learning new things.  Heather said making a commitment to daily writing or art practice would change her – and Heather was right.  She created – and shared – and got good feedback – and wanted to create some more.  Plus she was learning computer skills while she was having fun playing with words and talking to her new friends. 

Soul Food Café put the JOY back into writing for her.

by Kerry Vincent (c) 2008

Written by kvwordsmith

March 25, 2008 at 7:21 pm