Quietness

Little motivation for you this morning. Since I’ve been silent lately, I call this, quietness.

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Break

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I’ll be breaking from the blogosphere a moment. Need some air and much needed focus.

In the meantime, I’d love for you to take this time to explore the blog!

On the sidebar you’ll see “Navigate This Blog”. Feel free to start there. You can also take a look at the pages.

I’d love to return with more poetry, black history, and biblical insight. We’ll see.

Yes, I’ll still be here to respond to commentary. Until then, y’all be great.

Peace

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Writing 101: Assignment #6- The Space to Write

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Step #1: The Early Morning Wake-Up Call

An hour or two after the sun has risen and the birds congregate on my windowsill with their songs. When the sky is still a combination of yellows and orange and reddish highlights all tap dancing on the clouds. I write best during the time of day when the wind is still waking up and blowing not too harshly; just enough to sway the leaves. Not even the branches, just the leaves will do. When the air smells like you just bought it from the store this morning. That first early morning wake-up, after morning prayer and just when the creative juices are new and fresh. This is my ideal time of day to write.

Step #2: Coffee

Freshly brewed dark roasted Folders that grabs my throat by its hinges and engulfs my body before racing to the tips of my fingers; I arise to the occasion of the coffee cherry. After I started teaching and tutoring a few years back, when my daily routine consisted of chasing three and four year olds around the room and getting on my hands and knees to see which monopoly piece I would be, I developed a love (OK an addiction, whatever) for caffeine. And it, the coffee bean, must accompany me in the next phase of our adventure.

Step #3: Solitude

Give me neither food nor noise. Lock me away from society, I no longer live here. Put me instead inside a quiet place. Though I would much rather be somewhere in the country, swallowed up by trees and grassland, my home office will have to suffice. Where I shackle myself to solitude and feed from its delicacies. My fingers march to the beat of songs that can only be heard inside my head. I am not here in this office. I am instead in another place. That place where only writers go. I’m an introvert by nature but writing is when I am the most reserved. Let the rushing sound of my heart and the beating of keys be the only noise in the world worth paying attention to in this moment. Please, I beg of you, dare not shatter my concentration with the world and its worries, for I am not of the world.

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On day 15 of Blogging U, we will be asked to refer to our list of ideas, as provided by fellow bloggers, to complete that days assignment. For this reason, I am asking you to submit writing topic ideas to my contact page. Is there something you would like me to write about? Creative writing ideas? Topics? Poetry? Short stories? Let me know. Again, I’ll have to refer back to this list on day 15! I’m really looking forward to your ideas. Thanks a lot.

Writing Distractions

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A surge of consciousness spills over your thoughts like a stream of mighty waters. Waves of ideas that suddenly dance upon the mental workspace of your brain, a wide collection of inspiration collectively manipulating ideas, images, and symbols. Together they battle against one another to see which is fortunate enough to make it on the page. Will they splash onto the screen or get caught between blue lines? These are the concerns of words who dream of nothing but getting out of your head. Who, if any, of these ideas will transition from thought to word and from word to living persona? Your fingers are excited by the mere contemplation of it and proceed to structure the foundations of a blank page. That is until something happens. It is usually at this point that someone knocks on the door, the telephone rings, the children are awakened, or a question is asked. Sudden interruptions startle your words out of their skins and they run into hidden spaces and behind writer’s blocks. I don’t know what it is about writing, but it is so easy to be distracted from it. It takes so much concentration and focus that sometimes I find it hard to get back into the swing of things once interrupted. It is an art indeed, a pictorial inscription; a steady stream of carefully arranged thoughts that must glide from the mind to paper without interruption. Any break in this stream may cause the artist to abandon his work until a more appropriate moment. Sometimes I find it hard to even explain this to people! Some just cannot understand how easy it is to break into that mode of concentration. ESPECIALLY if we’re talking about poetry. I can be sitting at the computer immersed in a very pivotal moment and then someone starts talking and then its like, “OK, but can I finish this stanza first?

The Bright Side

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“As long as you’re looking on the bright side of things you’ll be ignoring the not-so-good things in your life. What you give attention to grows, so if you’re focusing on what’s wrong in your life you’ll just get more of it to focus on. But if you focus on what’s right in your life, what makes you happy, what you’re grateful for, and why things are so fantastic for you, you’ll only get more of the same to be happy and grateful for. Some days are easier to face towards the sunshine than others, but it’s always there, you just have to try harder during hard times.” – BD

For the LOVE of Writing

I’m aware that not everyone who blogs writes. It sounds kind of contradictory since you’re obviously writing, but people have many different reasons for blogging so that’s probably none of my business.

When I browse the pages of various blogs,  I sometimes see many writers complaining about writing. In many ways I am quite confused about this, but maybe that’s just because I’m in love with writing, and that’s what I would like to offer you. While Blogging is a topic in and of itself (as some of you are probably still trying to balance writing by way of the blogging medium), writing is the gift you would obviously like to offer to those in which you are blogging for so that’s what we’re going to talk about. That, if you could learn to fall in love with writing, it wouldn’t be a tedious process. OK, perhaps I’m being a bit selfish; it may not be that easy for you. After all, I am in love with writing.

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What does it mean to be in love with writing? First of all, like I said, get the idea of blogging out of your head, we’re not talking about that right now. Being in love with writing doesn’t have much to do with how frequent or less frequent you blog. However, if you do love to write, it can help you to blog. I just wrote a post on “The Brilliantly Untalented”, in which we discussed how sometimes the most introverted “untalented” people (from the POV of self); make for the best artists especially as it relates to writing. These people are not so overwhelmed with fear that they cannot write, it’s just that these people love to write. They wake up writing, they go to bed writing, and all they can think about is writing and the message they want to put out into the world. Will the world want to hear it? Who cares! The point is that when you love something (or someone), you don’t have to make yourself be a part of it. So stop it! Blog Writers, stop trying to make yourself write and just write. Let it be as smooth as brushing your teeth in the morning; let it embrace your thoughts, and in the words of Mark Strand let your words bathe in the blank wake of your passion, and be kissed by white paper. I don’t have to force myself to lay next to my husband because I love him. You don’t have to remind yourself to make the children breakfast because you love them, it is instinctive. The same is actually true for writing. There are mistakes that are made in the process of course, but when you love to do something, whether you get paid or not, it is not a long drawn out and daunting process. The key is that you want to do it. You shouldn’t have to make yourself write. It’s not a punishment; it’s just what you do. In the end, after falling in complete love with what you do, the process will be deliciously enticing. You will find yourself looking for any excuse there is possible just to write. And as with any gift that you exercise and use on a regular basis, you’ll notice that you’ve become quite good at it too, after all, there is someone out there just dying to read your content. Yes, YOURS. You untalented ball of clogged up words, there’s even a reader out there for you.