Sunday, July 23, 2006

The heart of things...

Oh, Nancy, don't you miss those heady days of ignorance when we each started...that lovely time when we didn't understand the market, didn't know what the business was like, when we just wrote what we loved and let it pour out of us?

I truly believe (though I'm not always good at applying it to myself) that in writing and knitting both, nothing is wasted when we go for the gold, when we write what we're burning to write. The book might not sell, the sweater might not fit, but though it hurts (sometimes a LOT) when either happens, there is intrinsic value in the doing as much as the learning. The business end of publishing only cares about the sure thing, but we are artists--as knitters and as writers--and if we don't take chances, if we don't honor the heart of the work, we are poorer for it. Something sad and damaging happens to us when we only take the safe route. Because the business is all about "what have you done for me lately?" and nothing about what our spirits need--and it will desert us in a heartbeat. So if we lose ourselves, we lose everything.

But that joy...that love...isn't it the heart of the best stories, the ones we can't forget? That willingness to embrace risk, flying into the wind of the sure sale or the safe sweater or the hot genre, is what keeps us alive as writers and keeps us in touch with the joy that is the touchstone that we cannot afford to lose, with the power that only comes from writing from the deepest heart of ourselves.

Jean, maybe waxing a little too philosophical, and if so, mea culpa


Blogger Fran Baker said...

Jean: Thanks for the info on the camera phone. I've got to get one of those as it would make all the difference for my online experience.

Re the hot water for your Booga Bag: I usually crank up the heat a little bit on my water heater before I felt. Not necessary if you have really hot water. I put the purse and the I-cord in a sweater bag and throw a couple pair of very well-worn jeans in the washer when I felt. Really helps beat it up and usually keeps me from having to felt a second time. Good luck!

4:33 PM  
Blogger Jean Brashear said...

Thank you, Fran!

9:45 PM  
Blogger LauraP said...

Great tip, Fran! Next time I felt I'll add the jeans.

7:46 PM  

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