Thursday, May 5, 2011

Loving the Craft

I’ve been so blessed lately to hear some GREAT writers talk about writing. The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books was last weekend, and I got to listen in on many craft discussions along with reconnecting with one of my writing idols and role models. I’ve also been reading some great recent interviews about the writing life as well as learning for my nonfiction class.

It’s funny. Sometimes you know the writer as a person. And obviously to you, they are just another friend, a normal human being, mostly doing ordinary stuff, putting their pants on one leg at a time, that kind of thing. Then you read something they’ve written, or hear them talk about the writing craft, and you are just BLOWN AWAY by their sheer brilliance. You forget how stunningly, mindblowingly talented some otherwise down-to-earth folks can be. My writing mentor is like that. And a few of my other friends.

Then there are the others – the ones you know only through their writing. And in your mind, they are Gods of Creativity. Then you meet them or hear them present, and they are just a person same as you. They had to drive to the event; they hassle with getting their kids to bed on time; they are just mortals.

As I’ve become more secure in my own writing strengths and identity, I’m less threatened by other writers. I used to be a bit in awe and a bit jealous. I thought they had some secret power I lacked.

Now when I read brilliant writers producing fabulous ideas, I am just happy. I am just filled with bliss and contentment that there can be so much wonderful variety and productivity in the world. I’m much more of the “They are Good, and I am Also Good” philosophy, and I am overjoyed for their successes -- and selfishly thrilled that I get to share in their goodies of ideas by reading!

It’s collaboration, this writing-reading life, and it’s a pleasure. We are all bound together in this web of loving words, connecting with and helping each other along.

I am honored to be a part of it. And grateful for all the others who spend their time doing the same thing.

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