Sunday, August 15, 2010

momma said there'd be days like this

these are two of my favorite sayings. they're posted just above my desk, where i can see them each day. the top one is obviously from a fortune cookie - one of the great purveyors of wisdom. the other was taken in the bar of the old shepheard's hotel in cairo,  before it burned down. it wasn't possible to get the banner above the bar all in one shot, hence the two overlapping photos. like the place, the saying is ephemeral. it reminds me to live in the now. to not let dumb stuff get to me. to remember what is important.
i believe they are great pieces of advice.


but that doesn't mean i always follow my own advice.


here's another purveyor of great wisdom - a post-it note - that lurks above me when i write.


i try. believe me, i try to do this. but sometimes you have the sneaking feeling that someone is looking over your shoulder.  telling you this paragraph sucks. or maybe the whole chapter.

you know what i'm talking about. that lapse of confidence manifesting as a sinking feeling in your gut -- a loss of power in the third chakra......


which is why i also have this pinned above me as i work. it's over to the side, where i can't see it easily. but it's there, just the same. when i get frustrated and feel like i'm not focusing on the right things, i look at this.

and remember what's important.


we all have these days. as a writer i work alone most of the time. it's sort of a double-edge sword - we need to be alone to work, but then we crave that connection with others, that feedback.....

which is why i'm enjoying this new world of blogging. writers need community.


so my wish for you my friends, is that you all realize ---- yes. there is no road....
...so have fun making it as you go along.


and may we meet along the way.

xo♡a

22 comments:

  1. How true! We do need feedback, but we also need to listen to our inner voice, the one that says, only you know what it is you need to say.

    It helps to have good friends, who can be counted on to tell you the truth, but also to encourage you when you are too hard on yourself.

    What are you working on these days? Do you have a writing group that gives you feedbck?

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  2. Yes, all good advice. If only I could always follow good advice!

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  3. This is wonderful, Amanda.

    You have captured very well the ambiguity of writing for yourself (and the individualism/isolation involved) and trying to be part of a community. That is a huge problem for me, too. I must confess I don't bridge that gap very well on many occasions.

    And as for making your road, I am reminded of a quote used by King George of England in his Christmas Message of 1939, the first Christmas of World War 2. I'll try to e-mail it to you; it's fairly long.

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  4. what great quotes. i am always uplifted by quotes, and even collect them in notebooks and files; but have also always been useless at following advice! another dochotomy... hehe; your log posts are so rivetting i would love to read more of your writing - so keep going and please let me know where i can read. xV

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  5. Amanda dear ~ remember to take back the goddess and use the media to spread love and community rather than contributing to lists of property owned by patriarchs. Do it your way - making the road as you go along.

    Strive for balance between left brained and right - and be vigilant - against what was done to Themis and Artemis in favor of Apollo...our beloved author Leonard Shlain says it all. Be the trailblazer - your friends will follow.

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  6. Those are wonderful, wise words. And some lucky person will stumble across this post at just the right time.

    XOXO

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  7. rosaria, that balance - of listening to one's inner voice combined with taking in feedback - is what i'm aiming for. sometimes the balance shifts too much to one side and i need to realign.

    right now i'm working on my memoir, also several travel stories and am starting a ya novel -- thanks for asking! i find i work best when spinning several plates at once - when i reach a pause in one i switch over to another wip. i attended a writer's workshop last year and am feeling the need to do one again......any ideas of good ones?

    xoxo

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    dd - i'm really good at giving advice - just ask my kids! hehe xoa

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    thanks r-bear. appreciate the support - sounds like you're a fellow traveler in this oft lonely (but so rewarding) world of writing. i look forward to the king george quote -- sounds quite momentous!! xoa

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    val, thanks dear!! the only 'official' (if you can call it that!) writing i've posted on this blog to date have been excerpts from my memoir of ithaka (currently in my agent's hands but i am about to completely overhaul the proposal). i actually started this blog to help me jumpstart writing that book since i work so much in isolation. so far, it's really helped and i can't tell you how much i appreciate the feedback. your comments always mean so much to me -- thanks for your support and encouragement and the memoir posts will keep appearing.......xoxo

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    deb, beautiful advice!! i agree about using media to spread the goddess.......will attempt to keep that firmly in mind as i move forward. thanks as always sister dear... love you xoxo

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  8. thanks japra - you are so sweet♡ (sorry i missed your comment - we must have been writing at the same time!!)

    -- almost everyday i'm inspired by something i read or see out here, and i love the idea that we never know whom our words might touch...

    xoxo

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  9. Amanda
    So nice to find someone else who writes, travels and experiences what others feel.
    I also have quotes around my computer. I know from studying blog content, they say, "When you write answer: What's in it for me?" meaning your audience." Enjoy your blog.

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  10. True words....true sayings from a kindred soul! It is so comforting to see your words and what you are doing with your life. You inspire me and encourage me.

    Love,

    Your Fellow Water-Sign,

    ♥ Robin ♥

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  11. I loved your post and words of advice. Write for yourself ... that's the best thing I have heard in a long while. Sometimes we get so tempted to write what we think others want to read.

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  12. Sorry, Amanda. I'd send you the poem, but I don't have your e-mail address. You'll need to send it to me. My e-mail address is with my profile on my blog.

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  13. Such a heartfelt post. That's why you write. To share your heart with us. I'm new here but I love you already xoxo

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  14. hi sonia, i felt the same way when i visited your wonderful blog - how great to find a fellow traveler, especially one with your extensive expat experience! my office wall is papered with quotes so i'm glad to find i'm not alone in that. thanks for dropping in to comment and follow♡

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    hello robin - thank you dear for your always sunny presence (even if there is no sun where you are!!) your comments bring joy into my day♡ xoxo

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    loree - so true and i struggle with this often. at the end of the day i believe there has to be an element of play in this.......so focusing on writing not for the critic but for your best reader or yourself makes it a lot more fun.

    thanks for visiting, following and for your kind comment!! xo

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    r-bear - thanks so much - i will send my email along to you today xo

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    hello miss kim -- how nice to meet you!! what sweet comments - i'm so glad we've found each other and i look forward to exploring albania (so close to greece but never been) in your cool blog! kind thanks for visiting and following ~ xoxo

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  15. amanda, thank you for your inspiration. i love knowing and sharing with other writers. and yes, i totally understand that inner critic sitting on our shoulders, telling us it's not good enough. many days now i know i have to keep writing anyway!

    nice to get to know you, ms. a!

    love
    kj

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  16. Hi Amanda, thanks for your visit and comments on my blog. I am fascinated with your story and read back through every post. I have not been to Ithaka but to Crete, Santorini and Athens and I am looking forward to reading more of your mysteries and remembrances.

    Email me if you get a moment or are so inclined. Merci.

    Oh, your baby birds will do just fine -- they had good training in the nest!

    À bientôt
    Genie

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  17. I'm dragging "believe in yourself and so will others" back to the manor with me. Where have you been hiding? You are fabulous. Thanks for stopping by today and for your gracious comment.

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  18. kj - good for you - i like your attitude -- forge onwards in spite of the pesky critic!

    ...and am enjoying getting to know you too♡xoxo

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    hi genie - welcome! thanks so much for visiting and reading through my posts -- glad you liked the tour of greece so far....and yes - i was so happy to see that baby bird was able to shake off its run-in with the window and take to wing once again♡ will email and am happy that hellenophile has met francophile!

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    hello willow - how nice of you to drop by, leave a lovely comment and follow♡ how serendipitous too, as just last night i tried out your salmon recipe to rave reviews by son and husband! am looking forward to regular tours of the manor........xo

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  19. What a beautiful blog! I love your notes, especially "write for yourself." Not always easy. I think I need to post that same note on my computer!

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  20. julie - writing for oneself isn't always easy - but if you believe what julia cameron says in her books, it hopefully gets easier over time!

    lovely to 'meet' you! thanks for visiting, following and your kind comment♡

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  21. Never have I seen such depth and meaning in a post it note before !

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  22. j on tour - yeah - those post it notes can be pretty profound eh?

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Thank you for visiting♡