grammar and tonic                

Editing with a twist.

A Splash of Tonic


Posted on November 4, 2017 at 10:25 PM
I floated home one night last week, smiling and feeling a tingle like I'd just been on a great first date. I spent a little more than an hour with a dozen people, only one of whom I'd ever met, but I felt a deep soul connection. Someone started a writers' group in my city for the simple reason that he wanted one...what a concept: seeing a need and making it happen? If only more people would do that. But, I digress... I went, not knowing what to expect. After all, by my own choosing, I've put my writing on the back burner to make way for opportunities to edit, and I love it. Yet, I find myself still scribbling in the notebook I carry around with me in case inspiration strikes...which it does...and I jot down a sentence or two I want to expand on "when I have time." Hah. Anyone who is creative is a little quirky, and I think I'm more on the weird side. A lot of people don't get my humor. A lot of people don't get me. With a few exceptions, sometimes I feel like those closest to me don't truly understand me, and that's ok. I get me, and usually that's all I need. I've gone to writing conferences and workshops, and in those settings, I feel an energy within me thrive. It feels like home to be in a room full of people who are excited about words and know the love/hate relationship of writing. It's beautiful and frustrating at once. I didn't know how it was going to go for me. I've shifted more into editor mode and when I settle in to write, often times the words don't come easy. I spend a lot of time looking at the keyboard or the paper. I'll write a paragraph or two, and then go back and polish and change and not get much accomplished. Several months ago, I took a writing class an author friend was leading, and he gave us a writing prompt and said, "Go!" My horse didn't explode out of the gate. I felt like I was the one being prodded with the riding crop. "Stop looking at the paper and WRITE!" It was hard. Mostly, I write for myself. I feel exposed when my friends and family read my work. It's like I've ripped out part of my soul and offered it up on a platter. I didn't think I'd share my ramblings with these people. The format was simple. A writing prompt, 30 minutes with our thoughts, and then we'd share with the group. I decided that no matter what, I was going to keep my pen to paper (I was old school with my spiral notebook) and write. When we were done, it felt like I'd written the equivalent of an unraveled sweater...rambling...jumbled...a mess. Nope; I wasn't going to do it. I wasn't ready to read. I was wrong. Before I chickened out, I decided to do it. When I began, I felt like I'd jumped out of a plane. After I got over my initial terror, though, it was freeing. I didn't realize how much I needed it...the group...the motivation...the writing. Every time I come back from a conference, I am on fire and inspired and I love the feeling. After a while, though, the inspiration embers die down and burn out until the next time. I'm glad the embers are glowing again.

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