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I have a friend who never publishes a first draft. When she bakes cupcakes for work functions, she does a trial run of the recipe the week before. When she sews, she does a complete mock-up of the garment in muslin, adjusting as she goes, and then takes a final pattern from her muslin.
That bears about as much resemblance to the way I work as a blueberry does to a magpie.
Sometimes it feels like we’re shouting into a void. The internet is huge. HUGE, people. How do you know there’s anyone out there listening to your words?
Imagine your life was a musical. I don’t care if the image that comes to mind is Hollywood or Bollywood, you get what I mean. At appropriate moments all the characters stop talking, turn to each other, and start singing what they mean instead.
This is the basic theory behind the tanka, an old form of Japanese poetry that was revived in the late 19th century.
Do you ever feel like you’re reading the same story again and again, with just a few elements changed? Chances are, you have been – and that’s a good thing. Like that moment when you figure out that every song that’s been popular in the past 30 years is just Pachelbel’s Canon in D, learning to recognize the monomyth, or Hero’s Journey story arc, can change the way you read and write. It can even help you figure out “what’s missing” in a story that’s not quite there.
The perfect storm
Have you ever had a time in your life that was the perfect storm? When the flame under your work heated up just as your social commitments grew exponentially until suddenly you’re up working until midnight and evaluating the life choices that brought you to this sleepless moment?
That time is now. Life is full. Full of good things, but full nonetheless.
Lifelong connections or temporary couplings?
Is there a reason for everyone who comes into our life to be there? Is it to teach us a lesson such as trusting our instincts? Maybe it’s to give us directions to the nearest corner store when Google Maps led us to a condemned building instead.