Friday, July 6, 2012

Razor's Edge : Sacrifice

The past few weeks or so I've been thinking about the role of writing in my life. Or I've been thinking about myself as a writer and what I want that to look like. You may have noticed I've started a new weekly series "Radical Writing Advice," which came out of these contemplations.

Although I am wondering how "radical" I can keep things in this new set of posts. Isn't that the challenge, though, to keep it fresh and keep not only my energy moving, but to help others, as well. After all, I am a writer. So I'm writing. About writing.

In this process of writing about writing, and starting - again - to do some drawing with images instead of with words, a story is emerging. It started out as a snippet of some unknown larger context in the online Literary Kitchen Lit Star Training with Ariel Gore. I took that quick write and used it for a later assignment to expand a quick write and then that was the basis to build on for last week's story. And it's still not done. I don't know the character yet. The character has only revealed pieces of that life and I have some of the same questions as the other writers who have given me feedback on what I have so far.

The reason I'm telling you this is that writing about writing has oiled my writing joints and there is a story moving through me. I can't force it to be this way or that, or it hides away. And I find it interesting that I've been thinking about writing as my other career choice - which it is - and this new story I am following emerges. Writing my passion and drive and the thing I do when I'm not interpreting or sleeping or swimming. I've considered doing freelance writing as another income stream but I don't think that is for me. I like interpreting and I'm good at it and it's a part of me. So why not keep with the interpreting - which I know - and allow the writing to develop.

Books and articles and blogs and e-newsletters about freelancing are again crossing my field of vision. Questions are coming up about being a "professional" or being an "amateur" or being a "real" writer.

Earlier this week the book "The War of Art" came up in a blog which was about the author, Steven Pressfield, and his newest release, "Turning Pro." As I often do when interesting writing (or other) books are mentioned, I look them up. So I did with these, as well.

This week's Razor's Edge is based on the Amazon blurb for Pressfield's recent book. The title of the book is a little challenging in an "I dare you" kind of way; at least for me. The earlier book is intriguing, as well, and that one I did order in an electronic format. A book I will have with me anywhere I go since I can read it on my computer, my tablet, and even my Blackberry. I don't have many electronic books; I prefer paper, but this one? It felt right to get it electronically - it's the second electronic writing book I've purchased.

So this week, read the Amazon description of Pressfield's most recent book below. Once you're done reading, set a timer for 10 minutes and then use the prompts which follow the description and write. As always, feel free to post your writing or a section of it; or post a response. I'd love to heard how this affects you."

The Amazon description of "Turning Pro," by Steven Pressfield:

The follow-up to his bestseller The War of Art, Turning Pro navigates the passage from the amateur life to a professional practice.
"You don't need to take a course or buy a product. All you have to do is change your mind." --Steven Pressfield
TURNING PRO IS FREE, BUT IT'S NOT EASY. When we turn pro, we give up a life that we may have become extremely comfortable with. We give up a self that we have come to identify with and to call our own.
TURNING PRO IS FREE, BUT IT DEMANDS SACRIFICE. The passage from amateur to professional is often achieved via an interior odyssey whose trials are survived only at great cost, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually. We pass through a membrane when we turn pro. It's messy and it's scary. We tread in blood when we turn pro.
WHAT WE GET WHEN WE TURN PRO. What we get when we turn pro is we find our power. We find our will and our voice and we find our self-respect. We become who we always were but had, until then, been afraid to embrace and live out.
Now, set your timer for 10 minutes.

What is it you are afraid of giving up? What have you experienced to get where you are today, the familiar and perhaps the comfortable only because it's familiar?

If you were able to do the thing you desire, what would it be?

Where is your power? What do you need to embrace your power?

Tell me.