Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Enthusiasm Versus the Blank Page

Enthusiasm is not a solo emotion. Enthusiasm experienced alone can and does go flat. Enthusiasm speaks to me of sharing words, thoughts, energy, action. Enthusiasm can cast its aura on everything I do, but when I am in a solitary state, that enthusiasm can be lonely, and can lose its spark. I am enthusiastic about my work, when I can silence the voices telling me it’s not my work. However, when my work is done, if I have no one with whom to share it, the venture becomes stale. I see my enthusiasm wilt; it deflates like a week-old helium balloon. The Internet and blogging certainly help stimulate and maintain enthusiasm. Stories and books and poetry are no longer banished to closed spiral notebooks stacked on a closet shelf (although some probably should be). I can write, edit, and publish, and bring my words to others. I can say “Ha! I did it!” as soon as I push the publish button.
To be more excited—yes, enthusiastic—about my work, I long to share it with a colleague. Three summers ago, I worked on a series of preschool through middle school-level tests with a friend/writer/editor. Our best days were spent parsing a phrase, turning a word, basting a paragraph to perfection. I miss that, but writing is a solo venture. Writing groups help, editors help, but when it comes right down to it, writers face a blank page, a blank document, and a blinking cursor.  else but enthusiasm, even if it is a keen, quiet, determined, and focused enthusiasm, can fill that page, fill that document, and move that cursor along the line.

Today, June 21, 2011, with this blog post, I am participating in the #Trust30 30-day writing challenge from ralphwaldoemerson.me. The prompt for June 21, 2011 can be found here: http://ralphwaldoemerson.me/mars-dorian.

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