Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Insecure Writer's Support Group - finally!!!!



Do you see what is behind the words above? It is a lighthouse. As an East Coaster I'm very aware of the importance of these buildings. What is the purpose of these? They alert sailors that they might be getting to close to shore or to rocky shoals. The IWSG can do the same. We, toiling away in the fields of words, might forget from time to time that we aren't alone. If the only being you talk to about your manuscript is your poor old dog, well then ... pull up a comfy chair and let me make you a cup of chamomile tea.  It's raining out (is it ever raining in?) and even the dog is sleeping but I'm at my trusty desk and you must be too if you're reading this. Or perhaps you are speeding towards your other work as a tree surgeon with your tablet in your lap. In which case - naughty naughty!

What are the rocky shoals that all writers must be warned against? The shoals of insecurity, of doubt, of lack of energy and will to keep on keeping on. The lighthouse will flash its light on those rocky bits - showing you that yes, they are there, and no you don't have to run into them. For there are lots of writer/sailors about who will be happy to spin you a yarn about their early days at sea. They'll tell you how they sailed off to the unknown regions - those bits on maps of old that had sea dragons and other monsters drawn on them. They'll tell you that the best way to get to be an old sailor spinning yarns is to keep on sailing. Don't hang ashore with all the landlubbers - get into your vessel be it a dinghy, a wherry, a canoe or one of those big fancy wedding-cake looking boats - and get out to sea. Get lost! Lost in the territory that only you have travelled to. You'll find your way home again. Or not. Maybe you'll get waaaaaaaaay out there on a metaphor and you'll not have the vaguest idea what the frig you're talking about. Maybe you meant to talk about writing but suddenly you're looking up the spelling of wherries and other sea-going vessels. Maybe you're reaching for the dark Navy Rum as you write instead of the trusty coffee you're used to and you're telling the old dog that his seafaring days are at an end.
Don't fret - you'll come back. You'll find your way home. We'll all be on the shore with our lighthouse costumes on - beaming at YOU! Yes, we will.

7 comments:

ravenaguron said...

Has that lighthouse always been there?! I never noticed! What a great analogy, and great advice! :) Happy IWSG day!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's why I started this group! And why I selected a lighthouse. Good eye - you're the second person today to notice the image.

Liza said...

I am ashamed that I never noticed the lighthouse...and it is such a perfect symbol...lighting our way, bringing us home safely. Right now, I'm paddling hard, but the wind is going in the right direction and the skies are clear. Haven't felt this good in months!

Margot Kinberg said...

Jan - What a great discussion of the value of the real and the figurative lighthouse! I love it! And it's wonderful to know that there are other writers out there who can serve as lights. We all need each other.

LynnRush said...

Beautifully said!! Thanks!

Writer Pat Newcombe said...

Show me the way! Thats what lighthouses are all about aren't they? Great analogy, Jen.

Faith Pray said...

I know this Getting Lost in the Metaphor feeling so well! I have it nearly every time I sit down to write. I think it means something. I do so want to find my pals in their lighthouse costumes beaming at me once I've found my writing ship! Thanks for the bolster. I hope to find a new rhythm soon - and write, write, write!