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Harnessing Inspiration

Ooops. I think I better pull on the reigns and get this 'waiting to collide' mentoring gaffe back on track.

I said I do not solicit criticism, but didn’t say I can’t accept it. This is where ‘reading’ comes in handy, which I’ll be first stepping up to the home plate to admit getting swept up in swift downdrafts, frequently running downhill (real fast) backwards with wrong facts.

There are quite a few individuals, and vehicles, that do in fact mentor me…though from afar. Ahead of blaring bugles and snarling horns I hang in there with those who may wonder how much most really care about helping others anyway. With the amount of virtual advice criss-crossing Ethernets, and more on the way, by the shear volume of the calamity of things has to mean most of us must not be getting it. I wonder why, which happens to be the bow I’ll use as the excuse for why I don’t run around asking individuals what they think of this or that.

Standing back and admiring certain individuals from afar, absorbing their style if I can, just seems to be the way to go. For instance, take Lady A, who knows how to build houses on Saturn’s rings. Now I don’t even want a house, solar or otherwise, but I admire this Lady’s style. How she shops her materials, the way she speaks with contractors, how she corrects her home-building blunders, and seems to walk on solar rings, that’s the kind of stuff I feed on. A Lady like this I will watch every microscopic bit of her style, down to the way she chews food and belches, hoping to the heavens that no one advises a person like this to close their mouth when they chew. Please don’t do this. It may influence their flair, their style, the thing in them I admire, where said inspiration derives.

And still, there are those like Reggie Dabbs, who drops in with a book I had no idea was on the horizon, that turns my head, allowing me to grab a big dose of inspiration from that well as well. Improving on the areas we seek to improve need not come from trusted or untrusted sources, and neither from the same industry, nor in the form of what isn’t working. And trust me when I say I (don’t think) I’ll curl up in a shell and shiver for years about a harsh piece of advice. I’m probably my hardest critic anyway. The point being, ‘solicited’ inspiration comes across authentic and far more useful than guessing at the dozens of angles hanging around ‘unsolicited’ criticism.


  1. In writing, criticism can offer one's writing that element it lacks. the sources must be valid and be able to give direction, however. On the other hand, it can be dangerous to listen to too many folk, 'cause you well know that's all some are good for. the important thing is for writers to step out of ourselves to critique ourselves objectively and be willing to listen, to ourselves and those reliable and trusted sources, no matter how painful. I think it's a subjective kind of thing because you'd have to take into account what the other person's experiences are and whether they can see objectively or is their opinion coming from a myopic perspective. They definitely have to make you think about several alternatives, rather than how they would approach the writing process. But that's just my two-cents worth :-)

  2. Awlll Totsymae... thanks for stopping by. With all that great writing you have going on over there at Totsy you must know this is a real treat. And wonderfully put Two Cents! You had me so tickled me by the phrase ‘myopic perspective…’ thinking that is so true!!! It’s one thing if someone says, “hey, your slip is hanging,” vs. “hey, I don’t think you should wear slips because it makes your behind look large.” Telling me stuff like this will only make me pull on a few more slips… since I always wanted a larger back view.

  3. So, you want a bigger view from the rear too? LoL!

    When I was in a critique group for awhile, I found my rhythm. After having to leave for scheduling reasons, I rejoined later but only one original member was still there. One can only solicit the advice from so many people. I may need to be sitting in somebody's group now. If for nothing else, it definitely pushes me to write. If there are a good group of folks, the feedback is priceless.

  4. I hear you. I'm listenin'. Someone with a blog like the one you got rolling out...I'm all ears. And what 'chew you mean by, too!?!? LoLLLL!!!

  5. Girrrlll....I just don't know where it went after my son was born. Kids take so much out of you, in general. But do they have to take your assets along with them? I mean, really! Who would've thought somebody wanted my junk?!

  6. Hey. I got your book "Pieces.' Will be one of my summer reads.

  7. Thanks Tosh... and don't forget......MINDLESS;-)

  8. I can totally relate to your process of receiving inspiration, even "criticism" from afar. I've taken myself through writing "workshops" with just me and several books of writers I admire (studying and digesting their content and intent). Sometimes that's far more effective than sitting in on a b****fest with other writers/artists who may only confuse you or make it personal. Thanks for your comment on my blog as well! :-)

  9. Thanks DuEwa! Yes, this is about the size of it. And ooh, I love your blog! I've got to add this one to my sidebar. I usually check these daily.
    Thanks again for stopping by.


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