Thursday, September 8, 2011

wise advice

Whatever kind of artist you may consider yourself, I recommend welcoming this thing that inspires with a decent place to be. Put water, vitamins, leafy greens into your body. Apples. Oats. Get plenty of sleep. Some exercise. Keep the company of wise and more or less sober people. Don’t smoke. Don’t watch TV. Do trust yourself. Especially when you’re honest with yourself, forgive yourself. Listen to your heart. Consider what it means to be an elder, then find one or two, and listen to them. - Bonnie Nadzam

I love this advice that advocates for a sense of order and well-being our internal places -- in our organs and cells, in our minds and in our hearts.

I'm finishing up my writing class today. The completion of it feels like cresting a mountain and finding a chasm to cross -- a tremendous accomplishment met by a great unknown. That might sound dramatic -- it was only a class. But it was an incredibly empowering experience for me. It provided needed discipline and insightful instruction, and most importantly, it forced me to be honest with myself about my desires. I'm so very grateful for what I've learned and what I've written and for the people who so generously provided feedback and no small amount of cheer-leading.

But what next? That's the big amorphous question. For now, I'm going to start with what Ms. Nadzam suggests above as well as working hard to develop a regular habit and taking the advice of Sandra Cisneros (via my writing instructor) who says to say Yes to everything. And hopefully posting more here.



  1. I love it all~ I love the quote from Bonnie, what the writing class did for you, and that you're taking advice from Sandra Cisneros via your prof. Go Betsy!

  2. Interesting. When she talks about "elders", do you feel it's important for you to have a mentoring figure who's also a writer?

  3. Thanks, Gen!

    Charissa -- you know, I hadn't even thought about it that specifically until you asked. Most of my mentors have been spiritual, and their encouragement to pursue dreams with excellence and to hear from God in the pursuit has been crucial. I think mentors specific to the craft/pursuit are probably really important, too -- and I guess I've had some virtual ones (ie reading what great writers have written about writing). Do you have any thoughts?