Wednesday, April 23, 2008


The weather is finally nice here in New England and it's been a struggle to focus on work. It seems a shame to be indoors, pegging away at a computer when the sun is shining.

Which reminds me of part of the conversation we had this past weekend when Alvina was asking about her speech. After writing one or two books, some authors, Libby suggested, just run out of things to say. They've written what they needed to communicate and they have nothing more.

Perhaps this is true and perhaps this is true because authors and illustrators spend so much time in their insular worlds, expelling their thoughts and dreams. The solitary existence of being chained to our computers and desks does little to refresh our fountains of creativity...and over time, maybe we become wrung sponges. We spend so much time writing about life experiences, that we forget to experience life.

And I am realizing the tragedy of that. I can easily look back on the last ten years and see the countless times I let real life pass by so I could create a fictional one. I know this industry is competitive, I know we have to work hard and long to make it work for us. That one has to pay their dues. But as the financial worries and insecurity continue to shackle me, I realize those dues can never be fully paid. Yet, I have to believe there is a way to balance the accounts better. So that I can go outside.

Which, even though I have a deadline, I did.


Anna Alter said...

I feel like I've been struggling with this conflict for a long time- choosing between experiencing life and translating it into books. I don't know how to focus on both at the same time. How do people do it? I am usually 100% absorbed into my work or I'm on another planet altogether.

Authors like Sy Montgomery seem to combine adventure with book creation through travel and research- maybe thats what we need to do- go on adventures searching for the soul of our next book?

Andromeda Jazmon said...

Yay I'm glad you went outside. Lovely picture! I just came back to my desk after taking a walk. It is really lovely here this afternoon. I took a lot of pictures.

Rita said...

Very nice. You sing the truth.

Nicole Tadgell said...

I've been thinking similar thoughts, too. I "should" be working on my portfolio, honing new skills, gearing up for promotion, etc., since I haven't gotten any new assignments since January. But I'm enjoying being out in the garden - which I neglected all last year - because of a book deadline.

I am aware of the danger of feeling guilty at not spending as much time with my dog last year - not knowing that it was her last.

Sometimes, the soul simply needs to recharge, sort of like what Julia Cameron talks about in her "Artist's Way" book.

And there's lots more gardening to be done...