|Photo by Kevin Tomasello|
Maine, and Acadia especially, is a special place for me. It inspires and soothes me. It is so beautiful that I can't really do anything else while I'm there except try to take it all in. I brought my computer and my journal, thinking I would be so inspired I would have to write. I didn't write a single word while I was there. At first, I was concerned, but then I realized, I was was refueling the muse. It was okay not to write because I was filling my tank. I did feel a little bit guilty when I checked Facebook and saw my prolific writer-friend Gregory Norris practically hemorrhaging prose in fits of amazing productivity and success. Kudos to you, dear Gregory! I will never, ever be that capable of such output. But, I think that's okay. As long as I don't stop. As long as the ideas are still flowing. I will continue to do what I can. I am excited about my next book. I have been jotting thoughts haphazardly in a notebook and on index cards and I had hoped to begin working on the meat of the story in Maine. I didn't accomplish any writing, but I did cleanse my cluttered mind with some salt sea air and got a couple things ready for my editors at Unsolicited Press unsolicitedpress.com. So, if the mission was to renew my muse, well, check that done!
It's hard to share something that means so much with other people. Writers do this all the time, I suppose. At least to the point that they cut out their hearts and bleed all over the page. Minor surgery, ha! Just as Acadia means so much to me, so does my writing. Writing needs the reader to complete the cycle, but it's not without trepidation. When we offered to show our friends the wonders of Acadia, we were a little concerned. Would they like it? Would it move them as much as it moves us? What if they hate it? At the same time, with age, I have developed some ability to distance myself from other people's experiences. If our friends did not love Acadia as much as we, well, so be it. We would be disappointed, but only in that they could not receive the full gift of such a place as we know it. Am I disappointed if someone doesn't like my writing? Yes, indeedy! But, I really try to listen now. Usually, I find the reader has something helpful to offer. I am also a reader, after all! The reader might find something I didn't notice in my first fifty writings of the thing or maybe he will offer a different perspective I hadn't considered. Hopefully, this is happening before the publishing stage, but not always, I'm sure. I might go back and rework it, if it makes sense to me. Or not. Everyone has a different experience, depending on their background. The fun part is in the paying attention. Pay attention to as much as possible, and the gold will reveal itself. That's what I choose to believe. Maybe you have a different experience. But, if I can touch just one heart, it's all worth it.
Keep paying attention. It all goes by so fast. Thank you for reading.