I was going to write a post about a handy spreadsheet I figured out for tracking rewrite progress and maybe throw in some thoughts about the random discoveries you make during the editing process. I still think I’m going to do that, but this week I can’t, because I met Lauren.
Lauren is a young woman I met at a place called Gilgal, where women go to recover from addiction and abuse which often – surprise! – go hand in hand. I don’t know Lauren’s whole story, but I do know she’s trying to put her life back together after a significant amount of time spent dancing with Dr. Feelgood.
Lauren is bright-eyed, personable and very curious about the world. I think this might be because she hasn’t really spent much time recently in the land of the mundane. We got to talking a little about the Internet, and she was not sure at first what Google was. That’s how out of touch she’s been.
A Passion for Writing
So what does this have to do with writing?
Well, we’re sitting there eating some pizza and chewing the fat, and she tells me she’s a writer. When she was ten, she told me, she wrote a book called “Killer Fleas” (if I remember correctly) about a flea that gets exposed to lawn-growth chemical and grows to huge size. Mayhem ensues.
Along the way, Lauren told me, she lost her writing because of drugs, but now, in a safe environment that fosters recovery and spiritual growth, her gift has returned in the form of rap poetry. She recited one for the rest of the women and our group of visitors. I wish I could quote it for you; it was a moving piece about finding your strength.
I think if you journey through a long dark, like Lauren has, and found your art again, you are truly blessed by God, the universe, human nature, whatever you want to call it. And you’re also passionate. Lauren was perky while we were talking, but when her poetry started to flow out of her she was glowing.
Make An End To Complaining
A lot of writers, particularly us part-time ones, complain about the obstacles that stand between us and our art. Our families keep us too busy! Work is too demanding! I can’t get the quiet I need!
Look, folks: we need to stop whining and lay hold of the passion that started us down this road in the first place. The everyday stumbling blocks most of us face are NOTHING (YES I AM SHOUTING!) compared to what Lauren has been through, is going through.
Lauren is very busy rising from the ashes.
Yet, Lauren writes.
Can we do less?