In any process, there is an outcome. Once you have reached the stage in your writing process that you have become content with your work and knowing that, the fire will reveal itself, and that is the fiery transformation needed to connect with improving your craft.
And so to seek the fire as a writer, three ways will keep you burning.
Discover your blind spots: You may have a mirror, but hearing the horn blaring at you while trying to move in the left lane reminds you of your blind spot. You may have Grammarly, but having someone else look at your writing can increase your self-awareness and eliminate your blind spots differently than Grammarly can. When Ignited Pens meet, we experience the Refining Process. The Refining Process comprises five steps: Fire Up, Ignite, Fire Storm, Stoke the Fire, and Pass the Torch. The Stoke the Fire step is when we share our writing and critique. The critique is verbal or written feedback or snaps. Although this requires courage, we are a safe and constructive community. If you want to seek the fire as a writer, you have to make an effort to mature as a writer, and discovering your blind spot with others’ help is growth.
Get used to Criticism: According to Jeff Goins, good writers take criticism on the chin and say “thank you” to helpful feedback; they listen to both the external and internal voices that drive them. And they use it all to make their work better. To sum up this quote, you can accept, use, or ignore the criticism. The choice is yours. Creativity elicits criticism, and if you want to survive as a writer, get used to it.
Grow as an artist: Artists understand that life is a monumental work they are creating. They embrace the challenges like flint and find ways to become themselves better. As artists, we start a student and become a pro. We seek fire. Last, artists are always willing to practice in public. They embrace criticism, and that’s how they have an audience.
If you want to seek the fire, share your writing, get used to criticism, and grow as an artist. Consider being part of Ignited Pens. Leave a comment, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.
For as long as I could remember, pens and fire have always sparked my heart with creativity. A pen is my tool of choice when I write my heart. Fire brings warmth and comfort to me, like being around a bonfire. When life happens, my fire goes dim, and my pen goes on hiatus. This situation should never happen to a writer, but it happens to me.
Many times I find myself at war with art. During my creative battles or writer’s block, I’m waiting for the perfect time to write. Oh, no! Did I say perfect? Perfection is one of my battles. I know better, but it happens. Then I’m encouraged by a friend who had been struggling for years about fasting, in which she shared on her very first Facebook Live that in her mind, she was waiting for it to be perfect and that she didn’t want to disappoint God. Then, she stated God doesn’t traffic perfection, but he traffic in failures.
What a revelation! I wrote my last blog eight months ago at the beginning of the pandemic. Yes, eight months ago. My pen has been dim, but now it is ignited. Paul said in 2 Corinthians when he was weak, Jesus made him strong. Therefore, I don’t have to battle with my art. I am made strong by God’s power to ignite my pen, and I declare with a clarion call the Ignited Pens’ motto: The fire to write is within you; You just have to ignite it!
Here are three ways to keep your pen ignited!
Write– You are a writer, and writers must write. If you don’t know what to write about, start with your childhood. In Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird, she shares that Flannery O’Connor said that anyone who survived childhood has enough material to write for the rest of his or her life. And I consider that a fact! Choosing to write must be a priority. I know our lives are busy, and we’re deciding more now in a pandemic than we did before. Still, with the wise words of Jeff Goin, author of You Are a Writer, it seems like our lives have become busier, and now that we’re in a pandemic According to Jeff Goins, the author of You Are a Writer (So Start Acting Like One), choose your priorities, or they will choose you. I instead choose what I enjoy and is to write. And every time we write, it is a chance at getting better. Take a chance.
Organize for Effort– Ann Lamott says that when writing, we have to frame our minds. We are to listen and observe and open our hearts. These make up the beautiful picture of our writings. Also, to organize for effort, create a couple of writing goals. One goal is to write in the same place at a particular time every day for about 15-20 minutes. This habit will help ignite your mental fire. The last thing to boost your effort is to read. It helps builds a repertoire of words and ideas for you to write.
Share your Writing– Every one of us likes a good show and tell. If we didn’t, social media would be so popular. Sharing your writing connects you with others. There are people out there waiting to read what you have written, and they are waiting for inspiration. So go ahead, free someone else! You are an artist! And a way to improve your craft is to share your writing. If you wrote something last year or this week, go ahead and share it here in the comments or on social media and hashtag Ignited Pens.
When life gets dim, don’t forget to burn brighter.
With all that’s happening with COVID 19 and Stay Home Orders, it’s easy to lose focus. No one would have been able to tell me that my 2020 vision of Health and Wealth would take a mighty blow. However, embers rise.
I know, I know. I haven’t blogged in 6 months. Many times when things don’t go the way I want, I go dim. I didn’t say I burn out. I go dim until a spark makes me burn brighter.
Tomorrow begins Poetry Month. I love poetry. My latest book, Flint to Flame, is a poetic story about my heart process of change. I can’t go another day without writing what I enjoy doing, and that is writing poetry. It makes me burn brighter. What makes you burn brighter? Share.
To burn brighter is a reminder you are always on fire!!