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June 11, 2010


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Love this! Now I have a new motto: "Writing the book you most want to write is the same as living the life you most want to lead."
It's so true. Wow - - were you writing this blog just for me? LOL It feels like it. :)

Very thought provoking. In fact, I got carried away and wrote a really long comment - - apparently too long and got a "we're sorry we can't accept this data" message. LOL I guess it will show up on my blog at some point. :) Now I'm heading over to Bill Kenower's blog. Thanks for this inspiring post, Donna!

Donna Cummings

Melissa, sorry you're having such a hard time with TypePad! But I'm glad you enjoyed the post -- it's nice to know I wrote it for someone besides ME. LOL I'm doubly glad you can use the missing comment for a blog post of your own(whew!) :)

I really do find his posts to be inspiring, and decided I wanted to share them. You never know WHAT little tidbit will get you back on track, and it seems like he has a lot of those. I wonder what he'll have to say today that I can take to heart. :)


I found his post inspiring too! I'll enjoy going through the archives. :) Once more to see if my original posts. I'm cursed. LOL

I suspect more writers than not ignore that unexpected path for their writing for the same reason "ordinary people" (as in non-writers! LOL) ignore life paths; becoming (fill in the blank for expected) rather than (fill in the blank for unexpected). There are just too many "why nots" to shoot down!

I think just the idea of claiming "writer" probably fits for that unexpected fill-in-the-blank. You're right that you get that bafflement look from loved ones (or even the community as a whole). Bafflement is such a great word. :) I think I've seen that expression a time or two -- like when my mother looks at me as if she suspects I was switched at birth but we better not talk about it. LOL

So, the next step might be to ask yourself, why stop now? The path you've chosen is already unexpected; might as well get the machete out and keep clearing the way! Maybe you even realize that the path loses a lot of appeal if it's too expected. It's not what you want so it's a struggle to keep heading that direction.

This reminds me of what I read about the author Flannery O'Connor, who became known for having a dark twist to her writing. She became the pride of her rural southern community - - there's probably a sign that says "Flannery O'Connor Lived Here" but most of the "Good Country People" (her community and the title of one of her short stories) didn't read her work - - similar, I suppose to Stephen King and his rural Maine. Maybe they were baffled? LOL Both writers seem to have led pretty normal lives. What I'm curious about is how many of their stories even got completed, much less published, that didn't send them down the path unexpected.


I had the privilege of doing a Voice I class taught by Barbara Samuel-O'Neal. (If you ever get the chance, take it!) Anyway, she was excellent at teasing out the elements that inspire passion in us, and made a great case that this "calling", as it were, is part of our voice.

When you think about it, if we're going to spend months if not years on a manuscript, it darn well better have personal resonance.

Anyway, off to check out this blog. It sounds like one to go in my Hope links. Thanks for this, Donna.


I recently sat down with some friends at a scifi convention and the convo turned to an author who has started a sort of live-the-life-you-want-to-write help group. His idea being that you write your life, you are your hero. You envision how your hero would live and choice they'd make and make them yours.

It's a sort of mirrors what you're saying perfectly! I love serendipity like that!

Donna Cummings

Melissa, "bafflement" is a great word, isn't it? You can just see that puzzled frown on somebody's face. LOL

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I agree that even claiming the title of "writer" is sending you on the path of unexpectedness. It takes a lot of bravery to set out that direction, and to write the stories that only you can write, even though it would be easier to write what everyone else is clamoring for. :)

I also like "ordinary people" being non-writers. That's an excellent description! LOL

Donna Cummings

Jan, I'm intrigued with the notion of our "calling" being part of our voice. That makes sense, since it's a part of how we view the world, what resonates with us. I hope I have a chance to take Barbara's class -- it sounds like it has some very interesting aspects that aren't found elsewhere.

Donna Cummings

Maureen, looks like MY comment gotten eaten up this time! LOL

I was saying how much I love serendipity. I like the interconnectedness, as well as the fact that things aren't as random as they seem sometimes.

I like being the hero of the life you write -- especially since my characters have lots more interesting, fun lives than I do. LOL

(I think the first version of this comment made WAY more sense! LOL)


Posts like this make me realize how lucky us readers and just-don't-have-it-in-themselves-but-wanna-be-writers are to have such good books to read, provided by you authors!

I read recently that in Ireland, artistic productions - artwork, writings, music, etc. - are free from taxation up to a certain amount. I am of the school that for someone to have the skill, the talent and the energy to create something from nothing, they should be rewarded with more than just the occasional recognition and revenue not, in my opinion, in scale to their efforts.

So, to those of you who CAN write, I say thank you!

Love the blog, Donna - you give us all hope and inspiration!

Donna Cummings

Thanks, Brenda. I'm glad to give hope and inspiration, because I get it back tenfold. :) So I appreciate hearing that you love my blog musings!

And I'm intrigued by Ireland giving tax breaks to artists' endeavors. Talk about inspiring -- that means they truly do appreciate the work that goes into any form of art.

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