Sometimes, I feel the need to reinvent myself. When Madonna was getting all that flack from the media and the public for constantly changing her self/image/music, I was one of those people who sat back and imagined the possibilities in doing such a thing.
People tend to want things to stay the same. Even if those things are no longer working, things should stay the same. One facet of my character is that I am always seeing how things could or might be, rather than how they are in the moment. Not just for the sake of changing things. I don’t necessarily believe in change purely for change’s sake. It’s more that I tend to see how things might function more smoothly or intuitively, and set out to make the necessary adjustments.
I guess you could say that I have a fidgety brain. That part of me tends to drive *some* people a little cuckoo. I know it drove my mother over the edge more than once. I was forever “fixing” things that, on the surface, didn’t appear to be broken. And perhaps they weren’t, in the traditional sense. But I may have seen inherent flaws in their design and set out to fix them.
Not all of those fix-it-yourself projects were successful. I was six, spank me.
The point of this is that there comes a time in some of our lives in which we feel the strong desire/need/passion to reinvent ourselves. I’m not talking about improving an image, or fixing some nagging problem you’ve been meaning to get to for months. I’m talking an overhaul of the way you’ve been doing things up to now. Taking things that have worked, and move forward with them with new direction, passion, and attitude. Leaving the things behind that don’t work. This is the theory behind reinvention.
We tend to reach a tipping point numerous times in our lives as we realize that doing things “the old way” no longer serves us, and we must make a decision to change or stay the same…in which case, we accept that our current way isn’t working, but we’re too lazy and complacent to do the work needed to be more successful.
The point that I’m busy circling around is this: I recently reached a personal tipping point. It wasn’t a sudden thing, not at all. In fact, I’d been watching it approach for months, recognizing the items in my life that I was stripping away because they no longer served my goals, and eagerly awaiting more information so that I could see what direction I would next head. For me, this meant that I had undergone many MANY changes in my writing career…all of them lessons of one sort or another…and I knew it was either time to veer off in a new direction, or give up my dream altogether.
****A brief history of my career: I first set my sights on becoming a professional writer back in 1997, when I formed a small writer’s group called The Muse Asylum. That group became The Writers Salon in 2000, and was an award-winning program consisting of 50 writers who met weekly. Public funding ran out in 2004, at which time I moved on to form Writers on the Verge, which ran from 2004 until 2011. During this time, I was actively participating in several regional writers conferences, one of which I was on the board of directors until late 2010. At the time I departed that position, I also dropped out of several other writing groups I had belonged to. Pretty much clearing my plate…not that I had a specific reason at the time, but I felt that some sort of imminent change was approaching, and I was simply preparing for it. ****
Several weeks ago, I began to feel that I needed to initiate a new direction, that my motivation and drive to complete writing projects had flagged, and my initiative for even sitting down to write was missing. I had to think as to whether my long-term passion was depleted, or if this was merely a setback and temporary. I am fully aware that creative energy ebbs and flows. But that wasn’t it. It was more as if it had dried up temporarily, and I needed to find a way to replenish my resources.
I thought long and hard about the specifics of these feelings I had. What, exactly, did I perceive to be the problem? Looking back, I saw that the issue that seemed to recur most often was an inability to complete a final manuscript draft to ready it for agent or publisher submission. I could draft and redraft until my fingers fell off, but actually readying it for submission had thus far eluded me. In that respect, I realized that I worked best under a specified deadline. If I knew someone was waiting for a set of pages from me, I performed with verve and zest. However, I couldn’t go back to attending writing groups, as they didn’t meet my needs.
I went online and began searching for writing workshops. Maybe that would be enough. Instead, I found the Boulder Writing Studio. Reading through their instructor’s biographies, I realized that I had found my answer. And so I contacted them about participating…and ended up hiring one of their people to work one-on-one with. Now my drive has returned, and my excitement about *finally* completing one of the many projects in my artillery.
We begin collaborating – teacher/student – mid-August.
I couldn’t be more pleased. I feel as if I’ve reinvented my creative self and am very happy with the results. Who needs plastic surgery when I’ve got a personal trainer?