Friday, March 20, 2009
SPRING! (And Doors and Windows)
Yesterday I spoke with someone in the book industry whose job has been affected by the economy. So she's taking her carefully honed (and considerable) skills and approaching new fields. Ideally, hard times do that - bring out the creativity in us. And the determination.
This is a perfect time for all of us - writers, artisans, plumbers, and preachers - to look for new opportunities. How can we utilize the skills we've honed to create a new view of our lives and the condition of our world?
Remember The Sound of Music? The mother of the Abbey tells Maria - "When the Lord closes a door, somewhere He opens a window." It's one of those statements that has stayed with me after all these years. And I admit, I do sort of live by it.
I count on new opportunities when old ones die. I anticipate that bad things lead to good. And I assume that God is the one who is closing doors and opening windows for me.
I heard a program on NPR in which they said that Americans are looking at work in a new way. We can no longer expect easy benefits. The competition is stiff. The pressure is on to be better. It seems to me that if this recession brings out a new work ethic, then that's a good thing!
As a writer, I feel the competition. I tend to be stuck in history while others are writing edgy contemporary fiction. And of course, some are putting a totally unexpected spin on an old familiar tale! (Sure wish I could think like that!)
What if I can't compete with all that edgy ingenuity?
That nagging question forces me to think more broadly. To dig more deeply. To search for just the right voice for my character-in-progress. And to explore new formats for presenting my story.
One popular bit of writing advice is to put a character into a situation that we don't know how to get them out of. That's scary! But it works. Somehow it brings out the problem solver within the writer.
That's where the US is today. That's where our world is too because - as bad as our economy is here in the US - it's worse elsewhere! We're in a jam. Doors are closing.
But windows are opening.
As of today, it's SPRING!. And spring means hope! Good things are coming. We might have to work harder. We may have a dilemma we don't know how to resolve. But just outside our window is a whole new view.