When asked what authors inspire them, they list off writers like thread off a bobbin. They've read those authors more deeply, widely, and thoughtfully than she has. They quote with ease. She quotes with Google. Piles of books make up her headboard, yet regardless of osmosis, her brain can't remember names or titles or even sketches of plotlines. She reads like she eats--without regard to serving size, much too quickly due to intense deliciousness, and often too late at night.
In her keynote, Cheryl Strayed gives this piece of advice:
Surrender to your own mediocrity.
These five words hit the blogger and swell inside her like marshmallows in a microwave. Her chest puffs up as large as the built-in pecs in her son's Spiderman costume. She thinks of her archives; for years she's written and written and written. She's forced herself to hit publish--wincing along the way. She's offered up her hours and heart and finite energy not just to her own words, but also in the service of her community of fellow bloggers reading and reading and reading and commenting commenting commenting. She doesn't just surrender to her mediocrity, she champions it and puts it on the internet's refrigerator door for all to see.
She's written. She writes. She'll keep writing.
|The Cascade Mountains, Leavenworth, Washington|
Theo Pauline Nestor, thank you for the gift to any manuscript of Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey.
Thank you Ariel Gore for giving me permission to put down the thesaurus and write like I talk.
Cheryl Strayed, thank you for sharing the wisdom of your experience so generously, for "Write to eliminate the why in why is this author writing this book," and for suggesting my kids might look fondly upon my writing about them someday.
Thank you Candace Walsh for planting the seed of using my passion for a potential project.
Thank you to Suzanne Finnamore for sharing your practical tips for structure, and especially for your vulnerability and humor.
Thank you all for your incredible books. Your names are now part of my bobbin thread--just as soon as I can find the end here somewhere.