Friday, February 17, 2012

Patches or Potential?

Doll House

I ran across a quote yesterday that was definitely food for thought. Ellen Goodman, a renowned columnist, said "We spent January 1st walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives...not looking for flaws, but for potential." 

That one small phrase--looking for potential--reached out to me. I also liked her use of walking through our lives, room by room. There's a lot of wisdom in her suggestion to look for future possibilities as well as patching up the old parts of our lives. It seems to me that works in our writing lives and also all the other parts of our lives. 

Self-analysis can be a helpful tool if we are honest, if we take an objective look rather than the old defensive, subjective view. What better way to increase our writing power than to step back and study what has been and what can be. 

Ask yourself where you might go in the future with your writing. Make it someplace you've never been before. Wherever you are on the writing path, there are choices. You can stay on the very same path you've been on and feel relatively safe. Or you can take one of the paths that branch off into parts unknown. Are you willing to take a chance? Why not? If you don't like the scenery on that path, you can always turn around and backtrack to where you feel safer.Stay there for awhile, and then take another of those branching paths and see if you like it better there. 

It's not too late in the year to walk through the rooms of your life to look for potential for the remainder of 2012. 

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