I keep a writing journal.
It is not for public consumption. It is an unedited mix. Sometime diary, catch all for articles that capture my attention, blog posts, personal correspondence, recipe’s, etc. (It is several hundred thousand words long at this point.)
I’m currently reading through Louisa May Alcott’s personal journal. It’s one of the ways I unwind at the end of the day. I usually only read a couple of pages at a time, but for some mysterious reason, her journals have a way of grounding me…
Anyway, in reading through my writing journal yesterday, this entry caught my eye, and I decided to share a portion of it.
Pompous writing experts
…I am liking keeping a writing journal.
It taps into a different “voice” than when I write blog posts. There is definitely this creative pulse I feel inside that wants to escape. I would love to hone my writing skills and yet @ the same time am not interested in getting feedback from people like S. H. or especially M. K. who ripped a rough draft of my first book I shared with him several years ago.
Those two well meaning “writers” were brutal and deeply wounded my spirit, causing me to second guess anything I would write….
Now I get it…writing well is definitely a craft and like teaching, there are some fundamental principles a person wants to master to be effective.. The trick is who is giving the feedback and in what spirit.
I want to learn how to write clean, crisp, honest, work. I really do, and I know I have the humility to learn…I’ve proved it in other areas of my life. Just give me a teacher filled with Grace – like Brenda Uhland. I would LOVE to have sat under her mentoring. In the mean time…I will continue to learn. No more pompous writing experts for me.
I would rather go to my grave with just this journal I’ve written for my own personal pleasure than listen to fools tell me what I’ve done wrong….
At this stage of my life, I have no interest in telling someone else how to live their lives- whether how they raise their kids, grow a garden, tend honey bees, or whatever- I aspire to live quietly, to work with my hands, be dependent on no one…. Period.
Ruth Stout is my role model for mentoring others… She had it (deep mulch gardening) figured out. She did not want to be put on some pedestal. She just did her own thing and then reported the results, and let people make their own conclusions.
One more thought. While this entry is mostly about being mentored in writing, it can really apply to any area of life. I’ve seen it played out with gardening, raising honey bees, guns, carpentry, small engine repair, computers, parenting, marriage relationships, money management, fermentation, etc. etc.
Good mentors are hard to find.
If you have one, I’d encourage you to let them know how much you appreciate them.
Just a thought.