Crowing along the way with wisdom and practical advice
All of these entries were originally posted in my Newsfeed.
Feel free to read and review any and all of them!
The WDC community newsfeed is a trendy venue for the announcement of contests, the posting of ideas, plans, as well as reminders of present and future projects. It could be that some of you use this forum as I do to keep in touch and say hello from time to time, as well as an opportunity to impart a bit of earned wisdom. In any case, we all sincerely appreciate any comments, and from the thoughts we impart. And believe me, no matter how many times you hear writers say that they don't care what others think about their work and they only write for themselves, don't believe it for a moment. They may think they have convinced themselves of that lie, but if they believed that they didn't care, why would they be posting their work on WDC in the first place?
However, there is one interesting observation that I have experienced in my years among our community of writers. I have noticed that not every writer receives the same coveted reactions and comments to what they have to say. Some may post on several occasions and get little or no attention at all. Of course, it stands to reason that not all writers are on the same level and that not all write those things that garner the most attention. I must say that some seem to get an inordinate amount of attention as though they were the only game in town. I don't hold this against them. They are always putting themselves out there, and as we know, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. The problem is, some wheels are hardly getting any grease at all. I began to wonder why these phenomena might exist.
I then arrived at a somewhat reasonable conclusion. It would seem that there are those writers who may have problems relating to others in the message they are are trying to convey. It may seem odd that writers would have trouble connecting to others, but, after all, writers are just people with all of those warts and flaws. Some write in ways that are difficult to understand. Others feel the need to philosophize in ways that leave the reader confused as to what they have just read. Clear communication is lost, and the reader moves on to a more pleasing post. Others cannot resist the temptation to appear more intelligent than they are by the use of silver dollar words and complex sentences, as well as personal quotes that have no clear direction or message.
Finally, it all comes down to clear and effective communication. Be clear and don't try to be too clever.
THE CHILL FACTOR
I heard a young Christian woman relating the times of her daily life when she felt that there was more to do than there was time to do it. Of course, she had just as much time as anyone else to accomplish her task. Could it have been that she had accumulated too many responsibilities? This overload is indeed possible in the frantic lifestyles of many.
My personal approach to everyday chores is somewhat different from those who can't catch their breath. Being retired, I am still determined to remain active. I run regularly, take care of the household, and have grasscutting jobs in the Spring and summer. I am an avid reader, and of course, a writer. However, there are days when I do very little at all. I chill. There may be a solid week when I neither read nor write to any extent. After cutting the grass in temperatures of 90 degrees or more, there may be little energy for anything else. I shower, sit back, and take it easy.
The chores and office work will always get done, as I only fill my plate with what I know I can eat. And, of course, I continue to employ the chill factor
Originally posted here: "Note: THE CHILL FACTOR I heard a y..."
|ONE HANDSOME FELLOW
It may seem somewhat shameless, but I wish to draw attention to my portfolio picture. This time I decided to have a professional fly over from the local cornfield where he does a lot of work. As crows, we don't often get a fair shake. People think of us consorting with witches and sorcerers, and maybe a poet or two. I'll admit, some of us have received a certain notoriety for our associations. Most of us, however, just like to get together and make some noise with our friendly chatter or harass an owl or two. It's harmless fun.
But now, back to my picture. My crowtographer did a great job. He really caught my handsome side. He used a special crowdachrome film which really brings out the highlights. It wasn't cheap. I had to cawf up a lot of corn to pay for the sitting. If you get the chance, tell me what you think.
Originally posted here: "Note: ONE HANDSOME FELLOW It may ..."
|WRITERS ALWAYS RETURN HOME
I wonder if any of you have ever felt like me in that you find you have nothing to say. There are no particular ideas that you feel inspired to turn into poems or articles or stories. Now, I can imagine the cacophony of voices explaining the surrounding miasmas that may bring on such a writer's malady. But is such a writer indeed sick and his or her muse bereft of all brilliance? I would answer an emphatic, NO.
Perfectly reasonable to the artistic mind are those dry seasons when nothing seems to grow. However, as every farmer knows, these times pass and seed time and harvest return. Consider, if you will, these lean times as periods of germination. Crops will grow again, and writers will write again. It's only a matter of time before the fresh ink will begin to flow, bringing life and form to the latent idea.
Yes, writers may walk through barren and storyless lands where nothing takes root, and we seem like a stranger to that which we so love. But one unexpected day our journey will end, and we will return home once more.
Originally posted here: "Note: WRITERS ALWAYS RETURN HOME ..."
THE IMPORTANCE OF SELF-KNOWLEDGE
"To thine own self be true..." Most will recognize this iconic statement of Shakespear's story of Hamlet. What does it mean? It means that every man must be real in his evaluation of who he is as a man, or, of course, as may be in the case of a woman. This inner knowledge may seem simple enough; it is, however, not as simple as it may seem.
Inner knowledge requires a great deal of honesty. This honesty is difficult for most people. They do not wish to face up to who they are when the public mask is removed. As they most often present themselves is the way in which they would like to be seen. But this presentation is very often only a facade they construct to hide the painful truth. Also, and most important to understand, is that people very often do not wish to be who they are. They dream of being someone else. If they are of a gentle nature, they may feel that they would rather be more self-asserting and stronger in the presence of others. As strange as it may seem, those who possess aggressive personalities would prefer to embrace a milder demeanor. Yet, in this, they are conflicted, feeling that the gentle soul is often taken advantage of by others. And so, within this conflict, there must be a choice. But what is that choice? Cannot two seemingly opposing states reside within each man or woman, only showing forth when certain circumstances exist?. They can indeed, and then the mind and body are in harmony.
Self-knowledge is a vast subject of which much has been written. One is never too old to learn these great truths by which life and lives will be made better.
Originally posted here: "Note: THE IMPORTANCE OF SELF-KNOWLE..."
|IS IT ABOUT ME OR YOU?
We all know that there are many good things we can do for other writers on WDC. We see examples of generosity and kindness each and every day.
But now, I am going to approach a question that may make each of us a little uncomfortable. When doing what we do, whether reviewing, posting, or any of a score of other things, what is our motivation? We would all love to believe that our motivations are driven by the noblest intentions. However, if we are completely honest, we must admit that we savor the admiration and attention of our fellows. For example, when we give a review, do we wait to see how the author appreciated what we said about the work? Are we more interested in how they responded to us that what we did for them?
We all like to be appreciated for the good things we do; that is just the natural way of it. But always try to remember that it is not about us, but rather, the person we are privileged to encourage and help.
Originally posted here: "Note: IS IT ABOUT ME OR YOU? We al..."
|THE WONDER OF LEARNING
Every time I conclude that I have learned many things, I realize that I have actually learned very little. Watching as the candle burns late into the night is the laborious price one pays for giving little heed to lessons my teachers taught. Now, in these waning years, those lessons are seen as treasures misplaced by my own indifference.
So, time is passing for us all. Your opportunity to learn is a priceless gift. With all that is in you, fill the repository of your mind with wonderful and enlightening things. Fill the trove of your heart with that which will change the lives of many.
Originally posted here: "Note: THE WONDER OF LEARNING Every..."
INSPIRATION THROUGH DIFFICULTY
Inkwell has really stepped up her reviewing process, and that, while juggling other demanding tasks. I know that we all become complacent at times and feel satisfied with a minimum of reviews. However, what she has shown us is that we can do a lot more if we really want to encourage others. Let us consider taking up the challenge.
Originally posted here: "Note: INSPIRATION THROUGH DIFFICULT..."
POSITIVE AND STRAIGHTFORWARD
Communication is a fascinating topic of study. Surely, writers should be the ablest communicators in the world. When I was privileged to pastor churches across the Southern States, I learned a great deal about how I might communicate clearly through the spoken and written word. There were times in the early years when I figured I could tell people what I wanted however I wanted. Needless to say, that didn’t go over particularly well.
I no longer stand imposingly behind pulpits these days. However, I continue to pursue my life-long love of communication. This community of WDC has been a quiet refuge in which I have been honored to share my thoughts and ideas, and maybe a little wisdom along the way. And I have continued to learn how to be a better writer through the many talented authors I have met and interacted with. As a cumulative learning experience, I have always been encouraged to keep things positive and straightforward. Say what you intend to say, and do so as clearly as you can. Along with that, always be kind and generous. As you have learned, be ever willing to teach others.
I continue to be thankful for my many encouragers and teachers on WDC. My new axiom is that you can teach an old dog new tricks. Thanks to all of you for teaching this old dog some very new tricks.
Originally posted here: "Note: POSITIVE AND STRAIGHTFORWARD ..."
NEVER FORGET A LITTLE ENCOURAGEMENT
From time to time, old crusty writers like myself may come to the point of wondering whether it is worth it to continue writing. We ask ourselves why we write in the first place. And, although we feel we have answered that question on more than one occasion, we are again compelled to ask it anew. This is especially true if no one has reviewed anything in a long while.
Now, all of this may sound somewhat bleak. However, things aren't usually as bad as we make them sound. For, just when we think we should chuck all to the wind and take up bird watching, a wafting breeze of goodwill gently ruffles the curtains of our hopeless hearts. An email from one we know or from one we have yet to meet reviews a piece of our work written long ago. They award us five stars and relate to us how much they enjoyed the writing. Then, as though the writing gods have been stirred from their lethargy, another review follows close behind. It's another five-star rating and a compliment on the skill of the piece.
And then we wonder, why all the sudden interest? The truth is, it's no big mystery; it just happens that way at times. Just when you begin to see yourself as old news, some generous soul stops by to give you a little encouragement. They don't really know that's what they're doing, but the end result is that you decide to hold off on the bird watching - at least for a while. You don't sound a trumpet or anything, but it's nice to know that people acknowledge that you are still among the living.
Originally posted here: "Note: NEVER FORGET A LITTLE ENCOURA..."