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IWSG April 2017


Quote of the Day: Those who tell the stories perpetuate the culture. unknown origin

I don’t even remember where I read that quote, but I jotted it down as inspiration for a play writing class that I’ll be teaching this spring. I’m inspired by the novel Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. We read it for book club. It’s a futuristic story about a collapse of the world from a devastating flu pandemic. I don’t normally read dystopian novels, nor do I care for doomsday type stories, but this novel turned out to be one of my favorites. So much, in fact, that I can’t stop thinking about it. I read a library copy, then bought my own copy so I could reread it and mark passages that inspire my play writing class. I’ll be working with students in Middle School, grades 5-9. Possibly.

I work with the theater department at our local community college. They are very generous in hosting my theater workshops and handle all the registration. I do the workshops to fill a gap of not having opportunities for young people to experience theater in our community. One of our high school teachers is stepping up the theater program there, but there’s nothing in the lower grades. The community college/theater hasn’t done any shows for students to be in, only shows that might have one or two kids in a more adult show. Then, this week, they announced that they’re holding auditions for a play for kids in grades 5-8. What?! Why am I trying to direct a play writing workshop at the same time as they’re producing a play for the same age group? Frustrating.

My insecurity is that I think I’m doing some good in my community, that I’m contributing as a writer, teacher, theater director and supporter, and yet, not feeling like it’s valued. Why does it have to be so hard? It probably comes down to this. I feel like I spend too much energy on other people and helping them meet their goals and dreams, and not enough time on my own thing, and really want the support in my court, too.

This post is part of the Insecure Writers Support Group, which includes hundreds of bloggers, who post on the first Wednesday of each month about their insecurities, frustrations in their creative lives, and offer support to one another. To participate, or read more posts on this topic, visit their website or the founder Alex J. Cavanaugh.

I decided not to participate in the April Blogging from A to Z Challenge this year. For the past five years, I have loved being part of that marathon blogfest, but this year, I wasn’t prepared and didn’t have the energy for it. Maybe, I’ve freed myself up to work on my own writing. I’m sensing that it’s time to tell my own stories.

Go. Create. Inspire!

Journaling Prompt: When have you felt undervalued? What did you do to give yourself a boost?

PS: I found this while eating my lunch today. A very appropriate Tedtalk.

  1. Sorry you’re feeling the frustration. No one likes to feel unappreciated and under valued. Even though they are hosting a play for the same age group, hopefully it won’t impact your writing class. Some kids are shy and don’t want to be on stage and rather be in the background creating. I know that’s where I’d rather be. Good luck on the project.

  2. Congratulations on conducting a playwriting class for Middle school students. Your encouragement of their young creative minds will be of benefit to them for life. Therein lies your satisfaction. I can appreciate your frustration for the lack of appreciation, also.

  3. After skipping A-Z for several years, I opted in this time around. I thought I’d have plenty of time to write (I have a May 1st publication deadline) but find myself getting mired in commenting and replying to comments. LOL!

    D: Dominica & D-Day Museum
    DB McNicol, author & traveler
    Theme: Oh, the places we will go!

  4. Great quote. I have felt that. Someone told me to focus on the positive and just do. I tried that and I actually received a thank you from someone who has never said to me over years. Not sure what I think, but I am going to keep trying it because I feel unappreciated too often and I’m tired of feeling like that so I am just not going to if I can help it. Don’t really have answers just encouragement to offer. Keep on keeping on and do what makes you feel good about life. It is the best any of us can do, lol. Happy IwSG Day.
    Juneta @ Writer’s Gambit

  5. That was crappy of them.
    Think of all the kids who’ve taken your class. It mattered to them.

  6. Stephanie Scott says:

    I haven’t done A to Z blogging in at least 3 years. I love that you work with the local theater! How fun.

    Here’s my IWSG for April Stephanie Scott YA Author

  7. Ah! The great balancing act question. We’re always trying to find the right balance of giving vs taking care of ourselves. I’m sorry you’re not feeling appreciated, but it’s rare that we learn how much we’ve influenced and blessed others.

  8. I love to mentor other writers and write great posts on my blog as a means of educating others. My proteges give me plenty of praise, but so few do I get much from my blog posts or books I write.

    (Note, I am co-hosting IWSG this month, and very thankful for all the visits by people today)

    I write posts on Worldbuilding, and for the last 49 months, I’ve gotten at least one visitor on my blog. But I’ve had so few comments left. A lot of views, so little comments… I’m left wondering if I’m really making a difference. The few I’ve gotten, I feel like I could be…

    It’s just a vicious cycle self-doubt and high expectations. I try to focus on the positive, that if I have so many views, then it is a mark of success.

  9. Argh! That must be so frustrating.

    I was having a bleak day yesterday, so I started reading Oprah’s “What I Know For Sure,” and one of the things she said is that everyone needs to feel acknowledged and appreciated. It’s hard when your efforts aren’t recognized, but the good news is–YOU can acknowledge and appreciate them.

    If it means something to you, and it makes you feel good, keep going. People will come around. Hope that helps, and if not, I’d be happy to punch someone for you. 😉

  10. Someday, I bet you are surprised when all the good you do for the community bounces back to you, via a student or parent you helped. Teachers are invaluable. Never lose sight of that.

  11. I think we are often harder on ourselves and think we’re not making as much of an impact as we really are. Sometimes it doesn’t hit us until years down the road, but it’s nice to get acknowledged in the now.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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