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IWSG June 2017


Quote of the Day: It was time the story was told from a woman’s perspective. Lauren Nickisch

Today is the first Wednesday of the month, when bloggers from all over the globe post their insecurities and offer support to one another. Check out more bloggers through the Insecure Writers Support Group website, or by visiting its founder Alex J. Cavanaugh.

This month’s question is: Did you ever say, “I quit”? If so, what happened that brought you back to writing?

I have never said, “I quit,” but I have taken huge breaks from writing fiction. I need a kick start to get the latest play edited and produced. It’s time! 

I have had debilitating insecurities. They come from comparisons and listening to those negative voices both in my own head, and from the lips of others. Those insecurities had attached themselves to me like one of those nasty ticks that infest my area of the world. They bite into you and infect you with diseases that can weaken you, and even kill you.

The best antibiotic for the insecurities infestation is to do something that fills your creative spirit. Create something new, experience someone else’s art, listen to the positive voices! They are there, too. I heard them from at the church where I play music. I heard them from the children I teach, and I heard them from community members. 

I felt inspired by the performance of a local playwright, Lauren Nickisch (see quote above). She wrote the story of her great-great-great grandmother Hephzibeth, Woman of Iron. She was a pioneer woman in Northern Minnesota. She aided and befriended the native people. She raised eight sons and one adopted daughter. She endured the death of four of her children. She worked hard, loved harder, and passed on an incredible legacy. Her tenacity lives on in her great-great-great granddaughter Lauren. 

Lauren Nickisch as Hephzibeth, Woman of Iron. Quilt by the Pine Tree Quilters, a most gorgeous backdrop to this pioneer woman’s story.

Watching Lauren portray Hephzibeth up on stage at our local community theater filled me. Her performance was stellar. She had the nuances of the older lady, sipping her tea, knitting her mittens, reading letters from days gone by that told so much, and yet so little, of the times. I saw her trying to hold a horses head up as it struggled in the frozen lakes of the North. I felt her heartache at her son’s death. I saw the twinkle in her eye as she talked to her granddaughter. I hung on every word.

You must tell the stories, and create the art, that you were born for. Pluck that tick of insecurity off your bottom, roll up your sleeves, and…

Go. Create. Inspire!

Journaling Prompt: What has inspired you lately?

  1. I love it! When I’m getting trunky, I read a good book. That usually picks me up.

  2. Know what you mean. Discouraging ticks can suck all creativity, all motivation, all will out of a body.

    But glad you’re expert at handling the tweezers to yank those rascals off!

  3. I’m glad you didn’t quit, Mary. You’re such a wonderful, positive soul. Sad to think anyone tried to discourage you.

    What’s inspiring me lately? Ha! Deadlines.

  4. I think that’s great advice–the best way to stop listening to the ‘other’ voices is to immerse yourself in something creative. The joy of creativity is in the doing!

  5. Wow, she played her own many times great grandmother! That is impressive.
    Listen to the positive. Listen to God. Never quit.

  6. She played her own ancestor? I love it! This made me cry. It’s beautiful. And your words are beautiful! I understand the insecurities. Even now, I look at my work and think, “No one is going to read this.” But I keep going but we just don’t know. We can never know who will read what we write and be profoundly moved. Like I was when I read above, “You must tell the stories and create the art that you were born for.” Thank you 😀

    – Jen

  7. I love your quote of the day. It certainly is time! Filling up our creative wells is so important.

  8. I think doing or experiencing something creative definitely helps to fill your creative spirit. Sometimes I’ll try writing something different, or just listening to music or reading a book will usually motivate me and get the creative juices flowing.

  9. I just need more time to read and contemplate nature. Oh, and spend time with my hubby. Thinking this might be my last year writing for publication.

  10. You go, hang in there. I am like Crystal a good book or great movie can lift me up and inspire.
    Juneta @ Writer’s Gambit

  11. I read a craft book that used watching movies as a form of craft (but only by analyzing and doing specific activities). At the same time, the author said sometimes you just watch to take in the artistry and get inspired. All true.

  12. I would have been moved to tears at that performance, especially if I knew that the great-great granddaughter was portraying her ancestor! How beautifully you told that! And thank you for the thought of being creative when blocked, perhaps like redirecting. Something I will definitely remember when I feel strung out.

  13. I’ve recently been inspired by my 5-year old. He loves to tell and make up stories, and he’s not afraid to just spew off whatever’s on the top of his head. A lot of it is silly nonsense, but sometimes he hits on a brilliant idea that’s just so obvious, but sometimes you need someone without 30-odd years of preconceived notions mucking up their heads. I try to be open-minded like him.

    IWSG June

  14. Such a moving post. I’m really glad to have stopped by!

  15. Hi Mary – what an incredible story of Hezpibeth … wonderful that her great, great x? granddaughter was able to tell her story and put it on stage – talented lady. We can never quit, we can ease up .. but quitting doesn’t happen … take care- cheers Hilary

  16. I’ve taken long stretches off from writing too because of the demands of a busy life. Great advice on how to get back into it by starting to create again.

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