Friday, April 16, 2010

One Mouth Open, One Mouth Shut

I don't know what it is about talking about my work, I just don't do it anymore. I joke with other writers about getting me an agent, but they don't get the joke. I don't want one. I want to write. So I do. I am a creator and that has been my objective. I made the hard choice, not the easy one....to chase the craft and not the dollars. There are plenty of best sellers out there that I would use to build a fire. They marketed and sold their work and did the book signings. It was their way, not mine. I realized that I had built up a collection of followers, close to 2000 on a social network site, and it got a little weird for me. Weird is a kind word for it. One day I looked at the page and I committed fan-tracide. I killed the page because it no longer was the place of art and collaboration I wanted it to be. I had written articles for an international fashion mag, had my own column, and in short it seemed to be everything I wanted. Ladies and gentlemen, it was all an illusion.

I vowed never again. I had a taste of the obsession of fame, the requests to do book signings, and even the cyber stalking, and I put an end to it all. That was off of one book of poetry. Sounds pretty strange, doesn't it? I had to go off of the radar to do the work I want to do. It involves people, life and the best, real collaboration. When I was in Daegu, South Korea, a wonderful poetress, name Lena Vanelslander, from Belgium and I began an incredible collaboration. The kind we both hungered for, the kind that is absent of competition and worries about things like ego and money...just to create art.

One of Lena's dreams was to publish. I smiled and wrote to her, that we could make it happen if she just trusted and believed. It seems looking back, that at any point the project could have derailed if an ounce of fear entered the picture. There were starts and stops. I hated the original cover design by the publisher and provided them a picture I snapped in South Korea. There was a bumpy road with our critiques of the editing process back in the United States, but despite all of the struggles, a work was published without two writers ever meeting each other. We just trusted in our art and in each other. That, my friends, is the magic of creation. Nothing beats the feeling.

The best part about this work was the friendship we forged together. An article was recently published in Her Circle about this venture. Really, it was more a a literary adventure. However, the main reason I am writing this post to encourage you in your writing pursuits to not chase the money. Chase your art. Chase what it feels like to touch one life. Try to write about what is close to your heart and don't prostitute your work.

I think the world is beginning to see how much security is an illusion right now. To me, the highest form of security are friends. The greatest value in my life is people. Whenever money becomes the focus, you get what Hollywood is churning out...profit driven entertainment. I don't write for profit, and some of my work has cost me. It's all in the journey.

For whatever reason you write, do it with your whole heart, without an eye on the bottom line, without chasing after fame. Well, even if you are chasing after those things...if you are, write one hell of a story that isn't what the industry pushes out there on us all.

Be the original that everyone copies.

12 comments:

Andrew Swansson said...

Hello, I am very much interested in joining Writers Rising to both share and develop my writting, both blogs and poems.

My blog site is http://thesoapboxtruth.blogspot.com/

I am also contactable at ardswansson@hotmail.com

Cheers

Andrew

Alone in Holy Land said...

This is exactly what i am doing at the momet, and enjoying it immensely.
This post was exactly what I needed to read...

Katherine Jenkins said...

@ Marilyn-Thanks for the post Marilyn..Writing is the greatest joy of my life. I have closets full of journals since the age of 10. It wasn't until a few years ago that I actually shared anything with the public. If you can touch one person with your words or thousands with your words, that is greater than any monetary success. Sharing with others is what it's all about.

@Andrew-it would be wonderful to have you as a writer on Writers Rising. Thanks for your support. I'll send you the invite now!

Marilyn said...

@Ramona...you do...and you do it well.

@Kathy...this post was meant to encourage people with pursuit of their craft...if you read something else into it, I am sorry. Listening is not necessarily meaning to pull out how we can agree by only relating to personal experiences 'I' messages are central to the ego...and kind of feels like it pushes into areas of defensiveness creating walls and domains. This was a sharing of a story...nothing to be added...or compared with. Since this community is about community...and creation, a shared story of just one path of a differing perspective which all of course will have their differing goals and objectives along the way.

Lessons, advice, and guidance can only be received if asked for and heeded only rarely in this life because we are experiential creatures having our own learning styles...because we are creatures of free will without a desire to be controlled...

a lesson I learned from writing an advice column was not to give advice...because my experience is not universal enough for mankind. There is no qualified expert for all that exists on this earth.

Katherine Jenkins said...

Hi Marilyn-Lots of love to you my dear friend. Everything we write comes from our own point of view. The lessons I write are actually ones I'm still learning, they are for myself. If others get benefit from what I write, how wonderful that is! Peace to you, Kathy

Marla said...

This post echoes what I have been thinking lately. Thank you for sharing it.

Marilyn said...

@Kathy, I am glad you saw my intention...because it is a choir...a chorus of beautiful voices that enable singers to sing...your writing is beautiful. The experience shared, was mainly to show dangers of "i" and 'you' messages. We are beings of free will...and often what we learn along the way will be learned in differing ways...as we are unique beings and sometimes people get irritated because of the perfection that seems to smack others...and push them away.
I believe you have a wonderful incredible story to share...keep it human and flawed. Even my reply is flawed....trying to stay in the moment...not in the past...not in the future...but owning my limitations and reclaiming energy along the way...patience is the journey with a whole lot of love. Cameron Day is a wonderful guide for meditation I have found a lot of his techinques echo Eckhart Tolle's work.
@Marla - what a great journey it is...it feels like a huge shift that pulls us away from the profit game. Strange information is coming revealing incredible abuses of people through corporation practices...that have filled me with revulsion towards profit.. This path...is not easy for me to go through, but it is like seeing a way I have no choice but to walk....I would recommend watching, "Capitalism, a love story" Research the sources, if you can...I was shocked...because I had judged the film maker to be a sensationalist....instead, I was easily able to find all of the sources....and it caused a shift...what I am searching for are ways to still go forward...even looking for ways to help communities that go beyond money...Detroit is a project that came to my heart...actually I felt like it seemed hopeless, but I was amazed at the ideas that came to me when I removed money...profit...from the equation...I started to see things I would not have seen before. I wonder what kind of shift would happen....what are the possibilities if the corporations were starved by the 99 percent? We really could change a lot....far beyond our imaginations....

Sometimes when the old goes away, it is about ushering in something of incredible proportions....
Creation is the act of thought...what a wonderful power we all possess...when the focus involved money...I found it was crippled and tied to ego.

Kind of turns the perspective around...and made an awareness of the energy associated with the interest of self interest...capital gains only for capital....what can we gain as a community in any aspect?

What an awakening process that can be possible. Those who fight to hold on to a dying system will find it difficult to comprehend.

Angelguided said...

'be the original that everyone copies' Love it!

Heather Conroy said...

Hi Marilyn- I hear your passion and appreciate your message. Write on!

Marilyn said...

Much love to you ladies...

kbxmas said...

Marilyn, I love this. I love, love, love this. I think so many of us start out falling in love with the art and then get pulled from that path by the promise of....whatever it is that we think we'll get from recognition. Yet, it is the act of creating from the heart that is so, so satifying. Thank you for posting this.

Marilyn said...

I have been having dreams lately...great ones. In my teaching here in China, what has come through, what has kept students from succeeding DESPITE 20 years of trying to learn English has been their fear. They can't speak English, because they seek perfection.

I started having all of them visualize the first time they road their bikes as children. I asked them, did you fall down a few times? "Yes" they responded "The why did you get back on?" I replied. "Because we wanted to learn." One student replied. You have to want to ride the 'bike' in spite of the fear. This is your own race. Not about trying to please others.

I just finished my fifth book. From it I learned an incredible lesson...I am self publishing it...because that is my path I chose for myself. I have different goals that are not tied to the fame monster or marketing that tends to sicken me. I had to trust my feelings and ask why. Because I wasn't afraid to collaborate and show the journey along the way, I have been given opportunities to speak at a University, to have the work even considered for use as part of the academia...

I actually marveled for a moment...and I realized this was the dream...what I visualized...the powerful notion that I could show that it isn't about the mainstream...it is about finding your own stream and in a way that is real and tangible to others.

The work isn't long...but it pulled together an incredible journey that went to the heart of a clear message for me...and for others...to touch others in a way that they could see I didn't write what I wrote for fame or fortune...and had it been published by a large house...this message would have been ignored.

That is why you have to trust yourself. Because what others would advise or have you do...well, but simply...it will take you away from what you are supposed to learn for yourself.