Friday, June 1, 2007

I can't???

By Lonnie Cruse

Ever notice where some birds build their nests? I don't mean in bird houses, which of course many do. Or trees, even though they build there too. I'm talking about birds building nests inside the letters of the huge signs over grocery stores, but usually in the O or the E, which are nicely rounded, because V or K probably isn't all that comfortable.

Or they build on bridges, in the upper spans where most humans would be terrified to sit/stand. And you can see them working away as you whiz by, or hear them chirping merrily as you enter the store. I guess what amazes me about this is that the birds don't know they aren't supposed to be there, doing what they're doing. So they just do it.

Sometimes we humans allow ourselves be kept from trying to reach our dreams, from trying to "fly," because of the opinions of others. Well meaning friends telling us we can't do what we want to do. They say we don't have the talent, smarts, experience, courage, whatever. . .and sadly, we buy into it.

Is there something you've always wanted to try but didn't think you could succeed? Something not illegal, imoral, or fattening, of course! Then why not try it? Spread your wings and fly, or build your nest someplace totally strange and scary. Reach for your dream. And be sure to hang onto that railing. Don't let the wind blow you off the bridge!

Don't think you know how? Take writing, for instance. Love a certain author's writing but think you could never be that good? Most likely you won't, and neither will I ever be that good, but we can read that author's work with an eye to what makes it so great: how are the scenes are set, how is humor or suspense or romance sprinkled in (because likely the author isn't hitting the reader over the head with it, but sliding it in, here and there, in appropriate places.) How does the author let the reader come to know the characters? By dumping page after page of information that puts us to sleep or by subtle hints here and there that makes the reader think: "Ahah! That's why..." How does the writer describe the setting or the weather? Figure out what works for that author and learn how to do it for yourself. There are a lot of good stories out there, and many of them just need a bit of spit and polish to become GREAT stories.

Is there a novel buried somewhere inside you? Why not build a nest at your desk and write it? And let us know, here at Poe's Daughters, when it's published.

3 comments:

Julia Buckley said...

I definitely need to get out of the "can't" trap, Lonnie. I've written a book, but I'm still too negative, and every time I see an unflattering review it makes me think negatively about myself. Time to shift my paradigm, right?

Lonnie Cruse said...

Negative review of your work? Well! Who said it? WHERE do they live? I'll fix it!

Thanks, Julia!

Patricia said...

For every negative review I am sure there are a number of positive reviews. Don't let one person's opinion get you down.