Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

“Reading and writing are acts of empathy and faith. Guard that trust carefully — in this rapidly changing business, it’s the only sure thing.” ~Erin Keane
"Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in." ~ Louise Brown

"Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it."
~Jesse Stuart

"A writer's job is to take one thing and make it stand for twenty." ~ Virginia Woolf

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Getting Back the Mojo


Today is the first Wednesday of the month when we writers are feeling particularly insecure, thanks to Alex Cavanaugh hehe. This year has been a crazy one for me, and I learned a basic truth-- that insecurities come and they go. And they change. They morph. Best way is to just work through it and keep on truckin'!

Insecure Wednesday is the ideal time for this guest post by Debra Harris Johnson on getting back the Mojo:

After the big April blog fest (yes the A-Z), I lost my MOJO. I don't know how these things happen. You love seafood all your life then one day you lose your taste for it. Same unknown negative vibe steals your passion for writing. For months I couldn’t think of a thing to write about.  

 It has been my experience when nothing comes to mind, let it. Silence usually is the brain’s way of giving consent for new ideas to blossom. A brain fog lasting more than a few months mean it’s time to find some creative way to get that MOJO back. After all we are writers. How did I get my MOJO back? I pushed myself to a writer's meeting. Yep, that’s all it took.

Lesson learned. Surround yourself with positive people that share your particular passion and that are willing to give encouragement.  Blam, zap, bling....you are on the road again. Want romance, find people that still believe in it. Want to knit...visit a yarn shop. Want to get into swimming, duh....go to a pool, someone will help you to swim. Same goes for writing. Book stores, blogs, even the local library are all great places to get your MOJO going.

The need for fulfillment drives us to keep changing and re-inventing ourselves. One of the things I love about writing is that it allows me to change hats by providing a buffet of different opportunities. A poem can turn into a short story just by thinking a little deeper. That short story can lead to a novel that eventually becomes a play. I use my writing to express  all of my dimensions without locking myself into a corner with a particular style of writing. I am a blogger, author of short stories and a freelance writer of articles.

 My writing has taken me from hovering over a keyboard to standing behind a podium speaking on the topics I write about. No sooner then I get settled into selling my articles an idea of a new writing concept takes hold of me. Yes, your friend Debra is about to embark on a new adventure that will combine my writing, speaking, knowledge of farming with my passion for food and.........not so fast.
Remember the first lesson you learn in writing is to show don't tell. Visit my blog at http://debraharrisjohnson.blogspot.com/ for further hints of my transformation.  What new and different road has your writing led you to? If the answer is nowhere then it is time to combine other passions you have with your writing. 

Never miss an opportunity to explore and examine your surroundings. It will deepen your writing. Listen as nature, emotions and situations whisper in your ear. Your writing will always find fresh perspectives. Dance to the music that is meant to be heard by no one but you. Your writing will be authenticated by your personal style.  May your writing muse always shake you awake when your mind goes blank and your passion wanes.

Debra, thank you for visiting my blog today!

18 comments:

  1. I am in a funny place with my writing at the moment. Mainly because I am busy promoting The Englishman and planning to publish two other novels before Christmas, there just doesn't seem to be any time to start a new novel. But I am missing the process and must soon get down to a new story. For me not writing is like not being free - it's as if I'm not allowed to speak all of a sudden. I also feel desperately that I want to write full time, which I don't yet do. But this is such scary step to stop 'working' and writing full time...

    Sorry, this became a bit of a confessional!

    Helena xx

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  2. Thanks for your thoughts. It is so true that we need to ride out the emotional ups and downs that come with the business of writing. I love writing workshops and meetings for getting my writing brain in gear again!

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  3. LOve this post. My muse gently shakes me every morning. When I go to sleep, I can't wait to wake up and write. And re nature. Now that I'm in a part of the world I love (Akumal,Mexico), I appreciate nature more...like the rain this morning. The sound and smell intoxicate me. Who needs tequila?

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  4. Yay for wonderful and amazing Debra!! Great advice on how to find positives and generate opportunities from other sources! All the best to Debra!! Thanks KarenG! Take care
    x

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  5. Let your brain fill with nothingness - I can do that!
    That's why I play guitar. It clears my head.

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  6. Very inspirational post! I did A-Z year before last and experienced a similar 'come down'. I am not a prolific blogger in the sense of churning out lots of content, and I think I used up a year's worth of blog energy that April! :-D

    Love your thoughts about surrounding yourself with positive people who want good things for you. Couldn't agree more.

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  7. I am so grateful to Karen for the opportunity to share some thoughts,meet new people and say hello to my dear bloggie friends like, Old Kitty and Alex.
    I will be visiting everyone that makes a comment. It's a great way to be inspired!

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  8. I feel fortunate that I never seem to lack for ideas. They may not all be viable or good but I can usually find one that is :)

    Nice to meet you Debra!

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  9. It was good to see you back on the scene, Debra. Sometimes we need the break and sometimes it's an excuse that is a reflection of something else in our life. I've been experiencing that threat of late. Fortunately, my blog and the blogging community keeps me centered to some extent.

    I like the way you've described your experience and made it applicable for all of us.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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  10. How right you are Debra. There are time de-compression in a supportive setting is what's needed.
    It also seems to me that the blogging challenge (fest) sucked the writerly energy out of you. I know myself and it would have depleted me, so I wouldn't take it on.

    You braved it, survived it, and now you're back. Three cheers!

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  11. Debra, your journey sounds like mine - one thing has led to another as I continuously change and evolve.

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  12. Great post, thanks Debra. Inspiring and informative.

    Thanks Karen.

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  13. Nice to meet you MsHatch....keep those ideas flowing

    Arlee I was thinking about you when I wrote this post, after you got the blahs I realized how universal this is and I wanted to let other writers know we All go through this. Thanks for all your support, you are much loved and respected in the blogging world.

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  14. Mirka the A-Z challenge was great! The problem came when all of a sudden it stopped and you were left with a blank stare. LOL

    Diane and Karen, we writers have more in common than not and I appreciate honest dialogs that inspire, inform and evolve into positive advice we can use in our craft. Thanks to everyone!

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  15. Dear Debra, what good, common-sense advice. Now I need to go to your blog to see just what new adventures are beckoning you. Peace.

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  16. What an inspiring post. I've had that experience of a poetry leading to a story. And your advice for finding your mojo (love that word) is spot on. Thanks, Mirka.

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  17. I had the blahs a few weeks ago. It was inspiring posts like this that helped me smile inside. Blogville is wonderful.

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  18. I love this post! So true we have to be around those we went to emulate! Congrats on your transformation!

    Karen, thank you for sharing Debra's voice :D

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