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Celebrate Your Life!
A friend and I were talking about our roots. I mentioned how Boulder had influenced me. He said, “Yeah, but it was artificial. Boulder’s not the real world.” and he was exactly right. In Boulder, American holidays relied more on health foods and essential oils than on ‘normal’ traditions. My yoga colleagues were likelier to feast on lentil roasts than turkeys or hams.
Life in Boulder was OK. If you’re also a big-time traveler, you’ll know why I celebrate the part of myself that took hold there. The uni library where I taught yoga (CU-B) showed me that switching to the real world, and doing it alone, was vital. I read everything, from illuminated manuscripts to George Eliot to Tibetan shamanism. Then I left.
Ready to write?
I read through this article but had to sleep on it before recommending it to you. http://www.sfwriter.com/rmnonfic.htm. I want to make sure you won’t be discouraged by what it says.
Toward the end of the piece, the writer hit home: maybe writers who got praise and luck early in their careers were simply relying on low-end markets. Maybe they really didn’t learn to write very well. Perhaps those journalistic tools were good for that niche and no other.
But I look at my early, pleasant jobs in Colorado as just the beginning, the foundation. All of us can and must keep growing. It’s hard work, almost as hard as it was to get started: to graduate from college or high school and set up in life, among other things.
Pay attention to your own writing skills and don’t stop. Utilize all the resources you can. Go the the library and do self-help; take Adult Education classes at the community college; take photojournalism workshops wherever you find them.
Talk to literate friends. Figure out what you want out of writing. Do you want to publish? If so, try to rub shoulders with other people who are writing for publication. Read letters and journals of other artists. Don’t neglect the past: Kafka and Chekhov, for example. Look at some pictures, even on the Net, from a museum site. Read on-line.
I decided to stop wasting time. The time I spent e-mailing my pal in New Zealand was enough to write this blog! I started going to bed earlier and getting up before dawn, like I should. This makes more time for writing — and for e-mailing my Kiwi friend.
In LA I worked for a writer who said, ‘God changes people.’ You could phrase that any way you wanted, and it’s still true: We can change and grow.
My yoga book is finally coming together! Thank you for all your encouragement.
Best wishes from Thailand,
Mary Ann (Martine) Davis
The photo is my last yoga guru, in Nepal: Swami Kiran Shankar (in 2010)