As if I didn’t spend enough time lurking the internet, some days (read: most days) I fall into a Pinterest hole of inspirational quotes. wouldn’t call it a guilty pleasure but more of a holy crap how did I spend 4 hours lurking Pinterest without actually pinning anything or doing anything else.
These days, I have Gilmore Girls playing in the background. (I just started Season 5… Rory just met Logan… swoon~)
When I’m not wasting away on the interweb, I like to read.
I couldn’t really pinpoint what my taste in reading is if you were to ask. Usually I just try reading something that has been recommended by a friend. Other times, I head to the book store and just see what attracts my attention, read a page or two, and make an executive decision. Right now, I’m reading Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami.
Anyway the reason I mentioned Gilmore Girls is that I really love Rory and her character is quite inspiring to me while I admit I’m mostly just envious of her equally awesome knowledge of books and classic films, and the fact that she’s an Ivy Leaguer.
When Netflix announced their Gilmore Girls revival, this BuzzFeed post appeared in one of my feeds where @KrystieLYandoli shares every book mentioned in the series. I thought “I’m going to conquer this list”… that dream lasted all of 10 minutes. I decided I shouldn’t force myself to read things I don’t like.
Anecdote: I’ve tried to read Wuthering Heights on 3 different occasions and never got farther than 20 pages in, I’ve also only read half of The Great Gatsby with no intention to finish.
On top of the normal book loving feeling of getting lost in someone else’s world, I’m a sucker for quotes – found in books or elsewhere. I even started keeping a journal of quotes I’ve marked up in my physical copies since I never remember to look back into them once they’ve been added to the “read” shelf of my bookcase. But alas, recently I have found the brainpower to be creative again and I have been constantly writing (Morning Pages from The Artist’s Way, my personal journal, blog posts, articles for a website) which leaves less time for reading than I’d like.
I’ll be completely honest here…
I’ve been choosing naps over reading sessions lately and I have no regrets.
Insert here the moment I found out my fiancé has the Oxford Concise Dictionary of Quotations and my re-falling in love with the man I’m going to marry.
I took a rest day from my life (read: stayed home to do housework instead of heading to the Sunday Market) and picked that lovely Oxford Dictionary up off its shelf. Looking for some inspiration for my upcoming #NaNoWriMo journey, I flipped through random pages until I came across this quote from Samuel Lover’s Handy Andy*.
When once the itch of literature comes over a man, nothing can cure it but the scratching of a pen.
Handy Andy, 1842, ch. 26
This quote really resonates what I’ve been thinking and writing about in my journal and Morning Pages lately.
I went through a phase of a few months where I could not get enough of books. I was reading through books faster than I ever imagined possible (I’ve always considered myself to be a slow reader). All of a sudden I found myself aching to write.
I kept thinking: Why oh why am I taking in all of these stories when I have so many stories of my own that are bursting through the seams of my mind?
I’ve always dreamed of being a writer.
My sister said the first time she remembers me talking about it was around the age of 12.
I’ve always wanted to write but I’ve never known how. I’ve always thought that my stories are not important and that no one will ever care about what I have to say.
To help unblock my creativity, as Julia Cameron would say, I did 2 things:
- I found and followed and incredible writing
workshop focused on healing in Amsterdam, run by Susan from
The Oak Table Writers.
- I bought Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way and
started the 12 week course to unblock creativity.
In the workshop, I opened up to sharing my work with others and got feedback unlike anything I’d ever expected. As an artist, I find it incredibly hard to take a compliment and often think that when friends and family read my writing they’re telling me it’s good because, well, they’re friends and family. But this workshop was something different completely. I met and shared my work with fellow writers who really showed me that yeah, I can write, and yeah, people will benefit from what I have to say. It was life changing and I will make a whole other post about this as part of my #NaNoWriMo series.
With Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way I’m learning so much about myself. In my Morning Pages I’m able to flush out all the excess stuff and feelings going on in my head which stop me from creating the things I want to create. There are also a slew of writing activities and adventures to take that I find so incredibly enriching. I’m finally finding my inner creative and I am so grateful. I also plan to write a series about my experiences going through this course, don’t worry.
You really can make your dreams come true. It may
not happen today or tomorrow, but it will happen when you’re ready. I promise.
*Looking for a synopsis, I found one on this Amazon link: “Handy Andy is the most enduringly popular of the novels of Samuel Lover, author, artist, and musician. The laughing philosopher of the title is Andy Rooney, a fellow who had “the most singularly ingenious knack of doing everything the wrong way.” More than simply a comic novel, it has been described as “a pill to purge melancholy.” There is certainly a musicality in the language, combined with the accomplished artist’s eye for composition in this wonderful and farcical tale of Irish life.”
The Gutenberg Project also offers an online version of this book in II volumes here totally free!