Thursday, October 1, 2009


Photo: Gas Pillars in the Eagle Nebula (M16): Pillars of Creation in a Star-Forming Region

Since signing up to Suite 101 where I must write a minimum of 10 articles in three months, I feel more directed, like I've found North again. My compass has been out of whack for most of my life.

My sons were my compass -- literally. When they were mere toddlers I'd take them with me just so they could point the way I should turn, point the route I should take to get there and back again. But since my nest is now empty, I search for another touchstone, another marker that shows me where to go.

Knowing that I'm among some decent writers at Suite 101, some I know and respect, I do not want to write articles based on second or third sources. I want primary sources whenever possible. I want dependable statistics. I want to be proud of what I'm creating and know that I did my best. OK, they are never your best. As soon as something is published you find the error or the words you would tweak. But it is the best I can do at that moment. When I get lazy -- I suck it up and tell myself that this is not the time to just make do.

Since beginning the Suite 101 project, I have now earned a whopping four cents, but I have had more article ideas than I think I ever had. And I feel more confident about crafting the articles because I have an editor and a template guiding me. I'm not just a solitary figure out here in nowhereland, I'm connected, no matter how tenuously and superficially, I am connected to a supportive network of like minded writers and editors. And yes, it does remind me of the newsroom without the political intrigues.

I am doing more surfing, but I am also doing it with a narrower focus. But that doesn't mean serendipity doesn't enter into it. There's a part of me that welcomes this 'just the facts ma'am' approach to writing. And then, like this evening, someone posted a link to Hubble telescope photos and as soon as I clicked on it, a universe of possibilities opened up to me. My fiction loving 'what-if' fantasy maker kicked in and I began contemplating new facts (to me) and how they could be manipulated to make a fascinating story, conflict or yes, even a romance.

And I just may be able to use the Hubble link to write another Suite 101 article. If nothing else, I am curious again. It has been awhile since I was even curious.

Another thing that is happening -- I'm thinking markets. As I write the articles, I think of other markets that it might fit. For the first time in a long time, I want to find new markets, send out queries, and start selling my words. It feels good.

So, whatever it takes to make you write, remind you that you love this work, and help you grow, attain the next level in your writing. DO IT!

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