Dedicate v. 1. To set apart for a special use. 2. To commit (oneself) to a course of action. 3. To address or inscribe (e.g., a literary work) to someone. (Webster’s II New Riverside Dictionary, 2nd ed)
Spring possibilities are about to cede to summer pleasures. I’ve been ruminating on the importance of spring cleaning for your writing life and have covered the first two steps—reassessment and reorganization. The third step is the most powerful one—rededication. To rededicate ourselves to something we deem as special in our lives strengthens and amplifies our commitment.
Weeks ago, I posed a question to writer friends: What is one thing that you’re doing, giving away, rearranging, reassessing, reorganizing, etc., to support your writing life? Michelle Wotruba, is a ‘day dreaming mommy’, blogger and my online writing buddy. She offered this nugget:
I’m going thru my ‘Magical Maybe’ folder and seeing what is really in there.
The ideas that I’m no longer interested in I’m tossing.
The ideas that I like I’m setting “mini coffee dates” to start on them; if by the end of that date I haven’t done anything but drink my coffee, I’m going to toss those.
I’ve realized some ideas I like but now I’m looking at them in a fresh way. Those are the ideas I’m going to start with; we’re skipping the coffee and going on a “dinner and a movie date.”
I’m always looking for new ideas in my “Magical Maybe” folder; I usually save those for a dessert date but not always.
I just love Michelle’s ‘Magical Maybe’ folder (and wish I had one!). Michelle’s comment suggests that we periodically sort through ideas, concepts, and themes, rededicating ourselves to the ones with the most juice.
Rededicating ourselves to our writing life sends a joyful message to our creative self. Remember, our creative self loves to be wooed. Its language includes ritual, ceremony and demonstrative acts of appreciation.
Here are some areas of my writing life that I’m rededicating myself to this summer:
I rededicate myself to using the most routine occurrences as story generators.
I rededicate myself to cultivating delight in the writing process.
I rededicate myself to finding new ways to dialogue with inner resisters, critics, evaluators, judges and committee members and either work with them as allies or assign them to a different job.
I rededicate to asking ‘what if?’ and then daring myself to come up with an answer!
I rededicate myself to looking at revision as a way to honor my writing by keeping the right words and setting the rest free for another day.
I rededicate myself to asking daily, ‘What wants to come forth in my writing’?
I rededicate myself to becoming educated about the changing nature of publishing.
As you move into summer’s rhythms what areas of your writing life would you like to rededicate yourself to?