Alone But Not Lonely, Writing in a Crowd

“I know I should be working on my book/course work,” I said to Nathan this morning. “But the problem is my instructor chose the story A. I don’t know where that story begins. I don’t really know what the conflict is. I’ll never be a writer.”

“Let’s talk about this,” he said, and started asking me questions about the characters, the world, and anything he thought might help.

This all happened as he was packing up his lunch and preparing to leave for the day, which would leave me alone in a house where you would think I could get a lot of writing done. Except that I don’t. Or maybe I can’t. Or is it simply that, in my current state of confusion, I simply don’t want to write?

No that’s not it. I want to write. I want to create a story, a world. While deep down inside I hope that I write something good enough to be published, I know that I will never achieve that if I don’t sit down and write.

Nathan left for work. A quiet home. Do I sit down and write? No. I lie down and read, not even something new as I am rereading one of my favorite YA fantasy series (the Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull). But thoughts begin to distract me, and I just down some ideas on my yellow pad. I finally think I know where the story can begin.

I hop into the shower, and a chapter begins to write itself in my head.

Of course, out of the shower, over at my computer, the first thing I do is check Facebook.  Uh oh! I think, time to make a move away from the lonely so that I can get some actual work done.

I’ve written about before about the pros and cons of a coffee shop office. The truth is there are times when I want to be in the comfort of my own home, locked away in the privacy of my office, working. But, recently I find that I accomplish more when I get myself out of the house, take myself to one of the two or three locations that have internet access and wall plugs, buy myself a warm drink and a little snack, and then face the blank screen.

I guess there’s just something about being alone in a crowd that helps me focus.

Today’s writing location. I’m sure you can figure out where it is.

It seems to have worked. I have managed to write a chapter, edit some others, write a rough draft of a 1500 word summary, and now I am working on this blog post.

I was going to quit after I finished the summary, but I hopped over to Facebook to find that blogging buddy Mckenzie is attempting to write at a bakery in the hopes that it will help her write. We chatted for a minute and I started this post. She is typing away (I hope) on a chapter as we speak.

See, I’m not alone. We had a short chat and it inspired this post. Writing can be lonely, but it doesn’t have to be.

For me, at least, it seems I write better in a crowd. How about you?

Tilting at Windmills or The Search for True Heroes

“So many misconceptions surround the notion of heroism. Far too many categorize a hero as a champion on the battlefield, a commander of legions, a master of rare talent or ability. Granted, there have been heroes who fit those descriptions. But many men of great evil as well. Heed me. A hero sacrifices for the greater good. A hero is true to his or her conscience. In short, heroism means doing the right thing regardless of the consequences. Although any person could fit that description, very few do.” (Brandon Mull, Beyonders: A World Without Heroes, 110)

Those words resonated with me as I was re-reading Beyonders yesterday in preparation for reading the second book in the series.  I love this description of heroism, because it suggests that regular people can accomplish great things, if they do it for the right reasons.

It sometimes feels like, we live in a world lacking in heroes. I know, there are plenty of heroes that fit the misconceived description. There are even a few heroes that “do the right thing regardless of the consequences” but they are hard to find amidst all the cacophony of causes and complaints that barrage us daily.

I find myself wanting to hide under the covers because I feel like I am constantly tilting at windmills.

But perhaps a true hero keeps tilting at the windmills, even when faced with the impossibility of success.

Perhaps I have been looking for heroes in the wrong places . . . I’ve been looking for the ones that shout the loudest and make themselves known. But, when I think about it, the most heroic people I know are the quiet heroes. The ones who fight battles without need for recognition. The ones who seek to make change by setting good examples and speaking quiet truths. I’ve met teacher heroes and blogging heroes, I’ve met single mother heroes and artist heroes. I’ve met married heroes and single heroes. Heroic people are everywhere, but they don’t always get noticed in the middle of the chaos and the noise.

I believe it is time for me to, once again, celebrate the quiet heroes I’ve met in this world, because through them I honestly believe that the world can be a better place.  I’ve written about some of them in previous posts:

But I feel the need to find more of these quiet heroes in our world.

Who are the heroes in your life? Who do you admire for the way they approach the world?

 Does anyone want to tilt at windmills with me?

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