Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Voice of the Muse

Back in May I did a writing retreat in one of my favorite places on the planet, the Oregon Coast. I used Mark David Gerson's book, "Voice of the Muse," as a guide. It was as if the muse were whispering in my year, gently making suggestions. I got about halfway through the book before the retreat ended.

Have I finished it? No. I haven't been able to move foward on any of the ideas I had for new writing projects. Then, when I was in Scotland, a character whispered in my ear, "please tell my story." That's never happened to me before, since I write memoir and personal essay, not fiction. I don't want to say too much more about who she is and what it's about, because truthfully, I don't know much more at this point. Also, I don't think it's a good idea to share about ideas at this early stage.

Part of me is terrified to attempt a novel. Part of me is excited. Part of me says, just have fun with it. Then I bumped into Mark David at the New Mexico Book Coop meeting last Friday.
When I told him what had happened in Scotland and how nervous I was about it, he said, "You're going to write her memoir." A lightbulb went on in my head. What a great way to approach it.
I immediately signed up for a workshop Mark David is giving this coming Sunday, called "Birthing Your Book."

This is a weekend I was supposed to take my mother-in-law to her hometown to attend a 90th birthday party for a dear friend of hers. I didn't want to go. I still don't know if I have to take her or my hubby will be able to take off work and do it. But we've worked it out so that if I do have to go, I will be back in time on Sunday to attend the workshop. Balancing everyone's needs can be really difficult.

It feels selfish to put my needs first. But if I don't, who will? My memoir is about listening to that inner voice of wisdom, the voice of the Muse, Spirit, whatever you want to call it. I know about negative consequences when I don't listen. So, selfish or not, I'll be at the workshop Sunday.
And if you want a great writing guide, give yourself a gift of "Voice of the Muse."



Cyndi said...

Good for you! How perfectly said... If you don't put your needs first, who will? And I'm now following Voice Of The Muse. Thank you!

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

There are times when you need to do something for yourself. It sounds like an interesting seminar. I'm looking forward to hearing more about your character and her memoir. I'm also going to check out Voice of the Muse.

Joanne said...

I think it's important to put yourself first. When we do so, it seems to somehow free up more time for others, and we're happy! Love the idea to write your character's memoir ... can't wait to see how this develops.

Helen Ginger said...

Definitely go to that workshop. What a wonderful way of putting it - you're going to write the memoir of the character who's whispering to you. I love it!

Straight From Hel

The Old Silly said...

Gerson is a great writing coach. I did a big feature post with him on my old Free Spirit blog and stay in touch with him from time to time. Writing a novel is a huge and often daunting undertaking - least the first time at it. But find and follow your muse, trust it, and you'll be fine.

Marvin D Wilson

DebraLSchubert said...

If you don't take care of yourself, who will? BTW: I left an award for you over at my place. ;-)

Patricia Stoltey said...

Karen, I have a similar manuscript sitting on my shelf waiting for revision. In my case, I dreamed the face of a girl and wrote a short story about her. That became a novella, and now I'm almost ready to expand it into a novel. Some stories demand to be told, and demand that you be the one to do the telling. Just jump in with both feet and begin. Rewrites come later.

Galen Kindley--Author said...

Oh, how exciting, Karen. Sounds like you have the thread of a story and a timely lesson on how to proceed. It's all good.

Best Regards, Galen.

Elspeth Antonelli said...

Good for you, Karen. I hope you find the workshop gives you what you want.


Anonymous said...

I love how he worded it, "writing her memoir". Tell us how the workshop goes.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

For sure go to the workshop.

If for some reason, something *happens* and you can't make it (illness, car trouble, life getting in the way), maybe see if he has a recording of the workshop that's for sale? Or available on YouTube somehow? That's second best, but still could be really helpful.

Mystery Writing is Murder

Mark David Gerson said...

Glad to see you moving forward, Karen, and I'm so looking forward to seeing you at Sunday's Birthing Your Book workshop!

Sylvia Dickey Smith said...

Good for you, Karen! And wear ultramarine blue!!

Tabitha Bird said...

What a great way to approach writing a novel. All the best writing that character's memoir!

Thank you for your input on my blog. I always enjoy reading what you have written, cause there is a lot of wisdom in what you say :)