New Year’s Virtue

Nick Wignall wrote about making a New Year’s Virtue instead of a Resolution:

“Paradoxically, the best way to reach a goal is to forget about the goal itself and focus on the process—the small, concrete steps that, if taken often enough, will inevitably get you there. Journey over destination. Process over outcome. Virtue over goal.”

Danielle Koiwski wrote about the virtue of finishing what we start as writers:

This quote struck me: “Finishing a work of art is an intentional choice on the part of the artist that gives the work a life independent of its creator.”

“Fundamentally, art is a conversation. That means that art doesn’t really come into its own until it has an audience — until a novel has a reader, until a painting has a viewer, or until a song has a listener. Audiences bring their own experiences to the art and add to the layers of meaning that the artist has infused into it. Through sharing, the art becomes more complex and meaningful.”

They reminded me of a blog post I wrote in March 2018:

Nine years ago (a veritable dinosaur’s age in digital terms) Robert McCrum wrote about the growing re connection between writers and readers. He wrote about Arthur Conan Doyle responding to his readers, then how novelists rose to the status of ‘artist’ and secluded themselves away from their audience.  Finally, Mr. McCrum prophesied the growing attachment between writers and readers in the digital age.

In 2014  Carole Jelen wrote a practical ‘how to’ blog post about why authors need to talk with their readers. In the last 4 years readers and writers have become more and more heart bound, collaborators in a new kind of community to the benefit of more than just themselves.

In Leoshine has company I wrote about Public words and Private Words and the connection between writer and reader.  Let’s stop a moment and wonder at what words do between us!  

My heart dreams up a story of a man who claims responsibility for an unborn child.  What did you dream up as you read that?  Do you know men in your life who would do that?  Do you wonder whether he’ll do a paternity test?

Do you have an unborn child in your life at this moment?  My heart trembles in excited expectation with you.

Have there been unborn children who never made it to full term?  My heart aches for you.

Wow! Did you see that?  We didn’t get to the part about the mother being a drug addict and requiring restraint so that her baby could have half a chance of normal  (not chemically addled) development.  Our hearts are intertwined just by thinking of a man (father or not) who has the heart to reach out to someone vulnerable (mother and child).

If I want to be the best writer I can be, I need to imagine as many meanings to my words as possible.  You, my readers, are invited into a world that you yourselves are creating from your background and experiences, personality and proclivities. We touch hearts. Community is built, and the world is turned upside down.

What virtue are we going to highlight for 2020? How are we going to be, I mean really BE; accentuate the Being part of our species nomenclature instead of trying to be Human Doings?

I haven’t answered this question for myself yet! What are your thoughts?

  1. Teddi Deppner

    Both the concepts of “finishing” and of art as conversation (between artist and audience) hit very close to home for me in the things I’m working on. Over the past year, I have been both writing and publishing others’ flash fiction. These short stories are a way that authors can practice the art of finishing and put their work into the world where they can receive the comments and thoughts of their readers.

    I have found that finishing shorter pieces encourages me in a deep and fundamental way (deeper than just a thought, it’s almost on a primal level) to consider the finishing of my longer works. Experiencing the full process and the act of finishing on a small scale gives my spirit, soul and body a memory of something it never had before. And now I can picture finishing my novels much more easily.

    • admin

      Hi Teddi! Welcome to MicAndPen! I’m excited to talk with you again! Your comments are always deeply insightful.
      Congratulations on all your short stories and flash fiction! Do you have a link to share so we can read them? I’d love to hear more about the primal satisfaction of finishing. Where in your body do you feel it? Do you have the urge to shout from the mountain tops, or is it so profound you need a walk in the woods?

  2. Teddi Deppner

    Your question about “being” vs “doing” is also something I’ve been pondering lately. A while back (maybe a decade, maybe more) I had a revelation of the difference between the two. I had been all my life focused on doing, to the point of obsession. I was “type-A” and a “workaholic”. Valuing myself for WHO I am and not WHAT I did was a huge shift in my thinking, and it brought a lot of freedom and peace.

    Lately, however, I’m looking at it again. I was made to BE a doer. Made in the image of my Creator to create. So fully “being” still involves “doing”… but no longer is the “doing” the purpose of my existence. Whether I am “doing” or completely still and silent just “being” in the presence of my Maker, I am loved and valued and fulfilling my purpose.

    It’s an interesting balance to practice. And I’m interested in hearing more about where you are currently with it. I expect that each of us journey through different aspects of the concepts at different seasons of our lives.

    • admin

      God is the God of AND. I learned this in 2019. Justice AND Mercy. Life AND Death. Anger AND Sorrow AND Joy all at the same time! I’m happy to hear that you discovered the AND between Being and Doing! You sound like you are fulfilling God’s purpose and glory!
      Yes, there are a billion, billion aspects and concepts and seasons. This is another way God is the God of AND. He takes every single one of us, AND all our ANDS, and He handles them with purpose and exactitude.
      Me? I have a deeply contemplative side that will sit and be. I also have frenetic energy that flits from project to project. I do and derive enormous pleasure from achieving.
      There now! This is turning into another post! Thank you for provoking me to think like this!

  3. Ramona

    Just what I needed to read! God bless you dear for writing it!

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