Jennifer Neri's Blog

Back of every creation, supporting it like an arch, is faith. Enthusiasm is nothing: it comes and goes. But if one believes, then miracles occur. Henry Miller


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The artist and the mule.

Climbing out of a black hole after a sickness…..it can be a difficult thing to do….still coughing like a champion smoker..on antibiotics round number 2….wondering what kind of character I’d make in a book. I don’t recall using common illness in fiction. It’s so dull.

Two nights ago, a series I love, Writer’s Confession aired. I’ve blogged about this series before – if you ever have the opportunity to catch some it, do. It gives such a great connection, listening to succesful authors discuss the insanity of the craft. The parts of it that we question, and wonder if this is right – Should I feel this way? From what I’ve noticed writers love to talk about the craft, but they don’t like to talk about how this craft makes them feel.

I happened to catch a discussion about discipline. I was surprised by their answers.

Most said they were not disciplined at all. One author said she was obsessed. This obsession kept her coming back to her book, not discipline. Another said she was addicted to writing. She too claimed no discipline at all. Another voiced his opinion that it’s his innate perfectionism that keeps him going.

I have to admit, I’ve thought this myself. All of the above in truth. Yet……there are moments when the obsession dies, or the addiction abates, or I no longer care about perfection. At those moments, it is discipline that kicks in, that brings me back to my laptop and makes me work.

I could not help but wonder if creative people loathe categorizing their ‘creations’ with work. That by admitting writing is work diminishes the romance of it, the ethereal aspect of it. For me, writing when I don’t want to is work, hard, gut-wrenching work. Teeth pulling work. I’m not ashamed to admit it. Thankfully, those painful moments are few in between, but they exist, and without discipline, well I just wouldn’t write.

What about you – are you a disciplined writer?

Are you an artist or a mule? I’m definitely both.


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My pre-schooler…..the writer.

My 3-year-old daughter came to see what I – her mama – was working on so intently. It was a warm sunny day, and we haven’t had many of those yet, and here I was, sitting in the backyard, typing away on my laptop  (I’m writing my second novel). She told me she wanted to write a story as well! I looked at  her and then pulled her onto my lap.

child_writing

The Pretty Princess Bedtime Story

Ariel was not tired.
Dadda said, “You have to go to bed.” And, he made an angry face.
And she said, “No. I do not want to go to bed. Now, please let me play all by myself.”
(So the Dadda thought, and thought, and thought some more. Then, he had an idea.
“Would you like to be a Bedtime Princess?” he asked.)
Ariel said, “I want to go to bed now, Dadda.”

The sentences in brackets are my words – the rest is hers entirely! Not bad for a just turned three year old!

Now, I’ll just have to find an illustrator – lucky for us, there is one in the family! (hint hint.) You can find her here: acorn mama .

Oh, and we have to write it first, of course…lambs_ivy_bedtime_la_petite_princess_toddler_set_babiesrus_s2_

This experience has me wondering why I never did this before.
I do all different types of art with the kids, and I read to them ALL the time, why had I never thought to have them write a story, especially since I am writer?

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