Saturday, July 22, 2017

LUNCH WITH A FAVORITE STUDENT

Because I have been too busy to keep up my blogs, I will write a short post tonight.

Today I had lunch with a former student, Barbara Gabriel, and her husband, Brian. Two of the nicest people I know. Barbara was one of my first students when I opened my studio after Barry died. She was the perfect student. It was obvious she was already a writer, but she had not written, she said, in years.

Today she said, "I consider you my mentor. You brought me back to writing and changed my life."

Well, that touched me deeply. When someone says I changed their life and they are writing again and enjoying it, I feel very blessed.

Someone did that for me way back in 1995, so I understand perfectly. Also, she mentioned that she promotes other writers as I do. That really made me proud. I want to make a positive difference in the lives of my students and my followers online. Barbara has many who follow her on Facebook and she is in writing groups online. I am happy for her that her writing is such an important part of her life, and she has a supportive husband.

I am teaching a two hour memoir class each week and have a class of adults who have great stories to tell. It is hard for beginning writers to accept feedback at first and often they don't realize that they will get emotional when they read their work out loud. It is hard for those who have been writing to see how much more they can learn about the craft. At first they might feel defeated, but I try to encourage them to stay with it, to persevere even when it might be more work than they had thought it would be. 

C. Hope Clark said in her newsletter today that most people don't have a clue how hard it is to write well, to get published by reputable publishers and in good magazines and journals. Her father calls and asks if he is interrupting her. She says she is working. He says are you working or just writing?

People don't often respect the time and effort we put forth because they have never done this work. It is hard for writers to tell their family, "Don't bother me for the next two hours. I am working." I think it is harder for women to do this. Most men will take the time and write even if it is late at night after work or early in the morning. Women do that, too, but so many times children and spouses feel that they can interrupt the mother/wife because she isn't doing anything important.

Although I have worked for the past two hours on a talk I will give tomorrow, I am still writing and I am behind with my deadlines. Never a dull moment around here what with Lexie wanting to play, the telephone ringing, and email to answer.

What do you do that keeps you busy? What do you feel you never have enough time for?

Remember it is easy to leave a comment. Just write as anonymous if you don't have a gmail account or email me. I love to hear your thoughts.

6 comments:

Elephant's Child said...

I read every day. And frequently neglect other 'more important' tasks to do so. I don't feel very guilty though, and am endlessly grateful to writers. You enrich my world.

DJan said...

I am always surprised at how busy I manage to stay in retirement. Monday afternoons are my volunteer work, Tuesday and Friday are yoga classes, Thursdays I hike all day, and somehow every day is filled. I wish I had more time for reading in my easy chair! It's wonderful to be, and to have, a mentor. Good for you. :-)

Glenda Council Beall said...

I want to read more. I have always been a reader but can hardly finish a novel these days. I think it is a matter of focus. Before I get far in a book, I think of something I want to do and I am off on that road. Bless you EC for being an avid reader. Writers would not exist without readers.

Glenda Council Beall said...

DJan, do you ever feel that life is passing so quickly that you just have to keep doing things before it is too late? Sometimes I think I get in this race with time and can't stop. When I probably should be working harder on taking care of my body as it ages and breaks down, my to do list grow longer. When I want to read at night, I am tired and can't see that well.
You have a full and busy life. Like most retirees I know, there is just not enough hours in the day to get it all in, is there? Thankfully you are still healthy and hiking.
Thanks for reading my blog.

Abbie Taylor said...

I'm either writing blog posts, working on material to be sent to contests or publishers, and critiquing others, pieces for the various groups to which I belong. Although I enjoy doing these tasks and have few distractions, there are days when I don't always have as much time as I would like.

Barbara Gabriel said...

Thank you for taking time for Brian and me. And thank you, too, for all you do to promote writers and the writing life.