Tuesday, November 2, 2021

The Art of War and Other Gems (Day 307)

I pace around a lot when I am chatting on the phone. In fact, this is the main reason I sometimes dislike video calls and in person meetings in a conference room. Movement keeps me engaged in listening and thinking and talking. I've had my best ideas when on a walk or a run. 

Several times, I've fallen into lakes while having these amazing ideas. Once, I became stuck in a hole and I stayed long enough to record a voice memo with my amazing idea, then it took 30 minutes to get my rain boot out of the hole (I was so glad I recorded my idea! It became one of the top blog posts for Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation!). 

When I am at home and pacing while talking, I often find myself in front of my bookcases. I have two full walls of books (I predict I'll need more bookcases someday soon). I've read most of these books cover to cover; but there are some that I simply love to pick up and flip through, seeing what page I serendipitously land on. Today I picked up an unusual array of books, here are my favorite little gems:

1. "So a military force has no constant formation, water has no constant shape: the ability yo gain victory by changing and adapting according to the opponent is called genius." -The Art of War

I know some of you may find The Art of War to be, well, a bit militant. But I love it. It is not that I think of my life as war; but there have certainly been endless battles. I don't necessarily believe there is a war to win; but there are several challenges that jeopardize our ability to thrive. This snippet reminds me that victory (however you define it) is about adapting according to the challenge. And when you cultivate this ability, you are totally winning and a total rocket scientist in my book. 

2. "Hair matters more at forty than before" -Three Black Skirts
If you know me, you know I LOVE MY HAIR. On Halloween, I wore a wig to look like Shaggy and people actually thought I cut my PRECIOUS HAIR. I am just horrified and it feels like even saying I cut my hair is like I actually did and I've spent the past 48 hours touching my hair to ensure it is still there. Anyway, this wisdom justifies my ever-changing and adjusting pink-ish hues and my variety of hair products and my constant discussion of my hair and that time I snuck into my pals house for my roots to be done during the pandemic like a criminal.

 3. "You won't get milk from a cow by sending a letter." -Asking
You only get milk by milking it! So I pondered this for a while today. I am at a crossroads in my writing--I've almost made it a year of writing here everyday. Yet, I haven't pitched any essays or editorial to any paying outlets. I am a professional writer--people pay me to write all sorts of things for them. So, while I've taken this enormous step writing for myself here. . the piece that is missing is writing for myself and making an income (even a tiny one!) doing that. Being paid for your writing is so important--it goes hand in hand in with being read. So, I won't get paid by just writing about wanting to be paid. I actually HAVE TO PITCH SOME PIECES. And I am going to do it!

4. "Michelangelo insisted he was a sculptor not a painter." -Rick Steve's Rome 2003
Okay, this literally fills me halfway with self-doubt (Trish insisted she was a non-fiction writer, not a fiction writer!) and hope (Who cares what I insist, Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel. We can all be many things!). It also helps me to understand myself as a creative--an artist. Sometimes I have to yield and bend to how people see me and maybe compromise my art just a little to get paid--because you never know--you might like end up painting the most incredible fresco ever. 

5. "Don't be afraid of weird quirky details, as it's often the quirky details that are the most memorable and add life and color to your story."-Writing and Selling Your Memoir
Well, friends, at least I've done one thing right in my writing life: I've embraced all the weird quirky details, every single day, for nearly a year, here. 


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