Skip to main content

PoP: Day 2

I am getting my butt kicked! There are some amazingly gifted writers and thinkers in our group. I had no idea how much I did not know about writing!

Our first day one of the directors told us there were 3 things they assumed and/or wanted us to know:

1. We are all good writers--we could not have graduated from seminary without being able to string sentences together and be clear.

2. This is NOT a competition.

3. We are all in differing places with our writing abilities and we all have improvements to make and stuff to learn.

I've been chanting those three things to myself today. I am quite humbled by the writers that are here with me. Please do not chide me about self-esteem and the like--it's not about that. I've thought of myself as a writer most of my life. I've loved writing for a very long time. I would even say I'm a good writer.

I thought I knew and understood the basics of writing. How hard could it be? I've been writing complete sentences (off and on) since 1st grade, perhaps even Kindergarten. I had no idea about the many keys of the craft. OMG! I am in awe of what I don't know!

My first assigment was an epic failure. We were supposed to write an essay on whatever we chose but every sentence was supposed to be a "balanced sentence." A balanced sentence might be one that has parallel independent or dependent clauses (there is more than one way to balance your sentences--I think, I'm still working on understanding completely). Before we left to write our essays Mary told us that it's helpful to be writing about things/situations/idea that are an either/or situation.

My brain simply does not work in either/or. My essay barely contained one or two balanced sentences! It truly was an epic fail. Our assignment for tonight is to write an essay that is composed of series.

I'll be honest, school has always been easy for me. I've been able to BS my way through high school, college, and yes, seminary. It's done no favors for me. I don't think I've ever worked so hard on writing something as I did this afternoon and it truly was a disaster in that it did not meet the criteria I was given. It wasn't a horrible essay but it did NOT do what it was supposed to, or rather I did not write in the method that I was supposed to write.

Prior to the conference I was feeling a bit smug about being "chosen" for this class. There is no smugness left.

I am thrilled to be here and am loving it, however it is kicking my butt in a big way! I'm hoping to rework my assignment from this afternoon so that it meets some of the criteria of what Mary wanted. I've got a new assignment to work on as well so I should get to work on something!

Comments

Robin said…
Oh, this sounds wonderful! I hope you'll keep writing about the assignments, so that the rest of us can give them a try.

(I came over here via Seeking Authentic Voice.)
Rebecca Ramsey said…
How awesome to be challenged like that. Butt kickings are so good for tightening up the writing muscles. I wish someone would kick mine.
Mary Beth said…
So glad and proud that you are taking this challenge on.

Struggle is how we learn and grow.

Popular posts from this blog

Sermon on Luke 24: 44-56

This morning I have the honor of preaching at my Mentor's church while she take a well earned break.  I'd be lying if I wasn't nervous. Thankfully, I live with an amazing editor so that helps.

I'm using the first story from Peter Rollin's The Ortodox Heretic and Other Impossible Tales as an illustration. It didn't seem right to type it into my sermon. The stripped down version is that a man is put on trial for being a Christian. He has all the Christian trappings: regularly attends church, prays, reads scriptures and inspirational devotions, he even writes his own! Yet, he is free to go because there is no evidence that he is living as Christ and the Disciples did, he poses no threat to the status quo. I highly recommend the book. It's filled with wonderful and challenging tales, Rollins' uses the book to state that the scriptures and all our religiosity have no meaning unless we put those words and beliefs into action.

Update:  I left the book at home!!…

Cancer blues

Most days I feel really positive and good.  Today is not one of those days. Today is one of those days in which I've been thinking about having my lymph nodes removed and the risk of lymphodema in my legs. Dr. Gyn/Onc seemed more worried about this side effect than the actual cancer.  I don't want to go there but sometimes those images of log tree legs, remembering the pain from the swelling in my legs when I was pregnant, and imagining the drains being stuck in my body for a week or more, well it makes my skin crawl.

I know there will be good days and bad days. I try to keep the bad days from my family and friends. I know they are stressed too.

I feel like we are one of those families in which something is always going on and people start to pull away wondering WTF is wrong with them!

I'm used to being the care taker, not the one receiving care.

I have to find a new normal and that won't happen until after the surgery.  So I need an interim normal for the time being.

Cancer and unicorns

I wish I could remember where I found this prayer, it gives me strength and courage. 

Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers,
but to be fearless in facing them.

Let me know beg for the stilling of my pain,
but for the heart to conquer it.

Let me not crave in anxious fear to be saved,
but hope for the patience to win my freedom.

Grant me that I may not be a coward,
feeling your mercy in my success alone;
but let me find the grasp of your hand in my failure.

Written by Rabindranath Tagore

It turns out I have actual cancer.  In the tiniest of ways I am concerned but overall I am very positive about kicking some cancer ass. I think it has helped going through the precancerous stuff and emotions. I now know that I can get through the surgery. I know what I face and that I am surrounded by people who love and care for me and will help me through this.

A few months ago I had a "unicorn party" for my staff because things had been rough in the office and most folks had persona…