Courage and determination

A few days ago I was emailing with my NaNo writing buddy Laura, and in the course of our notes, she offered me her resolution for 2013.

To make art that is important to me and to do so with more courage and determination than ever before because I am in charge of my own art.

I was deeply struck in two ways; one was the combination of courage and determination, especially since last summer my mantra has been to not work so hard.  But work isn’t just about having one’s nose to the monitor, fingers on the keyboard.  Maybe it takes just as much courage and determination not to work constantly as it does to get things accomplished.  Rome wasn’t built in a day, you know.

The other point was that Laura, like myself, is in charge of her art.  Art covers a gamut of gifts; writing, music, sculpting, painting, underwater basket-weaving if one is so inclined.  I read her resolution, then asked if I could employ it within a post.  Lovely Laura said that was fine; we met last November via NaNoWriMo, a grand place to make new friends.  Also to tackle dreams, refine goals, stretch one’s wings.  The 50K or bust manifesto translates to other artistic endeavors; sometimes a swift but well-meaning kick in the backside is required to get the creative juices flowing.  And to do it in a manner that best expresses the heart of the artist.

I have plenty of get-up-and-go when it comes to writing.  In fact, while it’s been a pleasure to not work so hard in 2013, my brain is never still; plots continue to assault my gray matter as if I have nothing better to do than conjure drama all day long.  (My microwave’s interior would attest that there are other considerations within my sphere.)  But one never knows how, where, and when a plot will strike.  Or just how much bravery might be required to do that story justice.

I tend to write about relationships, familial and platonic, romantic yet thorny.  Exploring the in’s and out’s of various human pairings brings me closer to understanding why we fall in love with who we do, regardless of age, race, ethnicity, gender.  Right now I’m considering two ideas, one platonic, the other definitely a love story, but fraught with complications.

There’s no drama if there are no complications.

Both of these novels will call for some courage, especially the latter.  Also the chutzpah for me to let them unwind as they will; some of my novels occur so suddenly, I barely have a chance to breathe.  Others simmer for ages, letting me gather the necessary guts to write them.  Penny Angel is a great example; Penny’s deaf, what do I know about being hearing-impaired?  But I had to write her story, and after ages of dithering, I finally got it done, during November, which is quite apropos.  Writing, as with other imaginative callings, requires a great deal of determination, why NaNo is such a blessing.  But I write at other times of the year, about subjects that aren’t simple.  This spring I’m tentatively planning on finishing a series that concentrates on a polyamorous trio and their offspring; A Normal Life Book 3 will wrap up the Sabra Burkhart-Knight, Ty Burkhart, Steve Knight sturm und drang, with plenty of racial overtones for good measure.  I’d like to finish Kelly Tremane, which explores domestic violence and the sacrifice of one’s heart.  But these aren’t the novels that have been poking at me recently, I don’t even have titles for those ideas.  Just the sense of yarns that need to be spun, no matter how complex the tales.

But one thing I don’t have to ponder is if I can write them; of course I can!  It’s my art, my manner of expressing what I consider important.  Choosing to publish independently unleashed a thrilling freedom; genres went out the window, word counts were darned!  What mattered was the story, and if I was ballsy enough to tell it.  My family rolls their eyes at my synopses; someone’s dying, oh my goodness, they drop like flies.  But love runs thickly through my novels, love for family, for partners.  I try to keep an open mind, because love is too precious to be harnessed, it can’t be cowed.  It takes great courage and determination to make a stand; in some places on this planet, it means risking one’s own life.  I have such liberty to write what I like, publish what I will.  In 2013, I want to continue to challenge myself, be courageous.  With the overwhelming glut of violence that streams from mass media, I’m determined to let more than a little love shine through.  Thanks to Laura for this kick-in-the-pants; I also want to note that wordsurfer has another take on courage, maybe it’s just a theme for 2013 across the board.  I read that entry last night, just a coincidence that she was mining a similar vein.  But it further impressed upon me the need to up the ante.  2013 isn’t a make or break year in regard to how many novels I write or publish.  More is the love each conveys.

8 thoughts on “Courage and determination

  1. diannegray

    Laura’s resolutions are wonderful. I’ve got plots hanging around the walls and cupboards that have been there for years! One day they’ll poke me again and when the time comes I’ll be ready for the challenge 😉

  2. wordsurfer

    What a lovely take on our theme!

    I just wanted to add that there are lot of places in this world where not only taking a stand can get you jailed or killed, but even more personal things like expressing yourself through art or loving someone. Loving the “wrong” person can get you killed in some countries and we’re so very fortunate to be allowed to express our art as well as our heart as we want to.

    (wow, what a slide into the maudlin there… sorry)

    1. Anna Scott Graham Post author

      Thank you! 🙂

      I don’t think your comments were at all maudlin, only honest. Uganda is top of the list right now in unsafe places for gays and lesbians, but other nations are just as hazardous for anyone LGBT. At the risk of being preachy, why should someone’s humanity be under attack depending on who they love?

      1. wordsurfer

        Exactly. It’s horrific. And so 18th-century. I just don’t get it. When ASEAN introduced their Human Rights declaration a couple months back, they had completely left out any LGBT rights. Just totally ignored it. Very, very bad.

  3. Melissa Marsh

    I really love Laura’s resolution and may have to use it myself!

    I have a few novels that I started to write – but then I realized I wasn’t at a time in my life where I could do them justice. The plots are all done and ready to go – I just need to write it. All in good time. 🙂

    1. Anna Scott Graham Post author

      I really liked it too; I was so pleased she let me share it!

      I’m glad I’m not the only one with spare plots hanging around. Some probably will never be written, but a few are just fermenting, I like to think. Indeed, all in good time! 🙂


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