Transitions: In Writing, In Life
Transitions: They Don't Just Happen

Transitions: From Here to Where?

Bridge 1Hey, Writerly Women. I'm loving your feedback on AMANDA's excerpt, posted Wednesday, August 1. If you'd like to support Mandy with a comment, go for it. Monday I'll put in my two cents and offer some guidance on transitions in our writing.

 Since the topic of said transitions is our theme for August, I'd like to get some input from you on the whole life changes thing. Here's what I mean.

  •    It's easy to recognize when you're going through a big ol' sea change. Graduating from college or grad school. Getting married. Having a baby. (Like HANNAH, MEGAN and SCOTIA all recently did. I was beginning to think it had something to do with being in my mentoring program!) Changing careers. Moving. Breaking up. Those are definitely transitions, and if you're going through one and you want to share, we'd love to hear.  Bridge 2  

But there are also the more subtle shifts. Going from unquestioning faith to having some doubts. Moving from a smooth relationship with your family of origin to one more fraught with conflict. Finding yourself less satisfied with old hang-out friends, craving deeper relationships. Being increasingly restless, uncomfortable, uneasy or just plain bored with things as they are, without really knowing why.  Care to tell us about that?  

This being a writing community, why am I asking you to basically bare your soul?

Two reasons, actually.

One: When your life changes, the kind of writing you do may change -- and that's worth looking at. Maybe as a teen and twenty-something you were all about writing fantasy, but some recent alterations in your circumstances might have you wanting to write in a more head-on way. Or as a just-turned-40 in the midst of a career you were all about contemporary women's fiction, but now, with grandkids in the picture, the tender whimsy of children's literature is more attractive to you.

Mysti at retreatTwo: That's not just a matter of genre. When stuff happens, you discover new strengths as well as new vulnerabilities. You stumble on emotions you didn't know were lurking in your soul. You recognize a different way of thinking. A fresh team of demons appears on the scene to be battled with. All of that changes your writing because you are changed.

 All that to say, I think that as we're crossing the bridges we can:

    * write deeper

    *  write "realer"

    *  write in ways that can better serve other people who will have to make those same transitions, whether the shifts are interior or exterior

 That's why I'm asking you to look at your bridges, your changes, your transitions and possibly share them with us. We'll use those stories this month to talk about career moves in this writerly life, turning points in our own and our characters' lives, and more and more ways we can shape our writing ministries to serve a world that is always, always in transition.

I'll go first. I'm transitioning in a couple of ways. I'm doing far more mentoring than writing now, and that has been a huge change after 30-some years of back-to-back contracts. I'm shifting back to finding better balance, because if I don't create, I'll shrivel. I'm also accepting some health issues that are temporarily limiting but in the long term are making me more aware and more intentional about the way I take care of this body. Fragility and vulnerability and surrender are new themes I'm going to be writing about, and maybe in some new ways. I like "maybe" ...

Will you share? That might be a shift for you. Please know this is a safe place for it.



Nancy Rue   

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Nancy Rue

This is exactly it, Lily. You are a classic case of doing what you thought you were supposed to instead of what your soul was crying out for. I know it's scary, but you're doing it. I love watching it unfold.

Lily Chang

Here's my 'bear my soul' piece: I'm making a HUGE career shift, from being an adjunct professor to launching my writing career. That's a pretty big deal in a couple of ways. I've spent a large chunk of my adult years studying and preparing for what I thought was going to be an academic career. Believing and investing in an unknown (who knows what's going to happen with writing), where I don't feel most confident, is daunting. Second, I've not given in to "frivolities," such as painting, writing poetry, drawing, and writing fiction because I cannot afford the time. I'm raising four kiddos. Their needs come before my "extracurricular" activities. I need to adjust the perspective from which I see. It's time to take a leap of faith, lean on my support, and trust the Lord to provide.

Is that the sort of response you're looking for?

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