27 August 2013

Striking the Iron: Creating Opportunities Instead of Waiting for the Muse

Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot;
but make it hot by striking.
~ W.B. Yeats

In August, I’m participating in BlogHer’s Blogging Challenge.  The theme this month is: Hot.

he above quote was today’s  Blogher’s writing prompt.

What?  There’s a first time for everything and this challenge isn’t over yet!

I was in the middle of finishing up a post about parenting, Miley Cyrus, and dysfunction when I realized that it had the potential to a) be a kick ass article, b) ruffle feathers, and c) could benefit from a psych edit.

In this case, the iron is hot and I’m waiting to strike.  But I believe if something is worth writing about and stirring the pot up a bit, it’s worth waiting for feedback.

Creating Our Own Opportunities
Blogher asked whether we agreed with Yeats’ advice.  I think most writers at least, will agree that while writing “in the zone” with the Muse guiding your pen is an incredible experience, it doesn’t happen all the time.  As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, the act of writing itself creates the push needed for the ink to flow more readily.

Image Credit: Pinterest
We’ve been told that memory is a muscle and if you want to keep it fit, you need to work it.  My theory is that the creative part of the brain is also a muscle and if we’re going to keep it in shape and churning out great work, we need exercise it.  If all artists waited around for inspiration, not much art would exist. 

At least for me, I’ve noticed that some of my best pieces have come out of drafts that have seen five or six revisions.  My mother used to say that if you wanted something bad enough, you would do anything to get it and if you didn’t put any effort into obtaining it, you must not want it as much as you thought.

Closed Doors, Open Windows
I’m asking myself that question a lot these days.  I’m in an untenable situation: helping to take care of the homestead and my aging parents, but needing a quiet, private place for my own sanity.  I have yet to find it.  But misplaced guilt and fear have prevented me from creating an opportunity to realize this increasingly necessary dream.  And the only way I can move past that guilt and that fear is to take one step.  One action.  One phone call.  And if the answer is no, than I take another step.  Another action.  Another phone call.

We all know the saying, “When God closes a door, somewhere He opens a window.”  Do you know that means?  It means that

a) we need to be alert and ready to see the door when it opens;
b) we should be prepared to jump out into the unknown to realize our dreams.


Think about it.  Even if the window happens to be on the first floor, you may still encounter prickly cactus plants or an uncomfortable few minutes crawling out.  Hello!?  It’s an open window! 

And that’s really what holds me back, what holds most of us back.  I don't want to crawl out a window and fall into the unknown.  I want to be able to open the door, walk out and step into the dream.  Don’t want to suffer for it.  Don’t want to work for it.  But that’s not how it works. 

Because anything worth living for, is worth suffering for.

But we have to believe that.  Have to face it.  Fight for it.  Lose it all in order to gain it.  In the end, do we truly believe our dream, our desire, is worth it?  If it is, it’s worth taking that hammer, facing the fire, breaking a sweat, and striking until the iron is hot, and the dream is forged.

Oremus pro invicem,
~ Mikaela

Do you create opportunities or do you wait for the perfect moment?

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