Saturday, September 2, 2017

On writing and living our lives

I wrote this essay and said "Hello, September." Can you believe that even Christmas in July is over?
Time is rushing past, life is the fast lane.

I took a class on Mass Media and Society in July. It was good. It was at Sacramento City College, one of my favorite campuses. The instructor followed the text and used standardized tests. The class requirements were the same as a regular semester class, which makes sense, since it is worth the equal number of units. However, the term paper was a challenge. I got an A, I'm not really complaining but I do like to have time for editing. A four week course makes that near impossible.

You'd think, after writing a blog I'd find writing easy. Not, so. I do know that good writers say the key to everything is editing. I think that is true. I've been trying to learn more about that process. I've been learning at This is not an ad, they do not at this point offer me any affiliate status nor sponsorship. I just signed up for a few classes when they had $10 offers on some of their courses. One I especially am finding helpful is Editing Mastery: How to Edit Writing to Perfection. (note: still working on the course so please do not judge this post!) Shani Raja is an excellent teacher and I'm finding the class very helpful. The problem is time. Some of us are slow at the process. I think that is why so much writing is unclear and unfocused. Even two blog posts a month where I'm not obligated to say anything other than my thoughts and opinions is still pressure, if if a self-imposed obligation. Clearly, it's not an obligation I meet every month.

It's rather like that in many areas of life, isn't it?
We want to make time for exercising, eating healthy home-cooked meals, quality family time, meaningful friend time, and artistic and intellectual pursuits. We end up being a little haphazard in our results. Life is hard to edit to perfection.

I think that may be why we struggle with self-love, fitness, weight management, our relationships and our creative endeavors. We expect much that may not be possible. Don't get me wrong, fulfilling any of these expectations are worthy. I happen to believe being human and being perfect are not a reasonable duality. I read the other day about never confusing our Google searches with someone else's Facebook posts. That translates to real life situations, too. Like our virtual lives, there can be much we are unaware is happening. Maybe that slender girl in the bar eating chicken wings and drinking beer is not just jogging every morning, but she exists the rest of the day on diet Red Bull and is challenged by alcohol and cigarette addictions.

Sure, some people have fewer problems in certain areas; many successful writers start off able to express themselves well and find rapid re-edits easy. To imagine that anyone has it easy though, and does not have to work at skills, nor always gets it right the first time, is almost always the wrong idea.

Montreal - A Girdled Porcupine (reflections on a reunion in 2013)

Forty years, unbelievable and yet, a reality; that it's been that long since I graduated from McGill with my M.D.;C.M. and a l...