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THE WOODS WOULD BE VERY SILENT IF NO BIRDS SANG THERE EXCEPT THOSE THAT SANG BEST*
My brother thinks what I do here isn't Writing (with a capital W). But what he doesn't realize is that I'm not really a writer and if I wasn't writing here, I wouldn't be writing at all. I started this journal SPECIFICALLY to kick start my writing again, and it worked, and as a big fat bonus I also got a round of awesome people to become friends with and the whole Internet to ask questions of and get recognition and applause from. Score!

There simply isn't enough time in the day to do all the things I'd like to do, (especially when much of it is spent mindlessly playing Noah's Ark working or making food for the kids or cleaning house or folding endless loads of laundry. There isn't time to be an artist and a writer and a singer and a healthy outdoor girl, not to mention a mother and a wife and a homeowner and a voracious reader and a Corporate Graphical Designer. So, you have to choose and you have to prioritize and you have to compromise, none of which things are very conducive to creativity and inspiration.

Frankly, I envy those who make a living from their talent, until I remember that I do, too. Though I'm not a career artist or writer or singer, I AM creative in many ways and I DO find the time to indulge them, just not as often or as much as I would like outside of the creative work I have in my "career." In high school and college I seemed to have time to do everything I wanted (which often involved blowing off classes or staying up until 4 a.m. typing a term paper with no outline that was due the next day).** But I wasn't, of course, wrestling great chunks of uninterrupted time out of my life, to do them. I didn't have the responsibilities or the obligations that I have now.

But I also know myself and my limitations. I realized long ago that being a career artist slash singer slash writer wasn't really what I was going to do with my life, that I didn't have the obsession or drive for any of them enough for those hobbies to be anything more than that: spare time pleasures.

OF COURSE I could do more. I could write more or sing more or paint more, but I've never felt the need to concentrate on any one thing when I enjoy all them in their own time. It's why I'm so good at what I do. I don't have to ONLY be good at layout work. I can be good at that, and HTML, and presentations and Photoshopping and writing, and do a good job and have fun with all of them in turn. I don't feel the need to specialize (it's for insects, said Heinlein, and I agree) or compartmentalize.

I LIKE writing here, and I'm proud of many of the things I've written, essays that have sometimes taken much more time and effort and even research than you might think goes into a "journal post," but for all that, I'm not a writer the way some of my friends are or some of the bloggers I read, or some of the published authors whom I admire so much. I don't have any real desire to get published, or I WOULD HAVE by now. If I were a writer, I'd be writing. But I'm not a writer like that. I'm just me. I'm not great, perhaps, at any one specific thing, but I'm good at a lot of them, and they are all things I LIKE, things that I don't obsess over or worry about; things I can have fun with and do when the mood strikes me (hey mood! why so violent?) or the muse descends.

Never having really been able to answer the question "What do you want to be when you grow up?" has never much bothered me. I never knew, yet I managed to figure it out subconsciously anyway. I AM what I wanted to be when I grew up: well-rounded (shut up, John, I don't mean physically) and happy with my little corner of the universe. I have the job that suits me best and a life that keeps me busy and happy and content and crazy. What more could anyone ask for?

*Henry Van Dyke
**And which I usually aced, which pissed off my roommates to no end, since they'd been preparing and writing theirs for weeks.
 busy
mood: busy
music: Bruce Cockburn—Wondering Where the Lions Are


Comments

I am sure your brother is a great person, and I know you love him, but it has sort of made me angry every time you have mentioned his disdain for your journal. The essays and stuff are nice and all, but I rather think that your very very best posts are the ones where you talk about your kids and your husband and your life, by far. That IS real writing. That is a lot more REAL than the other stuff, in my opinion. I know lots of sites where the author strings words together well, but only one where I get to know Liz. (Okay, more than one considering we have been on multiple sites together but you know what I mean!) In the end, my opinion doesn't count for much either because it's YOUR place, but it shouldn't be a place where you feel guilty about being yourself. :)

But that's just the point, I DON'T feel guilty. I'm just trying to explain where I'm coming from.

And despite his "disdain" he's a great person and we have a great relationship. He wants me to be the best I can be, just like I do for him. :)

There simply isn't enough time in the day to do all the things I'd like to do

That's the Archilles heel, isn't it? I can commiserate.

It is, and I feel it gets worse as I get older: less time!! LESS everything! AAAGH.

Exactly! Especially since we're geniuses and all...

Think about all the things that we could have done that future generations will never get to know or enjoy simply because we need a gazillion hours in a day to accomplish everything! :)

Either that or we're not the geniuses we're thinking ourselves to be. Then again, I'm just speaking for myself. Double Bah.


(Anonymous)

I am still searching for a job right now (I do have a possible interview, see my blog!) though I do not think it'll be my life's work, it is necessary to find. It will be a step towards my dream. Want to know what that is? To be a storyteller. I haven't always had this dream and sometimes having it can be mind boggling. Because how do I get from here to there?? BUT I know this: I need this next step to start doing my storytelling on the side and then, who knows! I will get there!!

But another thing...all of this (job searching and dream of storytelling) is not who I am. I am me. Good enough as I am now. We really are more than what we do or what we have. I am learning this and finding so many sources to understand this. :)

That was me! Oy!

Every other time I forget to sign my post or put my blog info! LoL
Joy :)))

Hip-hip-hippity-hurray for you! All grown up to be what she wants to be! Just the way you are. You are great Liz, and I'm happy to "know" you.

(Anonymous)

Re the blogging, I think certain guys see things in a compartmentalized way which makes it hard for them to understand that writing doesn't have to be about feature stories or novels. Whenever my husband starts to make noises about it, I ask him to point out his creative endeavor for the day. None, okay, moving along ;-).

julia @ kolo

Fun with boys is always a good game!

Disdain for Liz and her Journal....

WOOOOW!!!
as I must apparently defend myself here. (on Liz´s Blog and not my own, because I am far from a writer Aspiring or otherwise)

First of all, I must say I never had disdain for Lizardeks journal.
(Disdain - 1. to look upon or treat with contempt; despise; scorn. 2. to think unworthy of notice.) Thanks Random House.(from the dictionary that Liz gave me Xmas 1989.)
Wow. that is evil. So, I can honestly say I have NO DISDAIN for her journal.

In fact I love her journal, and what I get out of it must be way more than any of her Bloggerfiends, because I do have an extremly personal and close relationship with her and her famdamily.
It fills me with joy to read her posts that herald the coming of the sun, the spring and the wonders of her walks. I cant get enough of hearing about her 2 wonderful children even when the posts are about the challenges - go to bed Karen!!! and turn off that computer game!!! Even the rants about work overload, grey skies, crummy weather and the issues that trouble her or friends - Internet and otherwise - these posts remind me to give her a call and just talk. Her blog has made us (our entire family in America and in Europe) closer. Because we get the information of what is going on, in and around her life.(note to self - blog more often, or go take more pictures to express my experiences) It has let me see a side of her that was not often seen, How many of us really open up to our friends and loved ones? She puts up every mood, every whim, every feeling that can occur to a human being, and she expresses it beautifully.

(-Note to liz)
I do realize that you are not a professional writer - by trade. although I do have 2 books that were put out by you. I even have a tape of your singing. that makes you a writer and a singer to me. One I admire and respect. (who is my favorite writer on DA?)

http://johannmetzger.deviantart.com/ (shameless plug for me)

So Liz - enjoy your writing, we do, all of us. Family, friends and strangers (yes, I presume to speak for all of you, otherwise you wouldnt be reading this...)

we could all go and put our lifes effort into one thing, but would we be the same. No. Heinlein was right. I love my sister(s) and I suspect what set this entire post off was a link to Robin Hobb. I found it (on a blog) entirely too funny and immediately suspected that Liz would find it the same. http://robinhobb.com/rant.html - the rest of you will too, I am sure. Keep on writing - all of you, someone reads it and enjoys it, so do it. I check Livejournal Lizardek every day. (I even read the comments) Havent missed a post for years and will continue not to. It even bothers me sometimes when she hasn´t posted something, because I certainly cannot believe that nothing is happening around there. (Karin makes sure of it)

I love you.
enough said.

P.S.
- the best writing can really only be done with a pen, pencil or chalk. With a keyboard it is typing. (although Random house disagrees with me here)


Re: Disdain for Liz and her Journal....

Hey. :) I'm glad that I misunderstood/misphrased--I was totally never in question that you and Liz are close and love each other or that you're a nice guy. (I am about the last person in the world who would be anti-sibling!) Anyway, I got that impression from the other times Liz has mentioned it and it seemed to me like it bothered her. But of course, all I have to work from is what she says here, not what the two of you actually say to each other. My point was just that I like reading about her life even when it's not the typical creative writing style of post, and I hated to think that she would feel bad when she didn't put all her energy into writing something like that because of what someone might say.

Except when she makes puns. Geez, the puns! ;)

(Hi, Liz, I'll stop talking about you like you're not here now!)

Re: Disdain for Liz and her Journal....

Puns? What puns?

Edited at 2008-04-18 07:37 pm (UTC)

Re: Disdain for Liz and her Journal....

I was mostly pulling your chain, honestly. And you're right, it was the link to the rant that set me off a bit, though I think I should probably edit to say SHE wouldn't consider me a Writer with a capital W. You were kind of the scapegoat since you sent it to me, but I know you don't disdain my journal writing as such. :) Never fear.

I love you, too. And that link DID make me laugh. It also, obviously, made me think.

I love how relaxed you seem about this. I constantly struggle with a frantic feeling of "wasting" my talents, even though it's not humanly possible for me to give equal attention to writing, playing music, painting, cooking, etc, etc. It's hard enough carving time out for my most valued hobbies while caring for my two precious little time-suckers. :) Anyway, I admire the way you take it all in stride, not feeling like a failure because you're not everything at once.

failure, schmailure. I only have to look at my children to know that's not the case :) And actually, I don't even have to look at them. Because I don't think whether or not I'm a failure has anything to do with them. So much for being able to express myself articulately! :P

Heh.

I have had this thought before but it just came to me again the other day. I really don't have the desire to become an expert on anything. My younger self would probably be appalled to see the current me shrug my shoulders and declare that I don't know everything there is to know about today's music scene or movie scene or bike racing world, and that I am not bothered by that.

We sound like we had similar approaches to school work. It makes it hard for me to drill into Ingrid the importance of planning ahead and doing your work over time instead of at the last minute. ;-)

Bike racing world? where did that come from? hahaa!

(no subject) - (Anonymous)

Goodness! You're most welcome :) I wrote it just for you (apparently)!

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