There's no end
to the things you might know, depending how far beyond Zebra you go! {Dr. Seuss}

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Z is for Zesty Zany Zigzagging ZEBRA!

So you see! There’s no end to the things you might know, depending how far beyond Zebra you go. 
{Dr. Seuss}
I chose the zebra design and title Wavy Lines: One Writer’s Zigzagging Journey for two reasons: 1) The zebra is my favorite animal. You name anything and I probably have it in zebra print. If I don’t yet, I will! and 2) In Natalie Goldberg’s brilliant book Writing Down the Bones, she suggests a writing exercise asking yourself, What kind of animal are you? I thought and thought and thought–holding a zebra-striped pencil and tapping my zebra-slippered foot against my zebra-striped desk chair...What kind of animal am I? DUH!
Zebras are magnificent individuals, and you certainly couldn’t miss one in a crowd. That’s how I want to be, particularly with my writing. I want to stand out in the crowd as The Author. I want to be proud of that and not dread the questions that always come up if I admit I write: What do you write? Can I read it? Are you published? Why not? How hard can it be? Can’t you be like that Harry Potter author? Yeesh. When those hungry lions start salivating (or asking unanswerable questions), zebras join together and run, run, run; their stripes become a single blur and it’s difficult for a lion to spot one. Like the zebra, I want my writing to be unique and stand out, but instead I camouflage my writing aspirations as any other hobby.
That’s where my blog title comes from, and it’s why I started writing a blog over a year ago. I’m putting it out there that I want to be a published author. It’s not a hobby. It’s a job, it’s hard work, and I love it. (Something non-writers misunderstand. If it’s work, they say, how can it possibly be enjoyable?) It’s terrifying to part with our writing, isn’t it? Someone just might voice our worst fears about ourselves. That’s a risk writers must take to improve and reach our publication goals, but it doesn’t make it any easier or less scary.
There might be some lions out there, those who misunderstand the magnificence of writing for the joy of it, but I know that even if a zebra gets separated from the herd, it’s often faster than a lion. And a zebra knows how to put a predator in its place with one swift kick!
Did you know that Amish quilters will deliberately add a mismatched patch to each quilt to remind themselves that only Spirit can create perfectly? We need to remember that. We should only strive to be first-rate versions of ourselves. And our best is always good enough.
{Sarah Ban Breathnach}
What kind of animal are you? Does it pertain to your writing? How do you cope with those who don’t understand your writing journey?

13 comments:

Siv Maria said...

I would have never guessed you loved zebras...kidding! Lovely post, bet you have been excited about it too. I think I am an owl because I love to hoot at myself in the dark. Really, owls have been following me around my entire life. I love them. As to cooping with poeple who do not understand that writing is something i need to do and it is work, well, I have not learned that trick yet. you could say I do not sleep much :)

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

Zebras are wonderful -- there's nothing else in nature like them! And I loved your quilting tid-bit. I'm a quilter and I have one "obvious mistake" (as we non-Amish quilters call them) in every quilt I've ever made. Adds so much personality!

Congrats on making it all the way through the alphabet! Have a relaxing weekend!!

Bluestocking said...

Great post, Laura. I love the idea of standing out in a crowd and blending in -- it perfectly captures the struggle all writers have in sharing their work.

Holly Ruggiero said...

I last comic made me laugh.

We did it. We made it to the end. Congratulations!

James Garcia Jr said...

Hi, Laura. I must need more coffee because I had to stare at that cartoon twice before I got it! How mean? Lol!
You caught my attention with the question about coping with the writing life. It's tough, isn't it? If I mention that my youngest son is on the video games too long, it becomes, "Well, you're on the computer all day!" Once I mentioned that I needed to reply to some comments on my blog, I was told by my significant other that I do not have to reply to them all.
*sigh*
I'll have to get back to you on just what type of animal I might be. Never thought about it before.
Have a great weekend,

-Jimmy

Bish Denham said...

Yeah we make it! It's be nice meeting you and reading your blog.

Have you heard of zedonks? Half zebra, half donkey. They are a hoot. I suppose if I choose an animal it would be a sea turtle, a solitary creature swimming in a vast ocean. (Rather like writing.)But these days with so much plastic floating around, my life would be endangered.

I believe it was/is the Navajos who when weaving a rug or blanket make a deliberate mistake to remind themselves that only the Creator is perfect.

RaShelle said...

Love zebras. I'd say I'm a rotweiler in the writing journey. Once I grab hold of something, I can't let go. LOL

Elizabeth Mueller said...

Laura, we did it! Congratulations! I have an award for you!!

J.L. Campbell said...

I agree with you that Zebras are awesome animals.

Going by zodiac signs, I'm Cancer and I do believe I'm mots like a crab. I tend to be by shy and will withdraw if I'm not comfortable.

I really didn't tell many people about my writing at first and I still don't. There's still that crab like tendency to scuttle away and hide.

I'm learning though to be more open about my writing and I think that hard shell that comes with crabs has allowed me to use what I need from tough critiques and let the rest bounce off.

Thought provoking post here, Laura.

Saumya said...

What a lovely post, Laura! You are like a zebra as a blogger; you stand out and are magnificent!! Hmm, I've never thought of what animal I'd want to be. What a great question!

Summer Ross said...

at post- some how I knew you would post about Zebras! I love it it- I love the idea behind it.

I don't know what kind of animal I am- does fairy count?- lol

Wanton Redhead Writing said...

I've never really met a zebra I didn't like. But I did meet a zorse I wasn't thrilled with. The bloody thing bit me.

I'm an ass.
Stubborn, determined, and dependable.

Carla said...

I loved reading this! I'll admit I've wondered where the zebra theme came from since I came across your blog, and I think it's a fabulous motivator and analogy. I've really enjoyed your A-Z posts too!

Carla