For years I have been a writer, an editor and a teacher of creative writing. Now I want to share some of what I have learned along the way. Write On The Fringes is a blog about the dangers, the disappointments and the rewards of writing. It's a record of the writing of a novel, from the tantalising first inklings of an idea, through to the final draft. But above all it's an exploration of the art and the craft of writing and the nature of story, as well as a search for the essence of creativity and the complex nature of truth.


Thursday, December 20, 2012

2012 - Revelations

'The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.'
Albert Einstein

Earlier this year I wrote a post called Writing Through 2012. It arose as a response to the predominantly negative interpretation of the significance of 2012, and from asking myself if creativity is possible without hope? At the time, like many others, I had become focused on all that is wrong with the world in which we live, and as a result had sunk into a sense of bleakness and a dark depression. I had not understood the way our thoughts form what we fear and the way our fears become the focus of our thoughts – a  powerful catch 22 that traps us in a psychological prison that creates self-fulfilling prophecies.  

This has not been an easy year for many. Globally there have been heart breaking tragedies, injustices, betrayals and disappointments, but there have also been huge outpourings of compassion, peaceful demonstrations against violence, greater demands for transparency, integrity and honesty in government and the media. Humanity is beginning to change, beginning to seek a new and saner path and we are lucky enough to be a part of this change. 

‘The world is changing and the time has come to let go of the old ways, the ones that ensure the repetitions of history. Peace is a gentle thing that can no longer be fought for. Instead it will enter our hearts and spread from there like the ripples of a pebble dropped into a pond.'  These words form part of the epilogue to my novel, Flight. They are a cry of hope, a small force against the fearfulness that inhabits humanity’s collective consciousness, a fearfulness that is consistently fed by the negative focus of the media.  

The original post still speaks to the times we find ourselves in so I thought this a timely moment to repost it below. I wish you all a fearless, hopeful and joy filled festive season.  

Writing Through 2012
'The world is changing and we are changing with it. It is too soon perhaps to see how.'
Rosie Dub, Flight

It's only early March and I have already had a significant birthday, a new novel published and I've become a Doctor of Philosophy. There have been school holidays and guests, colds and overgrown gardens to attend to. Time seems to be speeding up, it's difficult (well actually impossible), to fit everything in each day. And not least of all, it's 2012; there are murmurings of dread in the air whispers of prophecies and predictions, the end of the world, wars, earthquakes, social disruption. . . . The news is full of injustice and upheaval, insane violence and corruption. 'The Apocalypse,' people are saying. 'The Mayans predicted it for 2012. It is coming.'

Needless to say, so far this year I've found it difficult to settle down and write, difficult sometimes to even credit the value of writing or to focus on anything positive. Because hope is what keeps us moving forward, it's what keeps us creating when around us is destruction. Without hope, we find ourselves sinking into a mire of helplessness and with that comes a shadowy inertness that becomes stronger and darker each time it is fed. Caught in this helpless spiral I found myself sinking quickly, and seeking more fuel to feed this hopelessness. I stared at the blank screen on my computer and found nothing to say, stopped writing in my journal, forgot I had a new novel to write, a new story to tell, something that sought harmony through chaos and beauty through ugliness, something that just might help provide a little nudge towards making this world we have created into a better place. I forgot why I had written Flight, what gifts it had given me and a growing number of readers. In short, I forgot the power of hope.

'We do not inherit the earth from our parents, we borrow it from our children.' I read this anonymous quote many years ago and at the time it shifted something within me, helping me to see from a different perspective, one that is not so much 'me' centred but rather 'world' centred, a perspective that reveals a bigger picture and a sense of responsibility. When I read this again recently, I realised that with three children growing into an uncertain world, it is vital for me to keep the flame of hope burning. In fact, it is my responsibility.

'Enough,' I said to myself and set about making a few changes. Firstly, I made the decision not to watch the news for a while, or anything else for that matter; no ruthless elimination shows, no violent dramas, no historical war documentaries and no flashy, inane celebrity shows. I went for a walk, then another, took up yoga again, made myself a vegetable juice, all the things I couldn't do when I was filled with hopelessness. Quickly I began feeling better. I looked at my journal again, went over what I had already written and once again began getting flashes of insights that I hoped would lead me back to my new novel. But all the time I kept wondering about this apocalypse business, wondering if it would be more useful to grow vegetables, put in a water tank, get off the grid, protect my children from the inevitable. . .

Frustrated, I looked up the word 'apocalypse' a term we associate with widespread destruction, with the end of the world as we know it. But in the definition I found something quite different. Apocalypse comes from the Greek word, apocalypsis, meaning a 'lifting of the veil' or 'revelation'. According to Wikipedia it means 'a disclosure of something hidden from the majority of mankind in an era dominated by falsehood and misconception'. Not an end then, far from it. Rather a time of change and a seeing through. A time perhaps when truth will be harder to hide. When humanity will look for different qualities in their leaders; integrity perhaps, compassion and honesty. Looking at it in this way, it is not an end but a possibility of a new beginning. With this definition in mind I can sit in front of my computer screen and find the words needed to create something new. Once again I have found hope and optimism and with it the possibility of action. And with that, the key to my new novel, Walking Between Worlds

Copyright (c) 2013 by Rosie Dub. All rights reserved. You may translate, link to or quote this article, in its entirety, as long as you include the author name and a working link back to this website:http://writeonthefringes.blogspot.co.uk/

9 comments:

  1. Hi Dr. Dub and what a pleasure to read your post. It was refreshing to hear someone so honest about their feelings and sharing with the rest of us, these same things we experience while trying to write and stay focused and create within a time when we are so bogged down with so much violence. Especially how you re-directed those feelings into something positive by limiting the avenues that bring us these violently negative waves of human atrocities and replacing them with healthy positive acts such as: going for walks, yoga...
    On your comments concerning the Apocalypse, I completely agree. Coming from a father who was a Southern Baptist Minister, I heard the word Apocalypse plenty in my home growing up and learned to fear the impending word. As I matured, I decided to research for myself and decide for myself what I believed it meant. Like you, I too see it in a much lighter view. "New Beginnings" I couldn't have said it better myself. We look forward to reading your future posts, and getting our copy of "Flight" and good luck with your book!

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  2. Thanks for your positive comments, Inion. N. Mathair. I too was brought up a Baptist so am steeped in hellfire and brimstone. Not the best way of relating to life or death! I understand from your great blog that you are a mother and daughter writing team. Good luck with it. all the best, Rosie

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  3. Dr. Dub

    I really enjoyed your post. I know how it feels when learning the definition of a single word can turn an entire mindset on it's head. I personally haven't feared the Apocalypse in that I've always that if the end comes then it comes. However, your best has me thinking towards the future with a little more resolve. Yes the end will come, but it's really just another transition point, another doorway into the next phase of the world. It's given me a challenge for the future that will keep me chugging forward.
    Also you've inspired me to keep writing. I've hit a couple dead spots recently, and have been having a hard time getting my story to work out for me. Its good to just know that it's worth writing. That regardless of what may or may not be going on out there, that there's still a story to be told.

    Thanks! I Look forward to reading more of your posts, and keeping an eye out for your new book!

    ~Shaylanne

    inkwellinc.blogspot.com

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  4. Dear Rosie, I like the narrow line you manage to balance on, between seeing the current crises and the parts where progress can be made possible -by us.Writing can exert influence.

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  5. I looked up "apocalype" two years ago when reading an Emily Dickinson poem. Although the word did not appear in the poem, the editor of the collection had titled the poem with the word, and I could not understand its relation to the work.

    I learned from a Dickinson scholar that none of the work had titles, and that I had only learned more about the editor's intent--not Dickinson's.

    Of course, like you, I had learned something valuable about a word. It feels a bit like word-rescue.

    Thank you for blogging. I am glad to have found your writing.

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  6. Would you, please, add the missing "s" to apocalypse? Thank you!

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  7. I appreciated your reflections about "the way our thoughts form what we fear and the way our fears become the basis of our thoughts." It is a cycle that at times is hard to break out of... I have come to respect that for me it is often the writing, the creative expression and imagination, that frees me from the treadmill of fearful thoughts.

    Theresa bridgingthejourney.blogspot.com

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  8. I nominated you for The Very Inspiring Blogger Award, thanks for sharing your story. Check the link here to read the nomination post http://jeanettesandersen.blogspot.com/2013/02/very-inspiring-blogger-award.html

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  9. Thanks for sharing this interesting and educative information. I think many writers will find your contribution very helpful, I have equally learnt something from it.
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