Monday, September 22, 2014

Lemonade from Lemons: Filling the creative well during rough periods

I really liked Abby's recent post, Evolution of a Snowman, because it gibes with how I've been feeling lately too. She's right in that it can be easy to feel negative when things get a little rougher than usual. And it's especially daunting when real life stuff gets in the way of creativity and writing.

With everything going on, I neglected my other blog, The Writer Librarian, until last week, when I posted this writing contest. Entries so far? 0. The problem, I think, was not only the long radio silence on my end, but also the time constraints resulting in a lack of publicity--I even forgot to put a Twitter post about it, which is my usual go-to for that sort of thing.

This has taught me that even when I don't get as much writing/editing/creative time that I like, every experience adds to my creative pool, whether I realize it or not. And not only can I tap into it later, it helps me grow, both as a writer, and as a person.

An even better example was a slightly bizarre library question I got through chat the other day. I didn't save the transcript, but the basic gist was this:

Library User: Hi, I'm looking for leadership skills used by domestic violence perpetrators.

Me (significant pause): You mean leadership skills used by domestic violence victims?

Library User: No, not victims. Perpetrators.

Me (incredulous): You mean abusers?

Library User: Sure, that will work.

Some time later after some significant searching and head scratching...

Me (unable to hide snark): Uhrm, I'm not finding anything. Do perpetrators actually have meetings now? I'm not familiar with your field.

Library User: It must not be that common. If you can find it, I'm also interested in the tools perpetrators might bring to meetings.

What I didn't say: What, like knives?

Me (what I said instead): The only articles I'm finding are ones that discuss leadership skills used by social workers and counselors. Is that what you're looking for?

Special Library User: Hmm. I guess that will work--I'm a social work major.

It's obvious my user thought "perpetrator" meant "counselor," and my only regret is that I didn't see the interaction with their instructor when they figured this out. Luckily, this will be going into my ever-growing file of weird library stories, and even though it was a challenge to deal with, it's something I can utilize later on.

So for those battling rougher terrain than usual (there seem to be a lot of us lately!) take heart. It's not all lemons, and you can use these things to your advantage later, whether in writing, or in life. So kick your feet up, drink that lemonade, and enjoy.


  1. Oh, wow, that was a bizarre conversation. I congratulate you on your restraint of sarcasm- I doubt I'd have been as successful! ;)

  2. Ha, Leandra! The really weird thing about it was they worded it in a way where it was hard to tell if they really did want actual perpetrator groups (maybe that's a thing?), so I wasn't sure if I could call them out on it...

  3. Let's hope they sort out the difference--they don't want to be asking a client in a session if they want to report their counselor and set up weekly meetings with their perpetrator.


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