What’s Next?

Tomorrow begins a two-day affair in which I will receive an honorary degree in letters from the University of Vermont, my new best friend. It’s a lovely honor meant to acknowledge a body of work, especially as it relates to my abiding interest in the creative process.

The university has supplied details of what to expect, including the specifics of the hooding ceremony, a ritual dating back to medieval times, involving velvet—presumably white to reflect the arts. The only color velvet I’ve worn for the last thirty years has been black. This alone causes me to reflect.

The event includes some beautiful meals, parking passes, bar-coded tickets, an escort, hotel rooms for my guests, a citation, a twenty-four page script, two pair of shoes, and speeches before a very large crowd. I will be quoted as having said that “what’s next is what matters.”

That brings me to what’s next for this blog—recently hacked (!), recently honored. Soulofaword has evolved from infancy to headstrong toddlerhood, incapable of fear and impervious to reason.

These posts will continue but irregularly—which yes, I know, breaks all the rules. And they will remain fixated on the nature of creative work, as if there is a choice when you are  dealing with obsession.

And what’s next for this writer?

Well, I could, maybe, write Book A, that I’ve been contemplating for a mere twenty years, and that a writer friend encourages as “getting that monkey off your back.”

Or I could write Book B, aimed more commercially but still with a voice and perspective that another friend—okay two friends—have called “twisted.”

Or I could write Book C, combining the two. Like a tinkerer who wanders the aisles of a hardware store in search of everything and nothing, I could just set off and see where I end up.

Here’s what I know for sure about the creative process:

You need a very big trashcan and a sense of humor. Uncertainty is your friend. Turn something on its head. Perseverance pays. Curiosity matters. Do no harm. And keep an open mind.

I’ll let you know how it goes. Meanwhile, thanks for stopping by—and be in touch. I always answer.


Comments welcome and edited to include first names only, and website, if provided; never your email. Photo of glass of champagne by viticulture-oenologie-formation.fr.

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  1. Congratulations. Enjoy the accolades. And keep blogging. I learn from every post – and yes, uncertainty is a great provider.

  2. I vote for Books A, B and C. Combined or individual, if they tease the back of your mind, make you dream of scenes or the feel of your fingers on the keyboard creating the pages, then put them all on your To Do list! Congratulations on the award!

    • admin

       /  May 26, 2012

      Thank you, Marilyn. My To Do list is never without something, it seems. Hope this finds you well. Thanks for writing.

  3. Wow! I’d be a bit intimidated by white velvet too! Regardless, congratz on your accomplishment!

  4. Danielle

     /  December 5, 2013

    I just fell in love with your blog. I notice that you haven’t posted recently, so I’m not sure if this comment will ever find its way to you, but here goes anyway. I want to write. I don’t know what yet. Any advice?

    • admin

       /  December 12, 2013

      Hello Danielle.
      Funny you ask. I’ve been writing on this subject in my newest work. Here’s the opening line, hot off the presses, if it helps: What I would tell you is to embrace the uncomfortable moments.
      It’s my best advice and always profitable. Find your subject and everything else is simply how to do it justice.
      So, make a list of what’s on your mind, what’s important, what won’t go away. For most of us, this isn’t usually long. There are a few basic things that bother and remain day to day, month to month, even decade to decade, unresolved. Start there. And keep in touch and let me know how it’s going.
      All best. Thanks for writing.


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