n this edition of Friday Favourites, I will be discussing my favourite ‘odd reads’. Odd is a subjective term, of course, because what is considered odd by one person, may not be considered odd by another. Still, here are a few of my favourite oddities!
Steven Pressfield, in his excellent book, The War of Art, coined the phrase ‘resistance’ when referring to that particular obstacle we creatives feel when it comes time to create. I have certainly felt this resistance when it comes time to write, and I have found Steven’s advice to be helpful in this regard. But I’ve also encountered a ‘reading resistance’ too, and in conversation with others, I have discovered that it is not a phenomenon unique to myself.
I love the arts. I always have. I started art classes and choir at age five, piano lessons and dance at seven, and extra curricular creative writing programs at age ten. But all of those activities melted away as I became more and more immersed in music.
I loved music so much that by the time I was in my last year of high school I was in both a symphonic band and a youth orchestra, I sang in four different choirs, as well as choir class during school time, and had private voice lessons and piano lessons.
I loved music so much that I earned two university degrees in classical voice.
The thing about classical music is that it demands so much of you; your time, and attention, and rigourous discipline. So much so, that you have to be entirely committed to it. And so, for a time, I put all of my other creative pursuits into a drawer in my mind, and I closed it, so I could fully subsume myself to music.
And that was good.
For a while.
Continuing with my Friday Favourites series, today I’ll be discussing Middle-Grade novels I love. Middle-Grade is an interesting classification because it has several definitions, but most people will agree that it books in this category are meant for younger readers who are old enough for chapter books, but perhaps too young for longer novels. Generally, though not always, the characters in the novels are pre-teen age, and many of the themes in these books are lighter (although I have to say that Harry Potter breaks many of these conventions!) Whatever the criteria for being considered Middle Grade, these books can still be appealing to adults. Here are three of my favourite:
The middle is the absolute worst place to be; in writing, in creating, in editing. But it is also the best place to be. This is truly the way to tell if you love what you do. If in the centre, in the in-between, you still love what you do – then you know you truly are meant to be doing it.
The feeling of twisting angst, and resistance that you feel while in the midst of creating can be a difficult feeling to overcome. Here are three ways to deal with the extreme discomfort of the middle: