Incidentally- I am taking new writing clients. My coaching service called Finish & Flourish helps you finish your dissertation, thesis, book and/or article.
Getting students to write, getting ourselves to write can be harder than sitting down to do our taxes. The fear of the IRS eventually gets us to sit down. Sadly there is no IRS for writing... What helps me keep going is meeting, reading about and being reminded of people are are willing to risk everything to write what they believe,
This morning I was reading in When Paris Went Dark about this old machine made of a tin can and some other random parts that shot out toilet paper thin anti-Nazi propaganda over marching soldiers and lay people in occupied Paris during WWII.
It took quite a bit of chutzpah to challenge the status quo...one had to be willing to die to speak up.
Just ask anyone who knows about the brave German kids...known as the White Rose who tried to wake up their country to the insanity all around them. They were all beheaded. They never made it far past 25-years-old.
This past year, I worked on the 12th edition of Language Awareness, one of St. Martins Press' best selling books for college writers. I have been working on this book on and off since 1997. This year, I encouraged us to add a chapter on those willing to die to write. They added something really close. The newest edition has great essays by a North Korean and a Russian who have risked their lives to speak up.
Reading about courage does seem to help build some. Meeting someone who risked it all is another story.
This week, I met Taja Kramberger. A well-know poet, historian and essayist from Slovenia. She spent the better part of twenty years building a university in her country that supported scholarship and free speech.
The university did well...until she was shut down. Forced to leave the country, she feels she must start all over again. France has taken her in. I am proud of the country for doing so. This is a very important time for France to demonstrate its commitment to freedoms. Especially since President Hollande just extended the State of Emergency for three months which allows the government to arrest without warrant. This is a very scary thing for a democracy to do...it is a slippery slope for any country (free or not) to suspend protection.
Back to Taja for a moment. Her work is not in English or French so she feels she must start again. She told us her story over dinner at the Shoah (Holocaust) Memorial in Paris after we finished our presentations.
She agrees that she is free now, but wonders if she has the energy to keep fighting the repression in her country. Even the leaders get tired...especially the leaders in the fight for liberty. It is tiresome on the front lines.
I will remember, Taja, however. When I want to stop writing....the pen (or keyboard) is still mightier than the sword.
Incidentally- I am taking new writing clients.