Every day my email box fills with ads asking me to buy something to change my life. ShamWow promises to wash, dry, and polish all my surfaces. Other ads promise to make me rich, more lovable, and a best-selling author. I can have it all—quickly and easily!
These offers play into our basic longings, but they do so in a cynical way. Beneath the wow, there’s always a whole bunch of sham. I don’t believe magic-pill advertising. The kind that tells you this is all you need to have or know or do. I don’t like it, and I don’t do it.
I have hundreds of names on my mailing list, and every week new people sign up. You’d be amazed at the number. Often subscribers write to me, and while they may not sign up for a workshop or hire me for a writing project, they tell me they enjoy getting my newsletter, because it makes them feel connected to the writing community. I’m happy to hear that.
We are blessed in Central Florida with a vibrant, diverse, and supportive writing community, but not everyone has tapped into its energy. All of us can use a boost from time to time as we work alone and our spirits flag. So I’ve decided to use this space in my newsletter to foster community and provide encouragement.
Am I still going to promote MAD about Words workshops and services? As the governor of Alaska would say: you betcha. I make my living as an independent writing consultant. We continue to offer unique workshops where you can learn from talented, experienced teachers and writers. I’ll get the word out, and I sure hope you take advantage of what we offer.
But I want to do more in my newsletter than advertise. I’d like to connect you with other writers (including some who create quietly and out of sight). And I want to bring you bits of wisdom or inspiration — a variety of points of view about writing. I may be crazy to say this out loud, but I’m going to try to do this on a weekly basis. (Thus, the new name: “MAD’s Monday Muse.”) You can be sure future posts will be much shorter than this one! Much shorter!
Here (finally) is my point. Every Monday when you see the Muse in your email, I want the sight of it to give you a lift. I want it to remind you that you matter; your writing matters; and you are a part of a community that supports you in your creative work.