Monday, September 18, 2017

Through the Maze

By Mazzy Adams

As a child, I loved working my way through fun activity books, ones with colour-by-numbers or dot-to-dots. 



If I followed the instructions, a completed picture would emerge. Seeing my efforts come to fruition was such a thrill.




My all-time favourites were the MAZES! Helping Fido find his bone, or helping the lost bunny find his way home was more than fun; it was satisfying. I confess I rigorously planned the route in my head before my pencil touched the page, so I wouldn’t end up drawing messy detours.



Those fun activities reinforced important life lessons, like the wisdom of following directions, the blessing of assisting others, and the value of planning. All of these principles have helped me negotiate life with satisfaction and some success. They inform my efforts and habits as a writer, as, no doubt, they do yours.  

Writing, like many of life’s activities, can be fun, but it is not always child’s play. At times, connecting the dots is complicated and messy. Putting the ‘right’ colours in the ‘right’ places doesn’t always work out, especially when numbers are missing, or your green felt-pen runs dry halfway through the leaves. Fido bites your finger on the way to his bone. Or, like Alice in Wonderland, you chase the bunny and fall down a rabbit hole into a whole world of confusing encounters and unexpected challenges.



When it comes to life’s mazes, some walls are so high, planning the route is impossible. Dead ends leave you backtracking, or stuck in a corner, puzzled, stunned, confused and exhausted. Where’s the fun in that?



Over the last year, I’ve had plenty to hinder my writing progress. Just two weeks after I had major surgery, I broke my wrist and spent the following four or five months stuck in a corner, healing slowly. I struggled to link the simplest of thoughts together and the big picture eluded me completely. 



I found myself thinking thoughts like … I don’t have to write. No-one’s making me. I could just … stop.

Then again, where’s the fun in that?



Writing may not be child’s play, but it does bring joy and satisfaction. Writing creates images with words. It orders our thinking and colours our world. It helps us connect the dots when it comes to important issues of life, faith, purpose and destiny. Writing helps us make sense of the journey, keeps us on track and moves us forward. When we write right, we help our readers enjoy these things too.   
  

I’m grateful that my body is healing and ideas are flowing again. I've been able to review my novel with fresh eyes and a fresh perspective. I've actually enjoyed giving it an overhaul. Although the messiness of life hindered my progress and satisfaction for a time, it also gave me breathing space, and permission to go easy on myself for a while. Most importantly, it reminded me that writing truly is worthwhile. And ... it’s fun!






Mazzy Adams is a published author of poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction. She has a passion for words, pictures and the positive potential in people. 
Website: www.mazzyadams.com 
Email: maz@mazzyadams.com

18 comments:

  1. What a wonderfully creative post Mazzy. Thanks so much. It gave me a great start to the week - it truly did. Loved your pictures and what a lot of them. I too enjoyed the puzzle book mazes as a child. I still love real life mazes as an adult. I do sympathise with your health struggles and the resulting blur in creativity since I struggle all the time with that aspect of life. But so happy to hear you are healing and that your ideas are flowing. I can see that for myself in your beautiful post. Love it how you shone on us the truth that writing is fun! It's often neglected but I'm sure that's what God says to us too. Have fun writers! :) Thanks Mazzy! xox

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    1. Thanks Anusha. It was important for me to remember how much fun writing is. It gives my wellbeing a boost that really doesn't come any other way. It's all too easy to get caught up in the stress and pressures of publishing and marketing one's self as a measure of success as a writer. But for a writer, the act of writing is its own reward and what comes after is the bonus.

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  2. Sorry to hear you have had such a hard year health-wise, Mazzy, but I love the fact that you have been able to view your novel with fresh eyes as a result of this enforced break. And that breathing space and permission to go easy on yourself for a while sounds excellent too!

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    1. Thanks Jo-Anne. I'd have rather skipped the health issues, but that wasn't an option! It is good to recognise that blessings can sprout like wildflowers among the rocky outcrops of life.

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  3. As Anusha has already said ... what a wonderfully creative post! I enjoyed every metaphor and image you brought to life. I'm also very glad you didn't decide to just 'stop' writing. If you did that, the world would be deprived of your beautifully unique contribution to 'creation.'

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    1. Aw Min, you bless me with your words of encouragement and you spur me on to greater effort. Thank you so much.

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  4. Hi Mazzy, there's great satisfaction in standing back to see those completed mazes after completion, with all the lines and dots intact. Yes, sometimes challenging to find ourselves in the middle of real life ones without that eagle eye view, but we hang in there. I'm sorry to hear about your painful health challenges and glad to hear you've made it through to the other side.

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    1. Ah, how we covet that eagle eye view! When I was a teenager, my mother and I shared a favourite verse from Isaiah, which we repeated as we prayed together each morning ... 'They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles. They shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and not faint.' I love the idea of soaring like an eagle, but I'm disinclined to patience with the 'waiting' preamble. However, after all that has happened, I'm learning to sit on that craggy spot, face the sun, spread my wings and wait for the Holy Spirit's breath to lift me up and position me where He wants me to be.

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  5. Good to hear that you are feeling refreshed and ready to go again after such a tough year. I love how you can see the positives. I think hitting roadblocks can make us rethink and gain a new appreciation for what we do. Thanks for posting.

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    1. Thanks Jenny. I think my search for the positives has become an essential survival tool. Banging one's head against a brick wall only produces headaches!

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  6. Glad to hear you're emerging from your maze, or dark tunnel, Mazzy. Keep looking up. X

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    1. Will do, Ruth. I've noticed there's a great source of light up there.

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  7. Good to know you're on the mend, Mazzy, and enjoying the opportunity to rework your ms. It can be frustrating when it feels like obstacles are keeping us from our writing (some more spectacular than others ;-) ), then again I find one of the best ways to gain fresh perspective is to put away a WIP for a while, before tackling it for a new round of edits. Looking forward to reading the final story in print.

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    1. Thanks Adele. It's been good to look for and focus on the positives, especially when the negatives are outside my control range!

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  8. Great blog Mazzy - Glad you're on track again. It must have been really frustrating to have those unexpected detours, but nothing is ever wasted in God. Being able to come back and look at your work with fresh eyes is no small thing. Now you're on the mend, there'll be no stopping you! Looking forward to seeing all of your dreams and plans come to fruition :)

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    1. You and me both, Nola, especially when it comes to those dreams and plans coming together.

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  9. Thanks for your inspiring post Mazzy. Loved it!

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    1. I'm glad you did, Janelle. Onward and upward, eh?

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