Entry # 200 – “A Well-Lived Life”

By Jan Bowman

Not only is today Valentine’s Day, but today marks Entry # 200 for my Writer’s Blog. 

Off Coast of Scotland – May 2012

I was thinking about what is essential for a well-lived life and what do writers need in order to do their best work. After all, there are easier ways to live in the world than to be a writer. 

Not only do writers need a room of their own, that is, a special place where they can think and dream in solitude as they write, but they also need a social and emotional support system in order to produce their best work, because the writer’s life has a steady supply of rejections and failures that can chip away at the soul. Support systems include a chorus of friends and fellow writers who bring essential encouragement, and if we are lucky, a supportive partner who understands what it is we are trying to do.

We all deserve loving, supportive people in our lives. Having a supportive, loving relationship certainly has helped me grow as a writer and as a person.

Jeanne – May 2012

My partner understands my quirks and forgives when necessary.  We are both better people together than when we were alone. We keep each other sane and secure. And that security provides emotional freedom that deepens our capacity to give and receive in a balanced loving life. We don’t complete each other, rather our life together allows us to better experience and explore our own individual wholeness.

Part of being a writer involves coming to terms with the mismatch that often exists between the beauty of what we can almost imagine and what we find in stark reality on the page when we transmit images to words. 

I find comfort in this quote from Ann Patchett’s craft essays in The Getaway Car: A Practical Memoir About Writing & Life. Patchett says that “Only a few of us are going to be willing to break our own hearts by trading in the living beauty of the imagination for the stark disappointment of words . . . on the flat surface of a page.”   

“And we need all the loving support we can find,” Jan says.

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About Jan Bowman
Winner of the 2011 Roanoke Review Fiction Award, Jan’s stories have been nominated for Pushcart Prizes, Best American Short Stories, and a Pen/O’Henry award.  Glimmer Train named a recent story as Honorable Mention in the November 2012 Short Story Awards for New Writers.
A recent story was a finalist for the 2013 Broad River Review RASH Award for Fiction, another story was a 2013 finalist in the Phoebe Fiction Contest; another was a 2012 finalist in the “So To Speak” Fiction Contest.  Jan’s fiction has appeared in numerous publications including, Roanoke Review, Big Muddy, The Broadkill Review, Third Wednesday, Minimus, Buffalo Spree (97), Folio, The Potomac Review, Musings, Potato Eyes and others.   She is working on two collections of short stories while shopping for a publisher for a completed story collection, Mermaids & Other Stories.  She has nonfiction publications in Trajectory and Pen-in-Hand. She writes a weekly blog of “Reflections” on the writing life and posts regular interviews with writers and publishers.   Learn more at: www.janbowmanwriter.com or  visit blog:  http://janbowmanwriter.blogspot.com

This entry was posted by Jan Bowman on Friday, February 14, 2014.
Filed under: On Living in the World, On Writing, Reflections
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