Content in My Bliss

Someone once said they read books to discover the souls of others. I write to discover my own.

I want to discover who I am. Few things in life teach me who I am more than writing in my journal does. This desire for self-knowledge inspires me to write almost every day.

papers andI seldom lack inspiration to write, but I often lose my focus. I spend too much time doing many things other than writing. Earning money, pursuing life’s pleasures, and trying to please others causes me to get lost in the fog of daily existence. I get tired making a living in a stressful environment. I feel waves of people, emotions, and work wash over me and knock me off my feet.

I search for my footing in my journal. I look for meaningful reflections in my sentences and metaphors, and my journal becomes a symbol revealing my true self.

I want to be good at a few things in life. Conveying accurate images through my choice of words is one of them. I want to use my gifts well.

 Simple things in life inspire me to write. My heart lifts when I see a male cardinal in a bare tree above the mounds of white snow. My soul warms when I see a strong, male hand hold a tiny child’s little fingers. Fathers teaching sons and daughters the sacrifices needed to reach maturity turn my pages. Lovers look into each other’s eyes and inspire me to paint the scene with words. Close friends sitting together, silently drinking coffee, as they watch moisture form on a window while the cold, Nebraska wind howls outside makes me warm to the possibilities.

I am urged to write when I feel friendly eyes locate me in a crowded room; when loved ones bare their souls to me; when a student comes to class with the attitude, “I am ready to learn today, and you can teach me.”

write worldI write eating gumbo, listening to Cajun music. I look for pen and paper when I hear the carol, “Silent Night,” pierce the air on Christmas Eve. I sit down under a tree to record my emotions when my daughter chooses on her own to take the training wheels off and ride her bicycle solo for the first time. Ray Charles’ “Georgia,” Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata,” and the children’s story, “The Little Engine That Could” all speak to me in the same way. I can not pass up these opportunities.

When my work captivates me, when I hear, “Daddy, I love you!” when I see outstretched hands reaching for a baby’s face, when I feel soft fingers on my shoulder, when I hear the words, “Everything will be all right, now. I am here with you!” I feel fortunate if I can put half of what I feel onto paper.

 When I remember my writing passions, I stay on the path meant for me. These times inspire me to write. I am content in my bliss.

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’][/author_image] [author_info]David Martin is the founder of Fine Lines community. Also he is a writing professor, the Fine Lines Camp director, and head editor of the journal.[/author_info] [/author]

From the Journal – Creator by Emma Vinchur


Whenever I am told, “I wish I could draw beautiful things like you!” I get a little irked. Where other people see a hand, I see a snarky group of appendages that blatantly told me, “No!” nearly every time I tried in vain to paint them. An onlooker may see the sculpted face of a woman, while I see a dame I had to beg on bended knee to be drawn the way I envisioned her, a female who needed to be tempted with my hours of frustration and dedication until she was satisfied. Where they see “pretty,” I see work. Simplified, being an artist is a messy business.


I have committed so many crimes in the name of art that I run out of fingers and toes to count them. Murder, abandonment, the list goes on. I have ripped pieces to shreds and left others to collect dust. Artwork that I have invested emotion and time into has gone awry, leaving me a wounded creator with a failed creation. Ink stains, paint explosions, clay dust, they have all marked (and ruined) the clothes I own.

The Muse

The muse I so desperately try to please is a cruel mistress. She comes in at all hours of the day and night, at the most inconvenient times, so drunk on inspiration that she cannot be understood or so dry and lifeless that she needs nursing back to health. I have ignored food and sleep for the sake of my craft. The emotion I invest in my work can eat at me for days, happiness or sadness, regardless. One is unable to be an artist without feeling all emotions in such extremes that it can be a little sickening at times. The question is: Why do it at all?


That answer is simple. To stop doing it, to cease creating, would be the end of me. By divine design, I am a creator, but less formally known as an artist. I do not know how to be anything else. Everything I do is done out of the pure love of my craft. I believe in the magic and authority of art, and in my ability to harness that magic. I create out of necessity, not out of vanity. My art is my life-blood, an entity on its own. I paint, I draw, I write to continue my own existence, to catalog the events that shape my human experience. Ultimately, I hope the anthology I am constructing will be of use to someone else. A world-wide fame is not what I am after, but if my work can impact one soul’s life, it will have all been worth it.

2014WinterCoverI am an artist.

This life chose me, and I intend to honor that choice. I do not fear the inevitable failures I will face; my muse will always guide me. In a sense, I am lucky. At such a young age, my purpose has been revealed to me. Create. And do not stop.

– Emma Vinchur, previously Published in the Winter 2014 Issue Fine Lines

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From Pain to Purpose

“Writing is the only thing. When I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else”  – Gloria Steinem


Motivation is moving towards a goal. Abraham Maslow, the famous psychologist, said there were two kinds of motivation: deficiency motivation (changing an unsatisfactory situation) and being motivation (seeking a positive goal after lower order needs are met). People may use writing to achieve either type of motivation.

Writers often build armor around their psyches by using words to overcome inferiority (deficiency motivation). They add layers of protection and self-esteem to inner feelings of inadequacy and learn to compete with no one but themselves. What they write is personal. Fear, shyness, inferiority, and inadequacy rise into the open on the writer’s own terms, in safety, and confidentiality.

Writers construct strong foundations with words to support their needs. A firm outer image develops through the writing process because the inner image is patched and repaired (being motivation). Journal writers develop healthy egos. Formal writing, to prove ourselves to others, to be accepted, and to receive better grades is not the reason one usually writes in a personal notebook. Some of this writing could develop I to a product one might turn in for a school assignment because an intellectual component surfaces.

Journal writing wants to penetrate the flab, the insincere, and the lies of life. With the proper attitude, it touches unacknowledged feelings, becomes character completion, attitude development, and a healing form of expression, not just for the classroom but for life. It involves self-study, life education, skill, effort, a positive attitude, and discipline.

Move towards Self

Personal writing may require increased introversion, a change in value systems, and a movement toward self-realization. It reduces one’s ego and increases the development of creativity. It ties the unconscious to the conscious.

Albert Einstein said, “ The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.” Writing gives us a tool for probing the mysterious, the unknown in our unconscious and connects it to our awareness.


Being awake in all aspects of life teaches us that we do not know as much about ourselves as we think. Intensive journalizing shows us there is more to explore than people previously thought, and one of the best to do this is to write about our dream images which illustrate psychological archetypes from our collective unconscious. Dreams restore emotional balance by igniting spontaneous creations the writer builds upon.

Carl Jung, the founder of analytical psychology, used the term “archetypes,” psychic structures that organize and hold material in our unconscious file folders during our dreams reveal important ideas about ourselves. Intuitive writing is one effective way to touch these deep seated psychological structures.


Journal writers often find shadows in their writing, Jung’s archetypes coming to life. When people face the sun, most do not see their shadows: those dark sides of their natures, their weaknesses, those parts of their being in need of repair. Shadows seldom surface in our conscious life, but when we touch our unconscious, we often reach those areas, which need the most work. Temporarily, turning our backs to the sun allows us to see the shadows we forgot were behind us. We limit our own development by continuously looking into the sun. The best writers recognize their shadows, accept them, and confront the biggest shadow of all, the inflated ego, the biggest barrier in our path, the fire-breathing dragon, perfectionism.

Writing empties the mind of distractions and offers glimpses of emotional clarity. Affirmations positively written transform normal awareness and increase one’s serenity. Journals write the dragons away and provide opportunities to visualize one’s goals for the day, for the year, and for life.

Open Your Senses

Writing success involves conserving energy, plugging leaks, and increasing one’s vision. We see with our eyes. We hear with our ears. We touch with our hands. We taste with our tongues. We smell with our noses, but we understand with our hearts. Open hearts make better writers.

People find strength in the careful selection of their language. Many go from pain to purpose. There is nothing like a serious writer’s block to discover what true opportunities lie in the next paragraph. There is like a crisis to reveal a true epiphany. We create our own miracles. The rhythm of life and the spirit of the universe are at our fingertips. Writing is a state of mind and reduces life’s negative influences. Accentuate the positive. Practice. Practice.

Road Signs

Confusing aspects of life make us feel that we go around in circles. When we drift, become discouraged, depressed, lonely, alienated, and bored, stringing words together becomes a silent place to record our confessions. Often, if we take the time to write about our difficulties, we see spirals instead of circles. Spirals indicate that even though we continue to go around, we may move upwards at the same time. This is progress even though it is cyclical. Writing a few minuets daily, changes people’s lives. Serious writers learn in a short time to find road signs for their lives. They write their way to Oz, down the Yellow Brick Road, and home again.

Writing is stress therapy for the grid-locked, an adventure of the mind and heart. One cannot stay depressed and continue to write a journal. People become optimistic, if they write enough.

Write On! – David Martin

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’][/author_image] [author_info]David Martin is the founder of Fine Lines community. Also he is a writing professor, the Fine Lines Camp director, and head editor of the journal. [/author_info] [/author]

Write On Wednesday Open for Submissions

Fine Lines accepts blog submissions for “Write On Wednesdays.” We feature writers from across the country and your input is welcome.

If you’re wondering what we love, here are some great posts to check out:

Three Things Successful Writers Have in Common

Writing Advice from an Avid Football Fan

And of course, Those Lowdown Rejection Blues

Further notes:

  • We prefer blogs 500-1200 words. Short can be sweet, however, give us a complete thought.
  • Send in a word file. Do not indent paragraphs. We reserve the right to change format to be “blog friendly” as needed.
  • Fellow writers are extra sensitive to technical errors; please proofread your work.
  • Send a bio, a photo if you’d like, links to any of your website and social networks you want to share.
  • If you have an appropriate photo that you own the rights to, yes, please share.
  • We do accept previously published material, please note in your copy where it was published before and, if appropriate, a link.
  • Fine Lines is fueled and manned by volunteers, please be patient with reply times. We read and appreciate all the work received.
  • Ready? For blog submissions send to david.martin (at) Subject: Fine Lines Blog Submission

Thank You!