Monday, October 24, 2016

Staying Afloat -The Writer's LIfe

By Janie Reinart

We are all trying to make a splash in the publishing world. Everyday we 





into our writing. 

Sometimes our strokes are strong. 

Sometimes we tread water.

Sometimes we can't stay afloat.

Staying Afloat

With pen in hand

I take the leap

Words loom above

The glistening sea of my soul

Smooth and calm

As blank white paper

Terrifying and exhilarating

 Like plunging off a sheer cliff alone

I write

This is no swan dive

 Cannon-balling into space

 I hit the surface hard

Eyes squeezed tight

 Holding my breath

 Sinking down, down, down

Into the depths of my emotions

 Cool and dim

  Propelling off the bottom

 Rising toward the brightness

 Fighting resistance

 Lungs bursting,

 I sense forward motion

With every stroke

 This is survival

 My life breath

 Thoughts bubble to the surface

Ideas become clearer

 More vivid

  Kicking, rewriting with all my might

 My pen skims the watery surface

Creating a spray

of hard won phrases, clusters, and clauses

  I gasp

Heart-pounding ripples

 Soak the surface of the page

  Relaxing, I float

Words bobbing gently

Leave me vulnerable


But that will not keep me

Out of the water.  ~Janie Reinart

We can't seem to stay out of the water! So how do we continue to soak the surface of the page with our words?

 1. Reach for a life preserver. Call your writing buddy or a critique group member
 or check out this article for apps that help you float above your writer's block.

2. Stop and look at the colors. Coloring books for adults are in. Think of it as art therapy. The motion and the creativity are relaxing your mind. The ideas will flow.

3. Remember the sea holds treasures. You have a gift. Keep taking that leap. Hold on to your dream. Keep going.

What do you do to stay afloat?


  1. Beautiful poem, Janie! I love the swimming analogy.

    1. Thanks, Tina. I think a lot of holding our breath goes on too!

  2. Wow, this poem says it all and w/such great imagery, Janie! Ty for Monday motivation!

    1. Kathy, we have to hold each other up. The kidlit people are wonderful for motivating each other!

  3. I enjoyed your poem Janie. I also find a "life preserver" in doing other creative things between writing...quilting, paper crafts,'s all good for tapping into creativity in a different form.

    1. Wonderful ideas, Darlene! Especially if the baking includes chocolate!

  4. Inspiring poem, Janie! Thanks for encouraging me to stay afloat with tips and links. Well done!

    1. You are welcome Jarm. Always wonderful to connect with you.

  5. What a great Monday motivator! Love the poem, the images, and the inspiration!

    1. Thank you, Kim. Always good to stick together!

  6. Janie, your poem wonderfully describes the process! Thanks for the encouragement! dog paddling in circles, jane

    1. Jane, Yeah for sticking to it! That's where I am too--dog paddling :)

  7. I needed a motivator this morning-Thank you Janie! Your poem is inspiring and gave me the will to think about those words, phrases, and plot thoughts! Our writing community is the best :)

  8. Charlotte, I love your writing. Glad we can motivate each other. Keep on kicking!

  9. Beautiful poem, Janie! I think that, like Jane, I may be dog-paddling, too. But dog-paddling can still get you places...

  10. Oh, Janie, that is beautiful and thought provoking. Thank you for sharing your gift of poetry with us. I have had two weeks of frustration and negative thoughts that took residence within my mind. I was gasping for air, but now I back on track. Thanks for the reminder that we all have times of doubt, but we will breathe again.

    1. Sherri, happy to hear you are back on track. It is part of the writerly life. So glad we can float together.

  11. Hey Janie,
    Thanks for these eloquent moments of diving back in.
    I think about our return to forward motion. To answer your question -

    I'm increased the # of workshops I attend. They scoot me into writing new works.

    I'm reading enjoyable books more , on social media less than B-4.

    I bought buncha tiny notebooks & sprinkle them in pockets, everywhere for noting things like odd street names, advertising signs, observations of people that I will forget to write down when home.

    Remembering how often I reject others' writing in for example, a great greeting card I don't buy or that book in the bookstore. Nothing against the writing, just... didn't buy it.
    Tiny things, but they help me.As you have, with this!
    My best to you.

    1. Thank you, Jan. Great ideas. I need to read more books for pleasure too! Love that we can keep on kicking together.

  12. What an absolutely beautiful poem Janie. I am so glad I finally got the chance to stop by. I agree with having that special crit group. Mine is the best. Wink to you crit bud. Reading good works does it for ne. But definitely the social interaction with other writers. Those whose ideas, experiences, and kidlit perspectives spur you on. Great post here.

    1. Pam, love that we can work together. I know I can always reach out to you. Thanks for the support and hugs.

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  14. Loved your poem and the analogy you've made. I'd have to say that for me, taking the time to read posts on writing and talking with other fellow writers spur me on. I don't always get to "chat" with others since I live where there are not many writers - but challenged to put myself out there and respond to posts and other sites. Taking that jump...

    1. MaDonna it is hard to be alone and write. So glad to hear from you. I love the kid lit community. It's definitely more fun to have a swim party.