Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Serendipity and other "S" words

I thought I was being smart and had my first blog entry prepared days in advance. I don’t like waiting til the last minute even though sometimes I work best under pressure. But I figured I’d better go ahead and get it ready ahead of time. Then I could breathe easy and just sit back to enjoy the website launch.

But nooooooooooo. Twenty-three minutes after I sent out the announcement email to all my friends, family and assorted email loops, I received a reply that knocked me on my butt.

Oh Marilyn, I don't know if I should hug and kiss you, spank you, or worship you. I've been out of touch with writing for since the first of the year. Not really sure the exact reason, part depression, part chaos with life taking over, and part just plain feeling like it's time to give up. I'm not sure what made me look at this website you mentioned, but I'm sure glad I did. You made me WANT to write again. And that's something I didn't think was ever going to come back to me. Now I just have to figure out where to start again. Do I want to go back to what I've already written or go with something new. I don't know where I'll go from here, but I thank you with all my heart for sending this email, at this time. I REALLY NEEDED IT!

I really was ready to quit and now I don't want believe me, I owe you a great deal. Leave it to you to help me out. So if you have any suggestions, please open up....I'm in the fragile state right now; where I could potentially still give up but really don't want to.

Thanks for sticking by me through this mess, even if you didn't know it was going's not like I advertised it, but it's been here all along, like a demon I'm really wanting to chase away.


This, my friends, is a serendipity. The dictionary defines it as “the phenomenon of finding valuable things not sought for.” I’ll admit that with the website I was looking for a few pats on the back, a couple of “woo-hoo’s” and some validation for my decision to write. I never expected, however, to be thanked for chasing demons and resurrecting a dying dream. It’s very humbling to say the least and I certainly hope I can live up to the expectation.

The website itself was an exercise in synergy, which is defined as “the effect of two or more agents working together to produce an effect that is greater than the sum of the parts.” In other words, the five of us joining forces are far more powerful than each of us alone. There’s something very comforting in that thought. It’s reassuring to know that I have such talented, dependable and caring friends.

Don’t think, though, that we ever sank into groupthink mode. We had lively discussions about website content, colors, what photos to use, how to handle different elements. But we understood the word “compromise” and worked things out to the satisfaction of all.

I like odd words and the last one today is syzygy. It’s defined as the alignment of three celestial bodies. The Writing Playground is made up of celestial bodies in a funky sort of way. We’re all heavenly. We have bodies.

Okay… so that’s a stretch. But my point is that we are aligned in a common effort. And that makes it so much more fun. It’s what makes the synergy work. And that’s just one more bit of serendipity in my life. Don't you just love those little unexpected things?


Instigator said...


I totally agree with you. When I read that message my whole perception of this project changed. Certainly, we had a blast putting it all together and will continue to enjoy the experience - and strengthing friendships. But along with that comes a responsibility I hadn't thought about. a little scary and empowering at the same time.


Maven Linda Winstead Jones said...

It's odd how often the serendipity thing happens. So many times in the past 12 years or so, I've heard the right combination of words when I needed it most, or gotten some sort of validation just when I was ready to throw in the towel.

Congrats on putting together a website that has the power to inspire!


Maven Beverly Barton said...

We never know when something we say or something we do will have an impact on another person's life. This is why I truly believe in those "random acts of kindness." Never forget the power of the written word. As writers, our words/books have the potential to reach millions, so what we think, how we feel, the words we put into print may well touch the lives of countless others.

Angel said...

I'm so glad that others can be touched by what is posted here. When I first started out, I felt really alone and intimidated. If I can reach out to one other writer, published or unpublished, and offer them the encouragement and enlightenment that I've received, then I've done a good job.

Maven Linda Howard said...

Every so often I'm humbled by a message from a reader or a fellow writer, who say that something I've said or written made a difference in his or her life. I remember a letter from a woman who said that her daughter had severe dyslexia and had almost given up on school, but then by chance she picked up one of my Mackenzie books and was interested enough to battle her way through the process of reading it . . . and discovered that reading could give her pleasure. The woman said that since then her daughter had been reading more and more, and was doing much better in school. Hearing that you can make a difference is . . . both magical and scary. -- Linda

Problem Child said...

I think its very cool that you've touched someone already (and a little cool that the rest of us had something to do with it too). We've been so obsessed with this page--the color, the font, the pictures--I kind of lost touch with one of the reasons we started this project.

We're very lucky to have each other for support--I forget that there are a lot of writers out there struggling with guilt and self-doubt: the two soul-crushing things that you guys help keep at bay.

If our little website affects someone that positively, I'm beyond happy.