The Tongue of Experience Has The Most Truth by Alberta Ross

What do we dream of as writers, apart from writing the bestseller of the century which will resonate with endless generations that is:)  Most of us here in this group, it seems, long for a pure life of writing, free from distractions and real LIFE, with its irritating habit of slapping our faces with a wet fish.


Ah, to have a den of our own, time at our disposal, and money in the bank to fund it.


There are many impediments to obstruct us; LIFE’S many little trickeries include mortgages, food bills, health issues and family.  Constantly cropping up. Bills and taxes to be paid, cars and computers to be repaired or changed, sickness in the night, paid employment, university courses all joggling each other for our attention. Visitors, family gatherings, holidays to organize. Then there are  pets breaking hearts. So many barriers to ‘our time’ to create our alternative worlds.


This isn’t a post about ‘if you really want to achieve something you will find the time’, or ‘be ruthless and shut yourself away’ or even ‘stop making excuses and just do’, we have all heard these words and we all agree with them and to a certain extent they are true.  No, we know how to respond to them.


This is a post about reality and creativity.


A world which enables a pure uninterrupted life could happen I suppose, a space where we can write constantly and forever – yeah – well – no.


Creativity, in whatever capacity, cannot even be born, let alone thrive and grow in silence, in emptiness, in sterility.  LIFE conceives it ,feeds it, nourishes and loves it. With experience and its memories imagination can do wondrous things, it can change, turn twist and manipulate, embroidering and embellishing with lace and fancies. What imagination cannot do is work with nothing.


What of the Internet and books you might say?

What indeed.

They do certainly help with the exteriors.


We can work hard, carve out impossible deadlines, have the passion, keep faith with our dreams. Because we know dreams are rarely achieved by luck alone, hard work and constancy is needed as well but, sometimes we get so tangled up in the ‘work ethic’ of our Western civilization we mistakenly think this is the only way, the correct way. We are fooled into taking as gospel the code ‘nose to the grindstone’ or even worse ‘hard work never killed anyone’


Yes it does sometimes.


Forgetting the equally valid ‘all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’.


Keep the machines going. We are not machines and, more importantly for this post, creativity and imagination are not either.


LIFE creates imagination and creativity and, like all life, these evolve over time.  Both  are unpredictable and capricious, neither will be tied or constrained and both need to be fed constantly to grow strong. Creativity needs to be nurtured by the springs of experience and knowledge, as well as work and passion. We constantly hear, in this group, of deadlines missed, goals being moved and the theme is nearly always because of LIFE’S interruptions. And so more tricks  need to be learned


To love the interruptions,

To remember the old saying of every cloud having a silver lining

To be content to wait a while when our plans get changed

To consider a day’s time worthwhile when not a single word has been written

To be content when time spent has been within our heads.

To relax and care for ourselves, our families and our friends

To let every experience and interaction become absorbed into every fibre of us

To accept that our writing will be stronger more powerful when we know what LiFE is all about.


It is difficult to accept that our training into ‘work hard and you will gain the world’ doesn’t always work. All of us here wish to write our tales and entertain and inform, we fear time is racing by and we are not there yet, not there yet, not there. . .We make time our enemy and have the urge to fight it, to race it, defeat and become masters of it.


It is impossible.

It cannot be done.


We do not want to be dead before the tale is written, but somewhere a fine line has to be drawn between stressing ourselves into an early grave, by trying to become super-people attempting impossible feats, and becoming more relaxed and still working towards our dream. LIFEwatching/experiencing/being is as important as health/family/friends as important as dreams/desires/passion/work.


We must learn to love it all.


Alberta Ross



  1. Too true.

    For me, it came to pass when I realized I needed to consciously take time to spend with my family, because the demand of “get this done by X day” was hurting the ones I loved. I set t as a goal, but mostly as a precautionary reminder. I seldom need the minder now, but I leave it there. It says to me “don’t let it consume you” (whatever it is).

    And as an example of the problems with that “writer’s garret”…. a personal anecdote here is how much my writing actually diminished when I stopped working to dedicate my time to writing.

  2. So true! Our creative spirit needs adventures–both the small, ordinary, everyday kind like a walk with the dog or an afternoon feeding the ducks at the park; and the extraordinary kind, like a new relationship or a visit to the Grand Canyon.

    As someone who constantly feels pressure to work more, to work harder, to accomplish some amazing, impressive feat, I needed this reminder. Thanks, Alberta!

  3. Thank you, Alberta! I needed to read this today. I’m trying to finish a MS I started a year ago. I have notes back from my beta and today I started stressing over time and trying to get it all done. Ugh! Big breath. Thank you, Albetta. I’m going to break now to enjoy my family for the evening which is what I really need right now. I’m off to enjoy and refuel.

  4. It was stressing over time passing and MS not finished that caused me to take stock and evaluate what writing was all about:) we are all fretters I think:)

  5. Lovely post, Alberta! And you’re right, it’s real life that provides the inspiration for our stories. Sometimes if I’m stuck on a plot or dialogue point, the best thing I can do is take a walk – or do the dishes!

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