February 19, 2021

Digging up Rocks - Gloria Guest

 I want to start by saying that I'm very thankful for Vickie Stam's post yesterday, Something More. I felt that I had nothing to share on the subject of creative adaptability, although such a great topic. But Vickie's honest post helped to free me up to just be real. I don't really feel a great deal of creativity these days and I feel like my adaptability has been stretched about as far as it can go right now. This past year and right up to today, has been beyond stressful. I worry about sounding 'whiney' too as Vicky said, but 'it is what it is,' and I've always been a 'say it as it is,' kind of person. I call a spade a spade.

Heart shaped field rock 
that became something new

Speaking of spades they are also known as a rather useful digging tool. And with my spade I feel like I've dug deep for those creative juices to rise to the surface, like the bubbling water from a newly sprung spring. But time and time again my spade has instead struck and scraped against hard, unyielding rocks. Still I've dug. I'm stubborn that way. But with my writing life drying up like the cracked, thirsty ground around me I  decided to try my spade in a new spot. I wasn't so much adaptable as I was desperate and it wasn't what I'd expected. I wanted a gusher, a resounding creative idea to get me back into writing and perhaps even published. Something exciting. Instead I heard the clunk of another rock hit my spade. Bigger. But it budged and so I dug it up and brought it to the surface where I could look at it properly. Perhaps there was some potential here? Something I could do with it? It wasn't the 'water' of writing that I was looking for but when I turned it round and round in my hands and the thought of what it could mean to my writing, I came to an understanding. Perhaps this rock could even be something beautiful in my life.....with some effort...some creative adaptability on my part? 

And so with that in mind, in the past couple of years I've started taking editing classes, with the plan of obtaining my editing certificate. Even though I did a fair bit of editing in the past, on the side, when I worked as a newspaper reporter, it's not the direction that I thought I'd be going in. Yet here I am; daily attempting to climb the hard, granite walls of grammar and sentence structure. It's grueling and not as much fun as studying the art of writing. The learning curve has been steep and it feels like the summit of a certificate might be unattainable. Yet, I can sense that it's been good for the most part. It keeps me in the world of writing (albeit in a different way) and hones my skills as a writer too. I'm learning new strengths and weaknesses ( I think I may hate comma's even more than when I started). Perhaps it'll even lead to a new business venture someday. On the days when the going feels tiring and my footing unsure, I grip my fingers into the rock a little harder and set my slipping foot a little firmer, thinking of where it might lead me. Since I've left reporting, jobs have been as scarce as that gushing spring of water for me; it may be time to be a bit more adaptable in what I can bring to the table. 

I have spent much time in the hallway called 'waiting' in my life. I've even joked to my husband that my middle name should be 'waiting.' While there I have not been so  patient. I have tried kicking down many a door. They don't budge. But I'm stubborn and as I said, I believe in spades ;) and so I have found ways, while waiting, to instead dig up a rock or two. I've even tried painting on a couple :) 

So I am encouraging you who are struggling  with closed doors and long hallways, to also find that one rock to turn over and see something in a new way. Because that's really all creative adaptability is; taking what you already have and turning it around and letting the light shine on it in a new way for you. So when you get tired of kicking doors, as I have, try using that spade to turn a rock or two over. You might be surprised at what you find.  A
door may just crack open and a little light come shining through.

Gloria is a past newspaper reporter/columnist who now writes, blogs, studies editing, waits and digs up the occasional rock, in Caron, Sk. 


  1. Hello Gloria. Thank you! Thank you! Not only is your post encouraging, it sure feels good to to know that I'm not alone. Finding my creativity isn't easy in the midst of such chaos. My friend, Judy once described me as someone who is "real." Just like a spade. My husband and I often say that there are two words in our house that are the forbidden 4 letter words - wait and rush. He doesn't like to wait and I don't like to rush. He tells me what time I need to be ready so that he doesn't have to wait and I don't have to rush. Oh, the things we do so we can adapt. I'm sure God is watching me struggle and He used you to shine a little light for me. God bless you, my friend. Thanks for being 'real.'

  2. Hi Vickie. I'm encouraged too that my post encouraged you! It's amazing how our thoughts and experiences have aligned here :) I like how you and your husband have adapted yourselves to the 'wait' and 'rush' problem. Adapting is such a learning process isn't it? It's okay to find ourselves in these tough spots and it sure does help to feel like we are not alone. Thank you for being real also :)

  3. What a fascinating post. For me, I'm too tired to dig but I keep shoveling along.

  4. Oh Gloria! This post is just what I think so many need to hear. I love the metaphor of digging up rocks (and the heart shaped rock is pretty cool, I must say!) I know that you will encourage many who read this, just as you were encouraged by Vickie. This is what I desire that our organization be all about - encouraging one another - even in the hard times. May your efforts to get that editing certificate prosper. Be blessed today and persevere in your digging. :)

  5. I loved this, Gloria, especially how you said to turn over the rock and let the light shine on it in a new way. It also reminds me of the rocks I turn over along the edge of the garden - the bugs always scurry away and I jump back. Haha. Bugs can sure give new writing ideas 😉

  6. Hi Gloria! I'm thrilled to read your post here. Hey guess what? Go on, guess? Well, ok, I'll tell you. A few months ago I turned over a rock! Yeah, I did, and I almost giggled like a little high-pitched voiced boy. I found a hidden gem in my love for poetry. Your post reminded me of how God can surprise us if only we don't stop digging. Yay! Bless you, my writer friend.

  7. Gloria, I love this post and I admire your stubborn streak that keeps you digging. You would make a great editor because of your ability to be a ‘straight shooter’ and not a ‘sugar coater’. (I had to seriously avoid the temptation to put a comma between every word.) Thanks for the encouragement to us all to forge ahead.

  8. "creative adaptability is; taking what you already have and turning it around and letting the light shine on it in a new way". Love that, Gloria. Thanks for the inspiration. -- Joy


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