image borrowed from

I found this in Gabriele Rico’s Writing the Natural Way: 

“We are what we imagine. Our very existence consists in our imagination of ourselves. Our best destiny is to imagine who and what, and that we are. The greatest interpretation, a newly constructed version of the original. As our age and experience change, versions of the same thing evolve. Memory is essentially reconstructive.” -Antonio Damasio

After coffee (and writing talk) with a friend yesterday I was thinking about times when I’ve reinvented myself. Waitress, teacher, mom, writer, wife, daughter–sometimes it feels as though each day is a series of reinventions. I know people who seem rigid in their understanding of themselves, as though they have to defend themselves from the onslaught and at all costs avoid changing. Better to open your arms to it. This particular friend is someone who, when one career seemed to slam a door in her face, turned and became an award-winning high school teacher. She dyed her hair, too! It was inspiring!

I’m changing a section of the manuscript, weaving a character in. It’s hard. It’s as if the previous draft is concrete and I have to chip it away and repour. But that’s just imagination. It’s not concrete. I’m playing in the mud, in something porous and absolutely changeable. The key–it seems to me–is to know when enough change is enough.

The key lies in knowing when I’m just tinkering away in order to avoid finishing the damned thing.

But I really am getting closer.

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