Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Ancora Imparo. Are you?

Here's young Crystal analyzing even back then....

Supposedly Michaelangelo, when he was 87, said, "Ancora Imparo" which means "I am still learning." Whether he said this or not, his works left behind show us that he, indeed, was able to create new things, learning as he went, even up until the end. It is an inspiring story and a nice phrase to adopt no matter how old we are. I certainly needed that phrase and encouragement this week.

My husband often says that he has the mind of the beginner. I would like to think that I have the mind of a beginner, but boy, howdy, it is awful frustrating sometimes to start all over again. Mostly, in our culture, we see this as something to be frowned upon or to be "stupid." To go back to the drawing board when we've worked so hard on something can be devastating. But I like seeing new things and I do like hearing about something new and interesting. I have learned new things with each thing I write, so hopefully, I am always learning with joy. (Not always. Sometimes I grimace in the process.)

When someone points me to a new link or tells of a new way to do something, or I discover a new book that keeps me up all night to read "one more page," these are things I receive with glee. I am not always good at having this attitude of having the mind of a beginner for every aspect, but I try.  If you can live one more day, finding something new to attempt, or something to learn, it is worth it.

I don't know your circumstances or if you struggle  with thoughts of being worthless. (I sometimes do.) Since having read these words of Michaelangelo, again, I have thought that to see the world with the "mind of a beginner" may be just the thing to grasp and hold on to--to humbly learn and accept the new information. To not see "starting over" as some sort of awful disaster. God may have a better plan.

I think of what Albert Einstein said, "If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn't be called Research." And we all know that scientists,explorers, and artists, writers and the great composers--all of them didn't always know what they were doing, but they sought to continue and explore, to keep on, keeping on.

I especially want you to keep this in mind when you get a rejection or get those rewrites or if you're getting your Genesis entry back. Don't get discouraged. (Or give yourself a day or two with ice cream to get your second wind. Phew.) Strap on that helmet and get ready for the next step in your life long journey. And don't forget to reach out to your writing buddies along the way.

(I'm reaching out today as I needed this pep talk. Feel free to encourage! :) )

~Crystal Laine Miller


  1. Such a meaningful blog -- a message right now to me! In fact, as soon as I finished reading, I asked to be your FB friend and became one of your blog followers. I sense in you an inspiring woman of God. . . Thanks, Crystal! :-)

  2. Great post Crystal. When we think we are done learning we might as well close the lid to the casket.

  3. Thanks. I needed that. After writing the first 90 pages of my WIP I staarted over -- new pov character, told in the present tense and in third person. I had started in first person and past tense. It'z quite a change. I think if I can get focused on this new start instead of thinking about the 22,000 words written, it will be a much better book. Your post encouraged me to not give up but to keep on writing. Pat Radaker