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Saturday, July 23, 2011


Ooh, Shiny Penny!

Children’s stories and poems never submitted, outlines for short stories and notes for articles--in notebooks, on scraps and spread across several file folders. My mind is ever-open to new ideas and I’m quick to jot them down on the nearest surface-- the electric bill perhaps? Now, where was that web address…? So, as I read yesterday’s "Speak Out" post I felt admiration for Jo Barney with her finished projects fluttering about. Then I thought, "Hey, I’m that prolific--at titles, lead-ins and cryptic synopsis--it’s the follow-through where I fall through."

I don’t think it’s an issue of focus, if so I would never finish anything. Is it an organizational problem? Not really, well yes—I shouldn’t write on the bills, but for the most part my jottings are in notebooks. No, I think it is time I admit to myself that I have Shiny Penny Syndrome.

Ooh, shiny penny—that’s a pretty one! The plot flashes before my eyes, I get a feel for the mood, a taste of the characters. For the next few hours, I’ll add little notes. I feel the excitement, think of places to submit the piece, imagine the book trailer. Then in the distance, I hear a voice. Reluctantly, I bring my attention back to the moment. A friend is speaking to me and out of his mouth falls a new shiny penny.

By Robyn Chausse

Do you have Shiny Penny Syndrome or a discipline to share for following through with those sparkly inspirations? Share your thoughts!

photo by robyn chausse

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Anonymous Jean said...

I have this syndrome. I encounter tons of article ideas and write down blog post topics whenever I can, but have yet to sit down and actually finish them.

This post is a slap in the face - but a good one! I'm going to go work on those ideas today. :)

6:34 AM  
Blogger Karen Wojcik Berner said...

I definitely relate to this post. Just yesterday, I tried to organize all of my scraps of paper, newspaper clippings and napkins, all containing the promise of something wonderful.

7:59 AM  
Blogger Patricia Anne McGoldrick said...

What a neat metaphor!
There are many sayings and uses of the penny image. This reminds me of a saying to the effect of "see a penny, pick it up, all day long you will have good luck!"
I will continue to keep the penny image up front!
It is reassuring to know that I am not the only writer experiencing this syndrome.

9:40 AM  
Blogger Robyn Chausse said...

So nice to hear from all of you! It is comforting to realize this is not a personal defect, just the mark of a creative mind :)

1:47 PM  

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