On Life Changes

I just scrolled back to the beginning of this blog.  It took some doing.  I started Moments of Being on February 3, 2007.  I had no idea I’ve been at this for more than decade.  Like many of the paths I’ve taken in my writing life, it has been meandering, full of unexpected beauty as well as unanticipated challenges. It began accidentally and then I committed to it on purpose.  Why did I start a blog, ten years ago?  Because my publisher wanted me to.  I had a book coming out — my novel Black & White — and a blog was the thing to do.  I resisted.  My publisher persisted. So I thought and thought about what I could blog about that would continue to feel interesting, both to me and to anyone who might read it.  When I began, it was with some words about the creative process.  What is it to grapple with the blank page, day after day, month after month, year after year? 

My book Still Writing is entirely a result of having begun this blog. Not because I created the blog with the intention of turning it into a book someday. I did not.  But people kept writing to thank me for the blog.  They told me I was doing something useful.  How often is a writer told she’s doing something useful?  So I wrote Still Writing — never once looking back at what was on this blog.  A blog is a blog, and a book is a book.  They are different species, and require very different processes.  For instance, when I’m finished writing here today, I will hit publish and be done with it.  When I write a book, it takes years, as it should. 

Those of you who follow me know that I haven’t really been keeping up Moments of Being.  It has been languishing.  I love it — but my time and energy have been moving in different directions.  I’m not saying I’ll never post here again — but I suppose I’m hitting a pause button.  I’ve been writing shorter and much more frequent mini-essays on Instagram, and I’d so love it if you’d follow me there. I find it’s a wonderful, warm community and a way of staying in regular touch.  I’ve also created a show on Facebook called Office Hours — and now that I think of it, it’s very much an outgrowth of the ideas I’ve been developing here over the years.  Facebook asked me to create a show, and I thought and thought — just as I did a decade ago.  What can I talk about on a regular basis that will be exciting and inspiring to me, and to others?  Once again I found myself wanting to delve deeper into the creative process.  There is doing the work, and then there is thinking about what it takes to do the work.  Both interest me enormously.  If you follow me on Office Hours, you can ask me questions and  I will try to answer the questions that seem to be of interest to the most people. 

Publishing has changed enormously over the last decade — anyone who spends her life writing books will tell you this.  The world is noisier. More is expected of writers.  But ultimately as I write in Still Writing, a writer is someone who writes.  I’m grateful to all of you who have been so kind and supportive of my latest memoir, Hourglass.  I’m hard at work now on a new book that is taking everything I’ve got.  So come say hi on Office Hours and on Instagram, and let’s continue the conversation!

 

 

 

  • Laura Lustig

    Dani Shapiro – she can’t know it but she was writing to me, about me. I have so much in common – my unquiet mind, my feeling of being on the outside in my Jewish religion, my fears for my youngest son who was born with brain damage. And recently when I lost my sister with whom I felt estranged for many years, the power of the Jewish rites were felt – I cried and felt love for her.

    • Danishapiro

      Thank you for this beautiful note, Laura.

  • Michelle Monet

    Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Danishapiro

      It has been a pleasure!

  • Chryselle

    Thank you for your blog and I hope you will leave it up for those of us who still prefer poring over other people’s blog archives. I follow you on IG as well, but there’s something special about this format as well. Good luck with your new book!

    • Danishapiro

      Thanks, Chryselle. I do intend to leave this blog up so that it can be accessed any time. I’m so glad you’re enjoying it.

  • Thank you. I just finished Hourglass, and will be heading over to Amazon to leave my review. It really got to me. So many parallels. My wife’s mom who is 91 and has dementia, broke her hip seven weeks ago, so when I read your words about M’s mom that hit to home. When I go back to my small hometown in upstate New York, seems every landmark floods my memory with thoughts of so many years ago. Many very happy times too, but it all sometimes brings me to tears, just remembering so many emotional moments. When I’m back in California I don’t go through that. Reading your similar thoughts is moving and inspiring. I my self am a walking paradox. Thirty five years cop by day and comedian by night. Worked all the toughest areas of south L.A., and enjoy spending time in New York seeing Broadway shows with my wife. Keep writing, I’m still reading.

    • Danishapiro

      I just turned in my latest book, Cliff. Out next spring! Thank you from one walking paradox to another:)

  • karen autrey

    Thank you so much for your beautiful book Hourglass. I loved it. I also loved Devotion. It is one of my most favorite books. Karen Autrey

    • Danishapiro

      I’m so glad! Thank you.

  • Josephine

    I have loved your blog and it is one of the havens I turn to to escape the noise of the internet and put ‘good sentences in my ears.’ I also love your Instagram musings, Facebook Office hours and books! I do hope you maintain the blog and post albeit spasmodically. I still love old-school blogging as I believe the power remains with the writer rather than with the creators of the social media apps. But wherever you go, I shall follow!