Monday, November 19, 2007

Thankfulness

“Why do writers write? Because it isn't there.” ~~Thomas Berger

Thanksgiving, for those of us in America, has grown and evolved like most holidays. Pilgrims, turkey (or Tofurki), football, parades, and pumpkin pie. Yet tucked within the basting and touchdowns is the root of an idea. Thankfulness. For family and friends, for prosperity and health, and for life itself. And let me add one more item to the list… Thankfulness for creativity. I love being a writer. Don’t you?

“One nice thing about putting the thing away for a couple of months before looking at it is that you start appreciate your own wit. Of course, this can be carried too far. But it's kind of cool when you crack up a piece of writing, and then realize you wrote it. I recommend this feeling.” ~~Steven Brust

I love pulling out stories I have written. Even the fumbling attempts from several years ago (when POV was just a concept *grin*). Is there a greater thrill than marveling over a sentence that you recognize is really damn good? Just like that gorgeous homemade pumpkin pie beckoning to your taste buds from yonder table, the story your eager eyes pore over started with a few simple ingredients. You stirred it up, baked it in a feverish oven of imagination, and after a suitable frame of time, produced a marvelous dish. Except one little difference. It’s all yours, baby. There are no other “pies” quite like the ones you bake. We Are Originals. How about that?

“The novel is an event in consciousness. Our aim isn't to copy actuality, but to modify and recreate our sense of it. The novelist is inviting the reader to watch a performance in his own brain.”~~George Buchanan

It’s astonishing, really. The courage and strength it takes not only to compose an entire novel (wow!) but to allow others to read it, well… that’s truly amazing. I’m thankful for the sheer audacity within my soul. Do you realize what a pioneer you are? How gutsy and innovative it is to even attempt to write fiction? What an incredible career we have. We Are Writers.

“Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.”~~ Cyril Connolly

Yet one of the dilemmas we face (and with rare fortitude) is The Big Choice. I salute us all for taking the risk to write what we please. To recognize that success is measured by happiness and self-satisfaction. Persistence does pay off (ask any of the published writers here) but they’ll no doubt agree that unless you write a book which pleases you, no worldly success will satisfy. So… if, when you read what you’ve written at the end of the day, you feel a rush of pleasure, my friend, You Are A Success.

“Forget all the rules. Forget about being published. Write for yourself and celebrate writing.” ~~Melinda Haynes

Celebrate and relish the joy that comes from this unique gift. To write is like nothing else. Nothing can compare. Harry Potter appeals to the masses because the stories tap into humankind’s deepest and fondest fantasy. To create magic. Well, dear friends, that’s exactly what we do, every time we write a story. We are magically creating something out of nothing but the barest wisp of imagination. We Are Magic-Makers. We Are Writers.

“I learned that you should feel when writing, not like Lord Byron on a mountain top, but like a child stringing beads in kindergarten - happy, absorbed and quietly putting one bead on after another.” ~~Brenda Ueland

Celebrate the joy, the exhilaration, the rush of pure pleasure as you write. This is a wonderful time to embrace this delightful opportunity of ours: to create magic on a regular basis. To be thankful for the gift, for the spirit, for the opportunity to express ourselves. Yay! We Are Writers!

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone…

--Chiron O’Keefe

2 comments:

Carla said...

Ah...It's good to finally have some time to sit down and read a good piece of writing. I've always particularly enjoyed your essay/insight writings Chiron. During this season of thankfulness and reflection I am grateful for two things - the insights offered by those dear to me - they have immeasurably expanded and enriched my life - and my own creativity. I plan to cultivate the latter a bit with this holiday/vacation time. It seems my creativity has been as hesitant these days as has autumn been to show herself to us. Time to to make a change! Thanks for the inspiration, and Happy Thanksgiving to you.

Carla

Chiron O'Keefe said...

Wonderful words, Carla...

Hope your time off is both inspiring and illuminating.

Sending you visions of golden-red leaves whisking through the air...

--Chiron O'Keefe