Sunday, April 20, 2008

Explore... Dream... Discover...

"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be." ~Douglas Adams

For many of us, writing is a happy accident. Whether we meticulously plot out every scene in advance or jump into the fray with a vague idea (knowing our future self will have to edit the crap out—literally), we often find that our best writing is a surprise to ourselves. Hopefully, to our readers as well. *smile*

That's where faith comes into the picture. We need to trust that somewhere in the caverns of our unconscious the story resides in full. Like the proverbial block of marble, the completed book already exists—we need to carve away what Isn't the story to find it.

"Like an old gold-panning prospector, you must resign yourself to digging up a lot of sand from which you will later patiently wash out a few minute particles of gold ore." ~Dorothy Bryant

Outlining, editing, revising, querying… Work-work-work, where's the fun? Yup, being a writer isn't the happy-go-lucky traipse through springtime flowers we imagine it to be. *sigh* Ah, but the rewards are indescribable. As our unique tale emerges, we delight in how smooth the story feels, how solid the sculpture appears, how grand and glorious it is to be a writer! There's no denying the effort involved yet what an amazing triumph. Whether the story snaps in at eleven pages or stretches for three hundred and fifty, You Have Created A New World.

A world where characters gasp and giggle, struggle and strive, kiss and snuggle, and dare to prevail against dire odds. You Create Magic. Which is why writers more than anyone understand the element of surprise. Hah! When we re-read a particularly good day's work, we might find ourselves sucking in a startled breath when the words drop off. But… but… but… we sputter… where's the rest? For one amazing instant, we *feel* the complete book and our linear consciousness wonders why the heck we stopped! Relish the shiver of excitement, my friend, because YOU are a writer!

"That's the way things come clear. All of a sudden. And then you realize how obvious they've been all along." ~Madeleine L'Engle

Those bursts of illumination aren't constant. Like fireflies, they flit in and out providing flashes of inspiration when our inner sky grows dark. Yet every writer experiences a similar rush—a combination of exhilaration and anticipation. We Are Magic. Ideas dancing in the air. Words transforming into stories before our astonished eyes.

How freaking cool is that?

This week, let's celebrate the magic. Recognize how the process of writing takes us places we never imagined we could go.

"I think that wherever your journey takes you, there are new gods waiting there, with divine patience - and laughter." ~Susan M. Watkins

Let's recognize writing isn't about playing it safe. Jump into the deep water! Walk the tightrope without a net!

"To do anything truly worth doing, I must not stand back shivering and thinking of the cold and danger, but jump in with gusto and scramble through as well as I can." — Og Mandino

Writing is a grand and glorious adventure. An opportunity not only for self-exploration but to take risks. We're not skydiving here. *smile* We're free to leap out of the airplane a dozen different ways, knowing we can back up and jump again and again and again. Why play it safe? Have faith and tell Your Story Your Way…

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did so. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." —Mark Twain

Let's have a fabulous and productive week!

Remember:

"The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible." --Arthur C. Clarke

42 comments:

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Amber Leigh Williams said...

Chiron,

You're amazing!!!! It seems I can't start the week without a dose of motivation. Reading your posts is like strapping a rocket to my muse. Thanks!

Love the Madeleine L'Engle quote. "A Circle of Quiet" is one of my favorite books :)

Amber

Amber Leigh Williams
www.amberleighwilliams.com
Steamy Romantic Adventure & Suspense
FOX & HOUND, SR Reviews "Outstanding Read"

Chiron O'Keefe said...

Hmmm... MP3, thanks for stopping by and leaving an advertisement. *snort*

--Chiron

Chiron O'Keefe said...

Amber,

Thanks so much!! What a fabulous thing to hear. *dancing around the room*

Madeleine wrote stories that still sweep me away... Read "A Wrinkle in Time" in high school and my whole world changed... *fond smile*

Thanks again for stopping by. Now let's get to writing!! Yay!

--Chiron

TJ said...

Well said, as always. Here's to motivation!

Best to you and hopes for a productive week.

Chicki said...

Quote: "Ideas dancing in the air. Words transforming into stories before our astonished eyes."

I'm always amazed when I finish a story and look at a whole world created from my imagination.

Freakin' cool is right!

Lea Schizas - Author/Editor said...

I've read your blog on several occasions but never left a comment so apologies for that.

My theory about writers is that we must possess a bit of nuttiness, otherwise our worlds aren't as zany as they should be. :)

Loved your post and quotations. Thank you for a great motivational read.

Lea Schizas
http://leaschizaseditor.com

Joanne said...

Ah, Chiron, As always I get so much inspiration through your BlogSpot! They have inspired me to get even more into my own writing and I somehow know some day I too will get published. Right now I am working on a book of Prose, my personal Anthology you could say. It has started off well and I re-read and refer to your ever helpful tips and words of encouragement. Thank you!! I love it!
~ Joanne

Dawne' Dominique said...

Hi, Chiron. This was a wonderful blog to read, and so very true. As authors, our minds are so involved in our work that even little everyday things can be incorporated into a novel we have in the making. I plan on reading this again in the future. I found it inspiring. Thank you for sharing. : )

Dawne'

Renee Knowles said...

Wow, Chiron, what a powerful post. Sometimes, when we are in the middle of a story, and the writing is tough, we forget the magic. Thanks for reminding us!

Renee
www.reneeknowles.com

Moira Rogers said...

Thanks, Chiron! As always, this motivational essay really picked me up at a time when I needed it. Now I want to write even more!

Misty Evans said...

What would I do without your weekly motivation, Chiron? I believe your trade wind in many writers' sails. Thank you for the inspiration!

Lyn said...

Love your Blog, Chiron - it's what keeps 'my muse' going! :)

I always look forward to your words of motivation.

deboradale said...

This was just what I needed today, Chiron. Sometimes the writing becomes simply 'work' and I forget to enjoy it. This part revved me the most, "We're free to leap out of the airplane a dozen different ways, knowing we can back up and jump again and again and again. Why play it safe? Have faith and tell Your Story Your Way."
Love that! Thank you!
~Debbie

l.cote said...

Chiron,
I'm always astounded at the delicate balance an author must have between enough pride and faith to write, but not enough hubris and bravado to fail miserably.
You do have a hope-filled pen.
Lyn Cote
www.LynCote.net

Traci said...

great job Chiron!Very motivational and the quotes are a terrific touch, lol

Traci

Lisa Marie Wilkinson said...

Hi Chiron!
You never fail to inspire me. I love your upbeat attitude and I always come away from your pieces with an "I can do this!" attitude. Thanks!

Beth Trissel said...

Thank you, Chiron. I needed that more than you can know.

Cassie Exline said...

I loved the "We Are Magic. Ideas dancing in the air. Words transforming into stories before our astonished eyes." That says it all for me.

Gina Black said...

Writing is a grand and glorious adventure. It's good to have friends on the journey with us.

Sierra Donovan said...

Chiron, thanks for reminding me that the best thing about writing is the joy of creation! It's so easy for me to lose sight of that.

Judith Rochelle said...

Gret blog, Chiron. I think you said it for all of us.

Donna Sundblad said...

You've captured the essence of the writer's life, Chiron. In my book Pumping Your Muse, I use writing exercises and prompts to help people learn how to take those bursts of illumination to create a world, characters and even a plot.

Donna Sundblad

Liviania said...

Great post - I particularly like the simple words "You Have Created a New World."

Sandy said...

Chiron, since I've been reading your posts, I have been so inspired to write. Lovely, job.

Sandy

Colleen said...

Great motivation and inspiration as always, Chiron. I can't miss a week.

Colleen

Caffey said...

As a reader, this so applies to anywhere in our lives and reading this so applied to my day today. Thanks for the inspiration!

Lorna said...

Thanks for your blogs Chiron. You are so inspiring. They are bright, interesting and easy to read.
You have me thinking more seriously about begining my first story. I have the 'bones' of it, now I need the whole body.
Thank you again
Kind regards
Lorna

Ryshia Kennie said...

Hi Chiron

Great post but then all your posts are. I've even shared a few with a writer friend or two that was having a down day. And I will certainly tell my story my way! Thanks.

Ryshia

Kate Pearce said...

It's good to remember that there is an element of magic in the creative process! Thanks for reminding me!

Aasiyah Qamar said...

So very true, Chiron, and just the kind of fuel our latent inspiration-fire needs!

Thanks for another good motivation dose!

gabriellel66 said...

Thanks! This came at just the right time for me.

Evie Alexis said...

Very well said and nicely put. Always glad to find sources for inspiration out there. :)

Tess said...

Great blog, Chiron! Wonderful, and as always, inspirational!!!

Linda Ford said...

Your essays are always so encouraging. Keep up the good work.

Linda Ford

Chiron O'Keefe said...

Thank you ALL for such lovely comments. I feel so blessed...

And now I can't wait to get back to writing either! *laughs*

You've all inspired me.

Write ON! *grin*

--Chiron

Anonymous said...

Your humor and creative inspirations keep me going Chiron!

BTW, Madeleine L'Engle not only made me want to write when I was a kid (and to swim with dolphins, fly with archangels, and fight evil on all kinds of levels... can we ever ask for more as a writer than to inspire that in a reader?) but the Hitchhiker series convinced me I was nuts enough to create a little magic and enjoy the ride.

Keep the inspiration coming - you rock!
Cathy

Angelique Newman said...

Writing is one of the few careers that lets you tests the range of your emotions:)

I try to explore it when no one else is testing me. lol

Good blog, Chiron

Chiron O'Keefe said...

Cathy,

Thanks for such a lovely comment! Madeleine had that effect on me too. My first "magic" books were the complete Oz series. I must have read them over and over.

I still remember my childhood longing for Glinda to read about me in her magic book and realize I belonged in Oz! A message to the Wizard and Poof! I'd be there. *smile*

I love that: the Hitchhiker series convinced me I was nuts enough to create a little magic and enjoy the ride. Hah! Very cool!

You rock too, woman!!

--Chiron

Chiron O'Keefe said...

Angelique,

Hah! Funny, that. Yup, the full range of emotions. Now there's a darn good reason to get to typing!

Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment!

--Chiron

Diana Troldahl said...

I've come to depend on your essays each week. Have you thought of putting a collection together? I would love to have it by my writing desk, to open whenever my enthusiasm flags.
Thanks so much for all you do!
Diana

Chiron O'Keefe said...

Diana,

What a lovely comment. Music to my ears. Thank-YOU for your kind thoughts. Maybe someday I can put together such a collection.

The thought warms my soul.

Bless you!
--Chiron