Monday, April 14, 2008

Our Secret Power

A wonderful friend, a comrade-in-words, and my sworn soul sister sent me a lovely card, which begins:

“Follow Your Destiny, Wherever It Leads You.” --Vicki Silvers

The words inspire and yet also challenge me. Why? Because the countless books on “manifesting your dreams” or “the secret to success” often seem to obsess over the need to control your destiny. When things reach beyond our control, we feel helpless or worse, as if we’re doing something wrong.

“We can’t control the wind, but we can adjust the sails.” –Unknown

Writers often get this instinctively. How many here have veered away from the outline or, for the many pantsers here, realized that the characters were taking you in a direction you absolutely did not expect? Just the other day I muttered to myself that I better be careful or I would write myself into a corner.

Even in the worlds WE create, there’s still this element of unpredictability, a realization that we can’t control everything. There is no magic wand. No magic spell. Except perhaps one…

Never-ending Optimism.

This the secret power each and every one of us holds deep within our soul. When we choose to activate the secret power, we often find exactly what we need at exactly the right time.

“You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you just might find, you get what you need.” –Jagger/Richards

What if destiny seems to lead me to something I don’t want? And what if that something turns out to be just what I need? That’s the magic of our secret power at work. If the winds change, it’s pretty darn clear that unless you have faith that you can navigate and trust in your skill as a sailor, your shaking hands won’t be able to adjust those sails and… Hel-lo, Davy Jones’ Locker.

So we need to work with our destiny, realize that life is a relationship. Just as we’ve learned that cooperation is key to a successful relationship with loved ones, friends and coworkers, we also need to embrace the cooperative relationship between Author and Book, between Self and Destiny.

This same wonderful, delightful, most appreciated friend told me that she realized, had her book been picked up last year, she might never have joined RWA. Yet the friendships, the camaraderie was such a joy to her, she believed Destiny knew what she needed. I was touched and more than a little astonished. I certainly wouldn’t choose a friendship with ME over a book contract. *chuckle* And her words gave me pause because I wondered… how many wonderful, delightful, incredible, NECESSARY ‘things’ might pass us by in our fervent quest for publication, our need to promote, our desire for the best-selling book. We push because we believe we have to, yet our secret power is always there.

Never-ending Optimism.

If we remember to tap into that secret power, we can afford to take a breath now and then. We can afford to relax and TRUST that our destiny is working with us. When we rely on our secret magic power, we give more power to our greater self. How many here have wrestled with a plot quandary, only to have the answer come when you finally turn off the effort and just relax? I swear, I HAVE to install a waterproof recorder in my shower since so many of my plot points come to me there.

Last summer, hubby and I fell in love with a new series called Burn Notice. The main character is a spy—half Derek Flint (Our Man Flint) and half MacGyver. What I love is when faced with impossible odds, his face twists into a tight smile and he says, “Hand me that bobby pin, a bottle of avocado oil and some spackle.” *heh-heh* He doesn’t even entertain doubt. He knows he has to win. He is totally in touch with his secret magic power.

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity, the optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” --Winston Churchill

Sometimes, destiny leads us to unexpected places and the greatest challenge is to keep our eyes open to the new possibilities before us. To recognize that there is opportunity for life, for love, for success, for hope in every minute of every day.
As writers, we need this more than anyone does. We need to nurture our secret magic power. Unpublished writers believe that once we hold the golden contract or sign with the all-powerful agent, our heavy lifting comes to an end. Published writers know that it’s just the beginning. No matter what phase we’re in, we need to cherish and cultivate our secret magic power. We need to Believe In Our Destiny.

Oh, and one more thing… WE NEED TO WRITE!! *grin*

This week, let’s all take a breath now and then, let’s nurture our secret magic power and get in touch with our optimism, and most of all, let’s resolve to trust in our destiny…

We Are Writers...


Allison Knight said...

If you ever get a chance to hear Sherrilyn Kenyon speak, don't miss it. She has all three. I'll even add one more. Always moved forward, don't look back.

Celia Yeary said...

Love the article! I just read a sports story about Tiger Woods' ability to win, win, win.(I'm a golfer and a fan)He has that optimism that he will win--every time he plays. He doesn't always, but has and will win more tournaments than anyone else on the planet. He believes in himself.I love people who go all out for whatever they want, and I'm pretty much that way. But first, one must be optimistic. Good job, and thanks for the lift.
Celia Yeary

Debbie Wallace said...

Great post, you can't hear me but I'm clapping! I think the real problem is that we live in a rush rush society and want everything yesterday. I'm probably the most impatient person you could ever meet, and I'm slowly coming around to realize I need to slow down and smell the roses. Good things have come to me and will continue to come to me, WHEN the time is right:)

Chiron O'Keefe said...

Hi Allison!

I did get to hear Sherrilyn speak at the PRO retreat last year. What an amazing and inspiring story she shares!

And yes, always look forward, never look back! Good!

Thanks for stopping by...


Chiron O'Keefe said...


That man has to be the epitome of optimism! So many successful atheletes share how they have used visualization to acheive their goals. Optimism is Faith with a Smile. *grin*

Thanks for the great comments!


Chiron O'Keefe said...

Ah, Debbie...

What an excellent point. Yes, *timing* is everything. You know, there's been times when I've been delayed to appointments and nearly had an anxiety attack. Yet, when I arrive, turns out the person is running late. *laughs*

I've learned that the Big Picture is always there. We just can't always see it.

Here's to Smelling Those Roses!!


Sandy said...

Hi Chiron,
Great inspirational post. I used to rush all the time, but now I'm getting older and have learned to slow down.

I knew you were an optimist by your smile. I'm one, too.


Chiron O'Keefe said...

Thanks, Sandy!

You, my friend, are the best sort of optimist--always planting those seeds and encouraging us to grow with your eternal sunshine...


We share the same smile and I'm so glad to know you!


Donna Sundblad said...

Hi Chiron,

I love that quote, "We can’t control the wind, but we can adjust the sails." I lead a goals oriented group for writers and this is the basic premise I try to get across to them. Writing goals need to be flexible so when life takes an unexpected turn we can still make progress.

Donna Sundblad

deboradale said...

As always, Chiron, I come away from your posts feeling inspired and invigorated. I'm starting late today and though my "book in a week'class has ended, I'm still going forward as if it's still on. I was disappointed I couldn't start earlier in the day today, but after reading this, I'm ready to start now. Thanks for another great pep talk!

Chiron O'Keefe said...


I love that quote too!

And you're right! It's really so vital for us writers to realize the need for flexibility. Particularly because sometimes Real Life does interfere, and then of course, creativity itself is so intangible.

We're shaping clouds here and we're as dependent on our skill as we are on our "inner weather".

Thanks so much for your comments!


Chiron O'Keefe said...


You're welcome! Good for you in maintaining the same benchmark for your writing. Once you establish a Great Goal, why settle for less? Setting goals helps us to stay on track. Write On! *smile*

We need to visualize that finish line AND keep those fingers flying. That's the key to success!!

Keep writing, everyone!


Cheryl Norman said...

What a great post.

Chiron O'Keefe said...

Aw, Cheryl... Thank-you!!