Monday, July 21, 2008

A Single Word

“You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing that we call "failure" is not the falling down, but the staying down.” —Mary Pickford

Being a writer requires many qualities to succeed. Talent, perseverance, passion, persistence, and of course, the ability to learn, grow, and evolve. Yet few focus on an essential ingredient in this engaging slop of characteristics: Courage.

Writers must have unwavering courage to face each day. Courage to dare to begin a new story. Courage to push through not only our fictional “black moment” but also our own inner obstacles to finish what began from nothing more than a promise and a dream. Courage to edit and revise what we THOUGHT was perfect. Courage to query and submit (repeatedly). Courage to face the reviews and the next project. Damn.

Courage to pick ourselves up, when staying down is so very tempting…

So how do we do it? Well, as we all know, part of it is involuntary. We Are Writers. We have no choice. We simply must put words to paper. We must write—it is survival. So, in response to our need for Fresh Air and a Fresh Start, let’s look at some survival tactics. *smile*

Embracing a New Beginning…

“The greatest masterpieces were once only pigments on a palette.” --Henry S. Hoskins

Every artist starts at the exact same place. The beginning. As you type that first word remember this... all the authors you admire most, every one of them begins with The First Word. The playing field is always level. No matter how accomplished or how novice, each writer must begin the novel and finish it. That never changes. Each chapter, each page, each sentence all starts at the same place. The first word at The Beginning.

Write What You Love…

“It's a helluva start, being able to recognize what makes you happy." --Lucille Ball

It really is… *grin* Lucille starred in a CBS radio program, “My Favorite Wife” with hubby Desi Arnaz. CBS asked Lucy to develop the show for television. The initial pilot failed and the couple took the show on the road as a vaudeville act, which resulted in a smash success. *snap!* CBS picked up the soon-to-be-classic comedy sensation. Yet here’s a bit of trivia… When they first began filming, the show fell flat. Desi realized exactly what his wife needed in order to shine. He brought in a studio audience and A Star Was Born. Knowing what makes us happy, both in our personal life AND in our creative pursuits… that’s one helluva good start. *wink*

Every Day a New Opportunity…

"Every day brings a chance for you to draw in a breath, kick off your shoes, and dance." –Oprah Winfrey

YES! I love this quote, not only becomes I am inclined to do just that at any given moment *cough* but also because This is the way to approach our writing. Breathe deep, kick off the restrictions and let our imagination, our love of writing, our joy Dance Across Each Page. This is not just a labor of love. This is a dance. Let’s try to remember…

Each Struggle Teaches Us, Strengthens Us, Gives Us More to Work With…

“You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star.”— Friedrich Nietzsche

Ah…. There it is. The conflicts and the struggles. The sting of defeat, the exuberant laughter. Each tender, fragile moment that touches and sometimes even shatters our vulnerable self is a gift. The gift of an unpredictable life bursting with potential. The potential that each writer here can tap into. Let the chaos reign, let the birthing begin!

Stealing A Few Precious Moments To Write…

“It is better to begin in the evening than not at all.”— English proverb

Some of the best writers, and the most successful authors, started with little time to spare. Carving out moments when the first rays of dawn barely pierce through the morning’s fog or fending off the need for sleep to tap out a page or two before tumbling into bed. Some here sketch out ideas between children’s naptime and the scramble for a family meal. I’m in constant awe and touched with admiration for everyone here that masters those time constraints and manages to produce books, query agents and editors, edit and revise, and all that a career in writing requires. Take just a moment (I know you have few to spare!) and acknowledge your strength, your courage and your astonishing persistence. You Are Amazing—You Write…

When I began this essay, I hoped to provide some hope and inspiration for all those who desperately need that bit of fresh air and now, I realize my goal has evolved yet again. I want to express my appreciation, my own humble admiration for all the writers whose talent and spirit is matched by their amazing perseverance. You Are Incredible. Thanks for the constant inspiration, and for the never-ending examples of what A Writer Can Do.

In this spirit I want to offer a quote, one of my very favorites, from an author whose work has touched millions of hearts. From a story that resonates through the ages.

“When the first baby laughed for the first time, the laugh broke into a thousand pieces and they went skipping about and that was the beginning of fairies.”— J.M. Barrie ( 1860-1937) Peter Pan, Act1

Remember, always, We Are The Magic-Makers. We Are Writers!

“The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.”—Ralph Waldo Emerson

And the creation of a thousand books begins with a single word…

What are we waiting for, let’s Write!

Goals for this week:
Weekly Essay.
Complete reread of WIP.
Rewrite Synop.

How about you?

Write-Write-Write! Go-go-GO!

--Chiron

12 comments:

Chicki said...

Oh Chiron, that was wonderful, especially since I just finished sending off yet another query to an agent. Each time I do that I get a queasy feeling inside, yet I know it's a necessary part of the journey. I didn't think of myself as brave until I read this entry.

You are such a wonderful encouragement to so many people you may never meet face to face, but you can be sure you've touched their lives.

Thank you again for making me see myself in a different light.

Don't forget to drop by my web site and read my blog.

Chicki
www.freewebs.com/chicki663

Christine London said...

You do indeed provide more than a "speck of light". Thanks for bringing a tear of recognition and a whistful smile yet again.

Christine London
www.christinelondon.com

Sandy said...

Chiron,
You write such inspiring posts, and they are helpful to me. I wish you were around when I would get so down on myself after each rejection letter or contest loss.

Now, that said, I don't agree that you have to have talent to write, but you do have to learn to write stories. I have seen such wonderful talented writers fall by the wayside over the years, and I'm still here. I'm only here because I persisted not because of talent. I learned my craft and am still learning. Talent would be a bonus, but you don't have to have it.

Hugs,
Sandy

Chiron said...

Chicki,

Once again, you posted a wonderful insightful article on your blog!!

Thanks so much for your lovely comments. It makes my heart sing to think I'm helping other writers Keep the Faith.

Good luck on your submission! I'm keeping my fingers and toes crossed for you!

Hugs,
Chiron

Chiron said...

Christine,

What a lovely thing to hear! Bless you for that...

Glad you liked this week's essay. Thanks SO Much for reading!

Smiles,
Chiron

Chiron said...

Sandy,

Rejection sucks. I know how painful it can be. *sigh*

Actually I think of talent not as an inherited gift but an ability you can hone. When I first started to sing, the fellow who initially took on the task of pushing me into a decent voice, referred to me as "A bullfrog doing a bad imitation of Mick Jagger."

*snort*

No "talent" there. But I persevered. Learned, practiced, struggled and pushed until I could not only hold a note but sing well enough to perform in public. I developed talent.

So, I do believe you learn your craft and while some have natural talent, others (like you and me) develop their talent.

Trust me, if you didn't have talent, you wouldn't have sold a story!! So embrace your new status, woman. You Have Talent!

Hugs,
Chiron

Wendi said...

Great post, Chiron! :) And exactly what I needed to hear today. I'm 8000 words from finishing my latest book and it's a hard one for me. I just need to begin...with a single word...and I'm sure those other 7,999 will follow just like they have before.
Thanks!

Wendi Darlin

Renee Knowles said...

Hi Chiron! Thanks again for a fabulous post!!

Hugs,

Renee
www.reneeknowles.com

Chiron said...

Wendi,

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Yuppers, one word at a time... Go-go-GO!!

Smiles,
Chiron

Chiron said...

Hi Renee!

Thanks!! Always so nice to see your smiling face...

Hugs!
Chiron

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post, Chiron. As usual.
I am impressed with your hope, your optimism, and the inspiration you provide. I don't write, however, I continue to find your blog inspiring regarding the courage to continue to face challenges in life. Thank you for being you.
love, Cathy

Chiron said...

Wonderful Cathy,

Thanks so much. You are such a love...

Hugs and love,
Chiron