Monday, September 8, 2008

Becoming the Butterfly...

“A blank piece of paper is God's way of saying how hard it is to be God.” --Sidney Sheldon

I love this quote. *smile*

Authors are the Ultimate Creators of a Universe. A highly personal, crazy, wacky world where our characters are expected to ponder, giggle, exchange sloppy kisses, and live happily ever after.

So… why am I staring at a blank screen and tossing around potential plot points as if they were nothing more than soggy croutons in a limp salad?

“Creativity is a type of learning process where the teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.” – Arthur Koestler

I have three books under my belt. Another half-way through. Creating these manuscripts has taught me much. An unmistakable lesson is how writing fiction really is a lifelong learning process. It does create a split personality of sorts. After all, there are hundreds of techniques and “rules of writing” and yet there’s only one person who knows what method works best for you. And sometimes she’s at a loss as well, eh? *grin*

There’s no mistaking the rush of excitement when a moment of clarity sizzles inside the brain. The two sides of our being mesh and in that moment we become the creation we struggle to create. We Are WRITERS!!

“There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it's going to be a butterfly.” --Buckminster Fuller

All we have to do is move past that “blank page.” Jeez-Louise! So… what do we do? How do we push past the frustration born out of our need to *see* the theme, the dark moment, the turning point, the inner conflict, the character arc, and everything we’ve decided is essential to making a good story?

"Life is trying things to see if they work." ~~Ray Bradbury

There’s really only one way. We experiment. We doodle out ideas in our brain. Mix and match possibilities. We take a chance.

Indecisiveness is my curse. My biggest stumbling block. What I realized is that I needed to let go of my debilitating fear of Making The Wrong Choice.

Hah!

Here’s what I found. There are no wasted words. If I write a whole chapter and later decide that direction isn’t working, I can easily start over. The time I spent writing has strengthened me and helped to improve my craft. Had I invested the same amount of time staring at blank screen fretting and worrying over a blank screen, I’d be left with nothing. And here’s the rub—I would no doubt feel worse than if I had “wasted” time writing a discarded chapter.

“I learned you have to trust yourself, be what you are, and do what you ought to do the way you should do it. You have got to discover you, what you do, and trust it.” ~~Barbra Streisand

It all boils down to trust. Trust that we are writers. We experiment and explore the potential within. We take risks with our ideas and dabble in intricate possibilities. We dare to move forward knowing that sometimes the direction will need to be changed. We do it all and more because…

We Are WRITERS.

And what do writers do? Writers WRITE.

Summer's golden glow will soon fade as the crisp clear taste of Autumn sweeps in. Ready to get some work done?

Let's set goals!

My husband threw a wonderful surprise my way. He's taking me along on his business trip to Hawaii! Yay! Why not mix business with a whole lot of pleasure, right? So this next week will be a balance between unexpected vacation planning and writing.

Goals:
Set up essays for posting while I'm away.
Write at least ten pages. *crosses fingers*
Plan, pack, clean, prepare. *grin*

How about you?

--Chiron O’Keefe

4 comments:

Sandy said...

Chiron,

I know it's hard, and I don't believe it ever gets easier. I'm still stewing over chapter 2 and 3 of my latest book. It's just not coming together.

Hang in there and enjoy your trip.

Hugs,
Sandy

Tiffany James said...

Chiron,

It's good to be back reading your inspiring words!

I have been struggling with all of the "rules and regulations" of writing. Your post this week helped me realize that, while it's important to know the rules, I'm the only one who can decide which ones work for my writing!

I also loved what you said about no words being wasted! Sometimes I feel like I am spinning my wheels, but you reminded me that every step (or word) on my journey is necessary and vital!

Thanks for all of your lovely, supportive words!

Tiffany

Chiron said...

Sandy,

I will enjoy my trip! Thanks!

You hang in there too. The combination of stuff going on in your life can't be helping the creative process. The "weather" will clear eventually and the writing will be more like smooth sailing.

Thanks for visiting!!

Smiles,
Chiron

Chiron said...

Tiffany!

So glad to see you back! The rules... *sigh* Boy oh boy, sometimes they make me feel like a tightrope walker! One mis-step and you tumble off without any hope of being published.

Well, I've chatted up more than a few NY published authors (and that's where we're heading, right?? *grin*) and they all agree on one point: Write YOUR Good Book. Even if people say, "Well you have to include This, That, Or The Other Thing if you want to be published," it's just not true.

I bet you and I can find a half-dozen authors each who break those very rules we're admonished to follow. Hah!

Another insightful author told me that writing books is like attending college. Maybe you aren't clear on your "major" until a few books down the line! More proof that no words are wasted. We get to where we want to be by Writing...

So... here's to Writing, Tiffany!!

Smiles and hugs,
Chiron