"Courage is the power to let go of the familiar." –Raymond Lindquist
Back when I first learned to type, the teacher addressed the class. "Would those who already know a little about typing please raise their hands." The reason? The novices would require more attention to 'unlearn' their bad habits.
Learning music, it's the same situation. My hubby growled in frustration at my tendency to drag the pick across the strings instead of striking them with intent. Yet with my decades of playing haphazardly *laughs* it really took focus to retrain myself to be more precise.
Not just focus. Courage. I needed to embrace a willingness to be a beginner all over again. Scary stuff indeed.
Writers face this same dilemma every time they attempt something new. Whether it be a new book, a new genre, a new scene, a new revision.
"The important thing is this: To be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become." –Charles Dubois
Each rung we climb takes us higher, but sometimes it feels as if we daren't look down nor up, lest the realization of our momentous undertaking cause our fingers to quake and our hearts constrict with terror. Yet unless we open our eyes, we may believe clinging to that rung is safe when the only practical solution is to keep moving forward, one page at a time.
"It's not so much that we're afraid of change or so in love with the old ways, but it's that place in between that we fear . . . . It's like being between trapezes. It's Linus when his blanket is in the dryer. There's nothing to hold on to." –Marilyn Ferguson
Realizing that our prose needs work, that we have a tendency to lean on crutch words or phrases, or that our characters need fleshing out to become more than just stick figures on a page can be daunting. That's why we need to remind ourselves that while the process of writing does require precision and an evolving ability to craft stories, we dare not let this overwhelm our sense of adventure. As Helen Keller pointed out, "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing."
To be a storyteller requires us to take risks. To unfurl those literary wings and leap off the cliff, soaring to the heights of our imagination.
"Yes, risk taking is inherently failure-prone. Otherwise, it would be called sure-thing-taking." ~Tim McMahon
"A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent in doing nothing." –George Bernard Shaw
After three books in one genre, I switched to suspense. At first, I bubbled over with excitement. *laughs* Then the doubts set in. Could I really do this? Did I have it in me to create a villain? Could I create tension, manage the pacing, work through the mystery?
All good questions. Only one answer: You'll never know until you try.
"Progress always involves risks. You can't steal second base and keep your foot on first." ~Frederick B. Wilcox
My passion for this new genre astounds me. The story is slowly taking shape. The characters becoming more real. Even my villain is manifesting more clearly each day I devote to delving deep into my book.
My risk-taking venture is opening my mind to new possibilities and generating more excitement as a result. Unless you take risks, you are in danger of becoming bored or worse yet, complacent. Seize your wildest fantasies and fling them onto the printed page. Make the biggest splash possible within your creative pool, you can always clean up the puddles later.
"We fail more often by timidity than by over-daring." ~David Grayson
If you're feeling a loss of motivation, it could be simply that you're not splashing enough water! *laughs* Open up a fresh page and give yourself permission to write crazy-ass, unbelievable things. What's the wildest action your character could take? What's the most shocking statement your character could make? Splash those words onto the page and at the end you might discover a welcome surprise. At the very least, embracing spontaneity and kicking aside the usual restraints will liberate your soul. Not a bad thing at all. *smile*
"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I'll try again tomorrow." ~Mary Anne Radmacher
In honor of the changing seasons, let's 'spring' into action and ignite our passion once more. Remember this is Your Book, Your Choice, Your Life. No matter what the outside world demands or desires, The Power is in Your Hands.
Be free to be yourself.
Be free to dream…
"Dreams are free, so free your dreams." ~Astrid Alauda
Any goals to share?
My focus this week:
I Will Persist. I Will Take Risks.
How about you?
Featured at: Pop Culture Divas