Monday, March 30, 2009

Free Your Dreams…

"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?

Go-go-GO! Write-write-WRITE!!

Smiles,
Chiron O'Keefe

Featured at: Pop Culture Divas

13 comments:

Captain Hook said...

My goal for this week seems so easy, but considering how much real life has interfered lately, it really isn't.

I want to write. I haven't worked on anything in over a month and I feel like I'm going insane from it.

Kathy Holmes said...

Thank you for the Monday morning inspiration. I have 4 wips in 4 genres - I can't choose my favorite. I'm waiting to see which one chooses me. Will this work to my detriment? I don't know. I'm not sure I can do anything but do what it is I do and be myself. It keeps me sane - to write the story that calls me.

Captain Hook - just do it - do any writing - you'll feel better.

Chiron said...

Hi Captain!

It sucks when the outside world interferes. *grrrr* You have my sympathies. I'm rooting for you to get some great writing in this month!

Smiles,
Chiron

Chiron said...

Hey Kathy!

You're so welcome!

I think every writer finds their own method that works best. If you're managing four WIP's, I think focusing on the one that *feels* right at the time makes perfect sense.

Happy writing this week!

Smiles,
Chiron

Celia Yeary said...

Hello, yes, it's me! Celia. Now, this little pep talk might be your masterpiece, Chiron. I'll need motivation a little later--right now, I'm finished galleys for my next full novel, and my short novel already has a release date--Sept. 16. so, after this, I'll have three pieces to promo instead of the one. Promo isn't fun, exactly, but it's not serious or full of tension. So, what to do next is already on the horizon.Like you, should I try another genre-so many choices. We'll see! thanks, friend--Celia

Stacey Joy Netzel said...

Chiron, wonderful post, as always. :) Have a great week!

Anonymous said...

Great post, Chiron.

Celia, I think all parts of writing including PR can be dangerous. You put yourself out there in different ways but you're out there and evaluated. Good reason I always keep antacids close by. :-)

Writing has risks even when life interferes and keeps you from the keyboard. The more time away, for whatever the reason, the harder it is to get back in the flow. I've heard many published authors say this and I know it's true for me. That's why I really do try to do something creative everyday, even when life throws me curve balls and trust me I've dodged many and been thunked by more. :-)

Mary Jo/Casey

Anonymous said...

Great post, Chiron.

Celia, I think all parts of writing including PR can be dangerous. You put yourself out there in different ways but you're out there and evaluated. Good reason I always keep antacids close by. :-)

Writing has risks even when life interferes and keeps you from the keyboard. The more time away, for whatever the reason, the harder it is to get back in the flow. I've heard many published authors say this and I know it's true for me. That's why I really do try to do something creative everyday, even when life throws me curve balls and trust me I've dodged many and been thunked by more. :-)

Mary Jo/Casey

Sandy said...

Hey, Chiron, glad to hear you're going to take a chance on a little suspense in your life. Grin.

Great post as always.

Hugs,
Sandy

Chiron said...

Hello Celia!

Thanks so much for your lovely comment. Bless your heart!

My goodness, woman, you are just Rolling Along!! Woo-hoo!! I'm so proud of you!! And yes, what next, indeed?

This is the exciting part... Have fun with your next project, and do keep me on the loop with your promotions.

Smiles,
Chiron

Chiron said...

Hello Mary Jo/Casey!

Yes, writing does have risks, and the time away can make it that much easier to stay away. *shudder* Perish the thought!!

Good idea to try and do something creative every single day. Today I'm working on a post for Pop Culture Divas and also pulling up my WIP.

Thanks so much for stopping by! May we utilize those curve balls and hit a home run!

Smiles,
Chiron

Chiron said...

Hi Sandy!

Yup, taking the leap. So far, I'm loving it. We'll see if the outside world does too. *laughs*

But what the heck, it's a wild ride! *grin*

Hugs back!
Chiron

Linda LaRoque said...

Great post, Chiron. So true about the taking risks, writing outside the box. It's something I struggled with when writing Flames. And I loved it and learned so much.
Good luck with your suspense. It's wonderful that you're having fun with this new venture.
Linda
www.lindalaroque.com