Sunday, September 20, 2009

We Create Magic

I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be. ~Douglas Adams

For many of us, writing is a happy accident. Whether we meticulously plot out every scene in advance or jump into the fray with a vague idea (knowing our future self will be in charge of editing out the dreck), we often find that our best writing is a surprise to ourselves. Hopefully, to our readers as well.

That's where faith comes into the picture. We need to trust that somewhere in the caverns of our unconscious the story resides in full. Like the proverbial block of marble, the completed book already exists—we need to carve away what Isn't the story to find it.

"Like an old gold-panning prospector, you must resign yourself to digging up a lot of sand from which you will later patiently wash out a few minute particles of gold ore." ~Dorothy Bryant

Outlining, editing, revising, querying… Work-work-work, where's the fun? Yup, being a writer isn't the happy-go-lucky traipse through springtime flowers we imagine when we first begin tapping those keys. *sigh* Ah, but the rewards are indescribable. As our unique tale emerges, we delight in how smooth the story feels, how solid the sculpture appears, how grand and glorious it is to be a writer! There's no denying the effort involved yet... what an amazing triumph.

Whether the story snaps in at eleven pages or stretches for three hundred and fifty, You Have Created A New World.

A world where characters gasp and giggle, struggle and strive, kiss and snuggle, and dare to prevail against dire odds. You Create Magic. Which is why writers more than anyone understand the element of surprise. Hah! When we re-read a particularly good day's work, we might find ourselves sucking in a startled breath when the words drop off. But… but… but… we sputter… where's the rest? For one amazing instant, we *feel* the complete book and our linear consciousness wonders why the heck we stopped!

Relish the shiver of excitement, my friend, because YOU are a writer!

That's the way things come clear. All of a sudden. And then you realize how obvious they've been all along. ~Madeleine L'Engle

Those bursts of illumination aren't constant. Like fireflies, they flit in and out providing flashes of inspiration when our inner sky grows dark. Yet every writer experiences a similar rush—a combination of exhilaration and anticipation. We Are Magic. Ideas dancing in the air. Words transforming into stories before our astonished eyes.

How freaking cool is that?

This week, let's celebrate the magic. Recognize how the process of writing takes us places we never imagined we could go.

"I think that wherever your journey takes you, there are new gods waiting there, with divine patience - and laughter." ~Susan M. Watkins

Let's recognize writing isn't about playing it safe. Jump into the deep water! Walk the tightrope without a net!

"To do anything truly worth doing, I must not stand back shivering and thinking of the cold and danger, but jump in with gusto and scramble through as well as I can."Og Mandino

Writing is a grand and glorious adventure. An opportunity not only for self-exploration, an opportunity to be daring and freely take risks. We're not actually skydiving here. We're free to leap out of the airplane a dozen different ways, knowing we can back up and jump again and again and again. Why play it safe? Have faith and tell Your Story Your Way…

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did so. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.Mark Twain

Let's have a fabulous and productive week!


"The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible." --Arthur C. Clarke

Now, do you have any tales of magic to share? Any times when your writing took you by surprise?

--Chiron O'Keefe

Also featured at Pop Culture Divas and Between The Lines.


Celia Yeary said...

CHIRON--yes, I do like creating new worlds, but I never thought of it that way. In my first release, I created an entire ranch community, complete with buildings, corrals, and homes--and the characters. that place is as real to me as...well, not really. But I can conjure up a place like that and remember it as if I'd really been there. Odd, isn't it?
For a while now, I've done little real writing. this promo stuff can really suck you dry. I think I'm seeing the light, but then, more appears for me to do. Thanks for the reminder that writing si the important thing. Celia

Miss Mae said...

Well, I try to stay in control, Chiron. I have an aim, and a goal, and I make sure my story arrives there...after some zigs and zags, sure, but it better get there...after all, I'm the one driving, right? LOL

Stacey Joy Netzel said...

Chiron, in the middle of rewrites on a book I wrote back in 2004, I've thankfully come across a few magic moments to balance out the other 'stuff'. :)

Celia, I have a few ranches like that in my mind, too.

Kathy said...

Funny but what you said is true. We have to create our own little world for our characters and their life and their story. I've been told to learn to to create a world I am still strugglign with that I see it in my mind but it doesn't quite make it to the page. Funny though I was using a condo in my current wip thinking about the apartments I lived in my last two years of college. When I Googled condos on Maui they don't have connecting balconie as we did lol. So the idea of what i have my heroine doing doesn't exactly work like I planned it. I have to fix that when I edit it think of an alternative route to escape lol. ALthough they could be on a ground floor. I just will just have to see what happens lol.

Tiffany James said...

Ah, the ol' playin' it safe routine...

I'm guilty! I've always been a pleaser and an avoider of conflict. Ha! How in the world did I end up as a writer? Not exactly a safe haven for a girl like me.

Thanks for encouraging me to step outside the safe zone, Chiron.

I love your blog posts! I've been missing them lately.


Linda LaRoque said...

Hi Chiron,
It is wonderful when those happy accidents occur, when our words turn out to be so much better than we anticipated and we can sit back and say, "Aaaaa, wonderful." I just wish it could happen more often.
Great post!

Chiron said...

Hello Celia!

I often hear from authors that promoting is not only time-consuming but can diminish the creative urge considerably, so you're not alone in this. Sometimes it helps to let yourself just play around with the 'world' you're creating to get remotivated.

Sending you inspirational energy and a renewed urge to create your own magic.

Happy writing, Celia!


Chiron said...

Hey Miss Mae!

Yup, you're the one doing the driving! *grin* Zig-zagging can be fun too, right? You're a wonderful inspiration to many, my dear! Do keep writing!


Chiron said...

Hello Stacey!

Wow, quite a challenge to rewrite a past book. Fun, inspiring and at times, daunting, I assume? Glad you're finding the 'magic' and staying on track. Can't wait to read it!!

Thanks for stopping by, my dear!


Chiron said...

Hey there Kathy,

Ah, yes, the dilemma between factual and fictional. I've always wondered how people can compose without tons of research! Argh, ey?

One way out of your particular dilemma is to create a new condo building in Maui, mentioning, of course, the unusual connecting balcony so rare on the island! *grin*

Good luck with it. Sounds exciting!!


Chiron said...

Hi there Tiffany!

Hah! I'm a playing it safe gal too. It's been such a stretch learning to leap off that cliff. *laughs* Note that I'm a rhythm guitarist not lead.

Thanks so much for visiting, Tiffany. Hope you're writing up a storm!


Chiron said...

Hello Linda!

Boy, you and me both. It seems though, the more we write, the more often it happens, eh? When the subconscious steps in and we ride the wave for all it's worth.

Here's to keeping those creative 'surfboards' ready for the next wave. *grin*

Thanks for being here!


Anonymous said...

"We need to trust that somewhere in the caverns of our unconscious the story resides in full."

I needed to read that - I'm adding lots of words to my wip but I've begun to question the plot. Agonizing over which way this book was going, I dug out the synopsis I had already written and forgotten. There it was - the plot I had already figured out. :)

Thanks, Chiron, for the reminder.

Chiron said...

Hi Kathy!

You know I did the Exact Same Thing. *laughs* It's amazing to discover we really did know what we were doing. Very cool indeed, my dear!

Thanks so much for stopping by.