Monday, November 23, 2009

Write For Yourself and Celebrate Writing!

“Why do writers write? Because it isn't there.” ~~Thomas Berger

Thanksgiving, for those of us in America, has grown and evolved like most holidays. It all began when the Pilgrim’s celebrated a bountiful harvest with the Indians whose assistance made their survival possible. These days, families gather together to bond over generous servings of turkey (or Tofurki), endless hours of football and parades, and tasty bites of pumpkin pie. Yet tucked within the basting and the touchdowns is the root of an idea.


Being thankful for our family and friends, for prosperity and health, and for life itself. Now, let me add one more item to the list, Thankfulness for our innate creativity. Is there anything quite like the joy of being a writer? Penning marvelous adventures and exploring the journey of our characters, all within the cozy pages of a delicious novel. Yum-yum. Being a writer means having the power to create worlds. Wow. Could there be a bigger thrill?

“One nice thing about putting the thing away for a couple of months before looking at it is that you start to appreciate your own wit. Of course, this can be carried too far. But it's kind of cool when you crack up a piece of writing, and then realize you wrote it. I recommend this feeling.” ~~Steven Brust

Every so often, I love to rifle through my files and yank out tales written long ago. Even the fumbling attempts from several years back (when POV was still a baffling concept) astound me. I’m at a loss to name a greater pleasure than the sizzle of exhilaration when we come across a well-written sentence and think, Damn, I wrote that! Just like the fragrant homemade pumpkin pie beckoning to our taste buds from yonder table, the story our eager eyes pore over started with a few simple ingredients.

Yup, you stirred it up, baked it in a feverish oven of imagination, and after a suitable frame of time, produced a marvelous dish. Except for one little difference. It’s all yours, baby! There are no other ‘pies’ quite like the ones you bake.

We Are Originals.

How about that?

“The novel is an event in consciousness. Our aim isn't to copy actuality, but to modify and recreate our sense of it. The novelist is inviting the reader to watch a performance in his own brain.”~~George Buchanan

It’s astonishing, really. The courage and strength it takes not only to compose an entire novel (wow!) but to allow others to read it, well… that’s truly amazing. I’m thankful for the sheer audacity within my soul.

Think about it for a moment. Do you realize what a pioneer you are? How gutsy and innovative it is to even attempt to share your thoughts, your dreams, your private imaginings on the printed page?

What an incredible career we have. We Are Writers.

“Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.”~~ Cyril Connolly

Yet one of the dilemmas we face (and with rare fortitude) is The Big Choice. I salute us all for taking the risk to write what we please. To recognize that success is measured by happiness and self-satisfaction. Persistence does pay off (ask any published writer) but they’ll no doubt agree that unless you write a book which pleases you, no worldly success will satisfy. So when you read what you’ve written at the end of the day, if you feel a genuine rush of pleasure, my friend, You Are A Success.

“Forget all the rules. Forget about being published. Write for yourself and celebrate writing.” ~~Melinda Haynes

Celebrate and relish the joy that comes from this unique gift. To write is like nothing else. Nothing can compare. Harry Potter appeals to the masses because the stories tap into humankind’s deepest and fondest fantasy. The fantasy of being able to create magic. Well, dear friends, that’s exactly what we do every time we write a story or share insights or explore our hearts within the pages of a journal. We are magically creating something out of nothing but the barest wisp of imagination.

We Are Magic-Makers.

We Are Writers.

“I learned that you should feel when writing, not like Lord Byron on a mountain top, but like a child stringing beads in kindergarten - happy, absorbed and quietly putting one bead on after another.” ~~Brenda Ueland

Celebrate the elation, the delight, the tingle of pure pleasure as you write. This is a wonderful time to embrace this incredible opportunity of ours: to create magic on a regular basis. A perfect time to be thankful for the gift, for the spirit, and for the opportunity to express ourselves.

The world revolves around communication. Whether we explore communication by composing a heart-warming novel or an uplifting email, everyone shares this gift. Let’s take the time to acknowledge how special and vital communication is in our everyday lives.

Thanks to everyone for the comments, the emails, the stories, the letters, the cards, and the wonderful conversations you share. Thanks to my soul for creating within me the eternal desire to write.

I also want you all to know, how thankful I am to all my readers. You’re all ‘family’ and I appreciate each and every one of you. When I lift a glass in celebration I’ll imagine my online friends *clink*, as we all share a toast.

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

If you have a moment to spare, please share a when communication made a special impact on your life. Was it an unexpected card mailed from a friend? A piece of heartfelt advice from someone you cherish? A story or poem that inspired? A casual conversation that triggered an epiphany?

Until next week!

--Chiron O’Keefe

Also featured at Pop Culture Divas and Between the Lines.


Anonymous said...
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Ann Victor said...

A belated Happy Thanksgiving, Chiron! Hope you and yours celebrated in style. :)

Loved the Cyril Connelly quote (been added to my collection!)

We should celebrate the fact that we have the courage to at least write and finish our books. When I say what I do, so many people answer "Oh, I've always wanted to write a book" but they haven't...and I have (9 books in fact, although none are published)(yet!)and I do feel thankful for whatever it is in me that drives me to complete the stories even though I'm not yet published.

Hmmm. A communication that changed my life? Does reading a book count? When I read Lousie Erdrich's A Painted Drum on the recommendation of the Professor supervising my master's degree and realised that my natural writing voice is similar to hers. Until then I'd resisted my natural voice, but now I'm trying to work with it rather than against it (I've still got a long way to go, but at least I feel my writing is finally moving in the right direction)