As a kid, I was pretty content with the way the world was until one day I learned that sometimes the truth is in disguise, misused, and nothing would be the way I wanted it again. That was probably around the time I lost my innocence, my faith, my belief that goodness would always prevail. To turn the world right-side-up, I’d have to change events, change people, change outcomes. That would have been impossible.
So I wrote it instead.
There is no guarantee that what I write will matter to anyone else. Creating is a risky endeavor because artists bare their souls to the world. Not everyone in the audience will like what they see. They might turn away in disgust or derision, and the artist will be shamed. Some artists quit at that point; others trudge onward. Why is that? What makes one artist throw his tools into the deep beyond, forever lost while another artist creates again?
One reason I write is because I want to believe in something. I love the feel of a story, how it unravels in my imagination, how it raises questions and concerns and hope. Without story, without the opportunity to believe in something, we are left with only one chance. A sort of Russian roulette, where no one contemplates consequences, choices, or difference-making.
When I write, that’s my opportunity to speak up, answer impossible questions, change truth, evoke hope.
My ideas, dreams, wishes, insteads, and what ifs are lyrical on paper, rush through my core, give me something to believe in. Creating meaning through story is at the core of who we are as humans, since we first gathered in caves.
Have you ever looked at a page of your writing, I mean, really looked—and pictured yourself as you were when you first wrote those words? What meaning did they hold for you? Has that meaning changed? Were you immersed in that particular spot in your story, or were you distracted? Can you determine, by reading those words, how you conjured them in the first place? How you felt when you committed them to paper? Did you throw them together because you were tired or feeling blocked, or did you carefully cultivate them?
I read passages I wrote years ago which hurl me back in time, to the exact moment I put them down on paper. I remember how I felt when I came up with those ideas. How joyful I felt, surprised, spellbound.
It’s amazing to reread something you wrote and be tugged back in time to that exact moment you crafted it. Often, I can remember what inspired a subplot to rise up, or what was going on in my life where I needed to write it out and it became a character’s personal mission.
Writers use their creativity and personal experiences to construct characters’ realities—to craft story. The connection between storytelling and the soul is indelible.
Writing is alchemy when it works. When you come across a couple sentences you have no recollection of writing, and you realize how caught up you must have been–lost, really–the words had to have been rushing out of you. That is magic.
While there are plenty of doubts, there is wonder too. “Wow! I wrote that? I’m capable of a thrill ride?” The moment that is tattooed onto paper once swelled through my soul. I created that moment.
Writing a story is my soul making magic. To write a moment that matters makes me want to do it again. To write a scene and see it five drafts later, still breathing, still moving the story forward, makes me want to do it again. To write something to believe in is all I need to
do it again.
Some beautiful energies of fall
Chill in the air. Pumpkin bread. Leaves scraping along the pavement. Warm cinnamon apples with a touch of cream. Turkeys in the backyard. Soccer under the late afternoon sun. Halloween mood. Spooky wind sounds. Busy squirrels. Roasted root vegetables. Unpacking wool sweaters and scarves. One more campfire.
Have a writerly day!