Writing Magic

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!

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32 thoughts on “Writing Magic

  1. I love that idea of going back and thinking of about yourself when you first wrote a piece. Sometimes I can immediately connect with that past self and other times I think “wow, I wrote that?”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have gone back and done this, and only a few of my works hold up under the scrutiny of the years. It’s the quality of the writing that makes me cringe, not the emotion. It does bring back memories, but I would never share the words because I don’t think they’re good enough. I guess it’s got to be enough for me to read them. I have shredded most. So few make the cut. But yes, I believed when I wrote those words. Maybe I leave a paper trail in disappearing ink. I love this post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know, Jilanne. There are many, many pieces I wrote that I don’t dare look at again because I know, deep down, they just aren’t very good. And I think it’s funny how, back then, I thought that (what I know now is terrible) stuff was great! What a crash back down to earth!! lol

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s always strange for me to go back and read my work that’s already published. I worry I’ll critique it too much, and it’s too late to do anything about it. After reading this though, I’ll have to approach it with a different mindset. I’ll look for the magic and cut myself some slack. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Carrie,

      I used to be like that too. And I did critique it too much, which resulted in me tossing much of my work away. I regret that to this day. But I think I had to go through that process in order to get to a place of acceptance, and even, wonder.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I absolutely love the magic of writing. And yes, I’ve returned to stories I wrote years ago, read them now and think, “Wow, I wrote that? It’s really good!” 🙂 I agree, there’s little feedback/remuneration in writing. We continue anyway because of the magic, the zing, we get as we release out words out into the universe. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I loved this Kate! So true, anytime I look back on things I’ve written in the past in a notebook, I’m transported back to that moment, and sometimes I smile and say, “Did I really write that?” Writing is life for so many of us. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Kate,

    Much like you have wrote, my characters, all of them (good, evil, silly, dumb) are all in someway an aspect of myself. When I get to times where they clash in the story it is very hard for me to go to that final moment where a character might die. It feels like killing something, an essence in a way, of ourselves.

    I think that writing is magic – it is also the only way I can let others into my head.

    /thumbs up

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Dark Moment in storytelling is hard for a lot of writers to commit to. I know that in my rookie years, I always chickened out and didn’t make my characters suffer as much as I should have. But as I learned and grew, I realized I wasn’t holding up my end of the bargain very well, as far as telling the best story I could.

      Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I love this. Probably the best part of writing is the magic that’s found there. That magic is everywhere and sometimes I think all we’re doing is siphoning it and hopefully somehow capturing it on a page. I’m glad you’ve been enjoying all the magic of fall too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m a big believer in magic being a natural part of the universe. We all, writers and normal people, have access to it, we just have to learn how to discover it. That takes a lot of openness and honesty and courage. The magic of fall always gets me. Today was interesting though–so windy and rainy they cancelled school!

      Like

  8. I do that when I read. I can put down a book, sometimes for years, and when I come back, I can usually remember what I was doing when I last was reading that book. I have always marveled at it.
    When I write, it’s different. I pour through the writing and it flows, then, when I go back and read it, though I remember doing so, I usually can’t see how I wrote something like that. Poetry is the worst. I write a poem, almost always in one sitting (short, too). When I finished I know it was the muse because I can’t just come up with something like that unless I am in that special “mood”.
    I understand. It does feel good. I suppose others quit because they don’t have anything else to say.
    Scott

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh yes, reading a book affects me the same way. Certain scenes especially come back to me and I can remember what I was doing when I read that scene.

      I love the unstoppable flow of writing, or the organic writing, which is so pure and genuine. The rich matter that is yet to be touched by a fellow writer, editor, agent, publisher, or reviewer!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hello, Thrifty! I feel like even normal people (non-writers) tell stories, whether they’re telling about their day or a joke or simply engaging in conversation. I do think it is a natural part of our species, but that “writers” have to put their stories into written form, either for others to read or for personal joy. 🙂

      Thank you for swinging by and commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: What Do You Love About Writing? | 4am Writer

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