I Was A Spear Chucker Once

Well, that’s not exactly true! I’m actually a spear chucker almost every day.

Abstract illustration of medieval battle.

The psychologist Carl Jung said that while we may be the heroes in our own stories, at the same time we’re also the spear chuckers in someone else’s. Which just means of course that as we pursue our own dreams and goals and the paths to those, we also have a role in a bigger play.

We’re all connected, on some level. All part of the whole that is humanity. And I’ve always loved Jung’s work on the collective unconscious, which we can deeply access, and which speaks to us in dreams and myths and that wisdom we call intuition. The DNA of our ancestors actually does course through our veins.

While I’m a writer at heart—and that gets the beginnings of my days (and then more, at times)—I spend a great deal of my time in a supporting role. One which I love.

My “day job” is helping other writers. I edit, counsel, mentor, and coach writers through all the crazy ins and outs of what makes a great book, and how to navigate the roiling waters of publishing.

Doing so came about in the oddest way—it was never something to which I aspired, or even thought about, actually. But 25 years ago, while in a writer’s workshop, everyone found I had a knack for digging down to the bones of a book and discerning where the holes were, where it failed as per characters and plot and voice, and, well, all things literary 🙂  And more importantly, how to fix the flaws.

Through that, my editorial service was born.

Little did I know then where that road would lead me, and the writers with whom I would work.

As I teach scribes about writing, about how to make their books the very best they can be, a funny thing happens. Joy! Unadulterated, complete, beautiful joy.

Because I get the great pleasure of being on the receiving end of calls such as the one that just occurred, from a beautiful writer, who has just been my extreme pleasure to help.

“You taught me how to write,” she said. “Now I see the words, the sentences, the rhythm of the flow, as I never did before.”

And this from a multi-published playwright and poet, about her first novel (which should sell and sell well! Stay tuned and I’ll let you know when it does!).

This is her story. Her hero’s part in her own play. She will reach that brass ring, and we’ll soon all know her name.

How incredibly gratifying to get to play that supporting role. And now to stand by and cheer her on, as all of her dreams come true.

Former First Lady Barbara Bush once said, “Giving frees us from the familiar territory of our own needs by opening our mind to the unexplained worlds occupied by the needs of others.”

And in those worlds, we find parts of our own. We find a richness we would have otherwise missed, and are gratified to the moon for getting to be a part.

I am blessed indeed.

What supporting roles do you play?

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