Sometimes I want to Lock the Gate and Turn off the Phone
You know how that is? We think that means running madly from reality. And in essence, it is. But the reasons for doing so are sometimes different from what conventional wisdom might say.
Often when I’m feeling that way it’s because I’m neck deep in writing a new novel, and all the outside noise obscures the voices inside my head.
Writing nonfiction is different. It’s more linear, and more whichever the side of the brain is analytical (I can never keep those apart!).
But fiction, ah, it’s a circular process of going ever deeper into the characters’ psyches, of chasing them as they race through the story. Of finding things about them three-quarters in that you never saw coming. I just found out this very morning that my Protagonist shot someone years ago. Oh, my!
The characters dance atop realizations, sometimes swinging on the wind. You leave them perilously close to a jagged peak one day and wonder how they’ll hike to safety the next. Because often, we authors just don’t know.
Many writers outline and plot out their books, and while this is a wonderful way to write, and how nice it must be to know where your book is going from the onset, it’s not my way. Many of us write from discovery, getting to know the people and their plight as we go, constantly amazed through their journeys.
Which leaves us living in a creative world of uncertainty. Kinda like real life 🙂
But it’s in that void where the magic lives. And as you catch its drift and ride that wave, fingers type of their own from some voice inside that’s not your own. Whose is it? I have no clue! And yes, the psychiatric community may deem this madness, but if so it’s insanity of the sweetest sort.
Nothing is as exhilarating as being a part of a story unfolding. For me anyway. Nothing as scary at times, knowing you’re flying without a net.
In the very surrendering to the writing process, we connect intrinsically with whatever spiritual path directs us. I’m never so connected to prayer as when enfolded in a story as it develops on the page. Indeed, as my minister often says, that is my way of prayer. And when my faith is most evident.
I may question, well, just about everything in my real life as it happens, questioning even my beliefs. But my faith is deep and profound and solid as I follow the course of a novel.
And it’s when I’m most alive.
A good friend (and blogging coach!) said this is exactly how she feels when working on a blogging series. Her partner was gone to visit family, and for 12 days Renee locked herself in the house, turned her dining room into a blogging studio, and recorded as many tutorials as she could possibly do. She said, “It was an amazing time that I’ll never forget.”
This very morning I wrote soundly and true, the hot wind from the vineyard blowing across my face. Green shining grapes begging to be picked as Guinevere struggled with the myriad antagonists against her. I feel for her predicament—truly I do. But only after the writing is done for the day. During it, I’m just there with her to see what she will do . . .
And now I must unlock that gate, turn on the phone, face the “real life” of the day. And long to be back in her vineyard . . .
What stirs your soul? What would you like to lock yourself away to do? Tell me more about your passions in life, I really want to know.