A couple of months ago, I shared my admiration for my dear friend Christine Kloser, who offers world-class coaching for transformational authors. Here’s a picture of her and her husband David from when we all were studying with Barbara DeAngelis back in 2010.
Christine is in the midst of holding another transformational author teleseminar this year, which started yesterday.
I forgot to mention this last week, and I’m sorry about that. When, I got around to listening to Christine’s interview with Lisa Nichols from yesterday’s launch, I realized that I had been remiss to not share this information with the Writing Your Destiny blog community, because it’s good stuff.
Here is the place to link into the free tele-seminar:
There’s no pressure to buy. I’m sharing this primarily because the free calls could be just what you need to hear right now, and Christine has some great speakers lined up!
Check out the transformational author teleseminar, if you’re in need of this kind of inspiration or guidance! The book contest also looks interesting for those of you to trying to write transformational books.
Today is the day I’ve designated to write about progress with my novel, and share excerpts when it feels appropriate. I just got a chuckle from reading a post about Revision Hell by Joe Pineda. I’m so in that place of feeling like an idiot with my novel like many other writers in the world apparently.
Today, I had some personal business that I had to attend to in the afternoon. In one of the lulls waiting for an important meeting, I started reading some material I had written in a journal for the novel about 2 years ago.
I really liked the chapters that I was reading, but I had to laugh because they were written in 1st person with an entirely different lead antagonist and time frame. I’ve since switched to 3rd person, but am now wondering about 1st person again. I’m not sure how to pull the good bits in with the twee sections.
It may be time to take some writing classes at the University of Chicago Writer’s Studio again. I took several novel-writing classes many years ago, and they helped get me started on this road to writing novels and am now well beyond the entrance to writer’s revision hell. Maybe the Writer’s Studio can help me get out of it too!
I almost changed today’s post to Memoir Monday because I had an inspiration that kept me inspired last night. I was inspired by Aaron’s post on 30 things to do before 30. Being well beyond my twenties, I looked at his list from a different perspective.
Tomorrow, I’ll share my idea for the reverse bucket list with you, which helped me to realize that revision hell is just another way to say that I’m not sure where I’m going with my novel or life and that’s ok. Life has often had different plans for me than I expected and many challenging roads led to amazing new vistas.
This is the final post in my current series of blogs about taking the brakes off of your personal energy and innate goodness.
Today, I am sharing ideas about why it matters for writers to understand our personal energy, and to be aware of the type of energy that we’re putting into our writing.
Nowadays, most of us are bombarded with information and writing that is packed with different kinds of energy.
Some communications are uplifting, funny and inspiring. Others are angry, demeaning, fearful. Of course, many pieces of writing are boring because the energy of emotion is not present in them at all!
Your writing has an energy to it that often reflects the kind of day that you’re having. This doesn’t mean you should only write when your energy is “good”. Sometimes, the “negative” energy is just what a story needs to create drama and interest. So, it’s not necessary that your energy becomes all sunshine and roses. However, it’s helpful to track your energy over the course of time to notice how the type of energy you are experiencing and creating affects your writing.
The Energy Boosters for Writers worksheet is something I’m putting together for my 7 Elixirs class for Writers that I’ll going to be offering this fall in the Chicago area. It’s based on the writing coaching work that I’ve done in the last few years.
I’ve noticed that finishing projects often requires that we manage our energy for the toughest part of writing which is when we are refining our work. This is the time when we throw out good and sometimes great ideas for the sake of a story or grant application or marketing brochure or memoir.
This worksheet may not make complete sense, because it’s out of context to the rest of the course that I’ll be giving. Yet, I’m sharing it anyway because it’s rather self-explanatory, and shows you a different way of managing your time and energy in conjunction with your writing.
Are you finished yet? This is a question friends and family keep asking me about my novel. It’s kind of embarrassing that it’s been taking me so long to finish one book. I told myself at the beginning of the year that the novel would be finished no later than February. Well, it’s May tomorrow, and it’s not done yet, though it is getting closer to completion of another draft.
So, I thought to speed up my progress and accountability, I will have Monday’s be my novel excerpt day for any of you that might be interested.
The Time Traps of Sungland
(Excerpt of Chapter 1)
What seems like catastrophe today will be forgotten tomorrow. And that is how it must be. We live as long as we are needed. Then we return to the fjords of bliss.
The Fifth Tree of Time, As recorded by Orabel’s Stone
A sleek black whale leapt out of the warm blue waters of the ancient sea and dove back in just as quickly. She was unlike others of her breed and refused to merge with any of the future pilots of Sungland. Pilot instructors had found no success in taming her wild nature. Since it was considered bad practice to capture whales, especially the breed known as zoomers, she was allowed to do as she chose. The Listener wizards called her Zarifa, the graceful one. The zoomer pilot instructors called her trouble, because she caused so much competition among the trainees at the Embarcaderos. Perhaps this was good though because if it were not for zoomer training, the Embarcaderos probably would have fallen into ruin.
Long ago, there were only a few places powerful enough for a wizard, magical beast, or time traveler to embark upon a journey in Sungland, and these places were given the olden name Embarcadero. One could spend a lifetime in an Embarcadero exploring the tall glassy spires reaching miles into the sky, watching wizards in training or talking to the ancient trees who had experienced the dawn of the age of the humming air.
A time trap ended those golden days when it almost destroyed the Great Arch and she was forced to stop all adventuring from Embarcaderos. The use of listening stones or what became known as aura crystals was prohibited. All but a few wizards went into hiding or seclusion. There was a great fear that the Disrupters would take over Sungland at any moment. Listening became a philosophy that children studied in school, but most of the ways of wizardry were lost.
Looking at Zarifa, Enfeltan remembered this time when he had his own zoomer and a powerful listening stone. There was so much that he remembered that he couldn’t share with anyone. He admired Zarifa. The great beast maintained her freedom to swim the oceans of the world without a master, which was considered a great pity since Zarifa could be found diving to depths that no other whale could manage and swimming underneath the frozen passages of the north. This of course caused every aspiring zoomer pilot to want to link with her.
On this morning, Zarifa had wandered into the port around the ancient Eastern Embarcadero near the caves of Orabel. As usual, Zarifa’s arrival had caught the attention of all the pilots in training. Becoming a zoomer pilot accelerated the process of becoming an adult member of the Embarcadero, so boys and girls were lined up around all the docks around the port.
Don’t want to make the post too long, so I’m stopping here. Thanks for reading!
In many ways, I’ve had an ideal writer’s life for the last few years. For a while, I was very frustrated with myself, because I felt like I was doing the novel-writing process in the wrong way, and that I was missing some right way to be creative.
For the last six months, I’ve taken a different approach to giving birth to my novel. Rather than thinking of novel-writing as a project or task to be completed, I’ve begun to work with the soul of my book, and treat it as though it were a person rather than an inanimate object that will sit on a shelf or in the Amazon cloud.
One thing that has been helping me to move forward is to look even more closely at the parallels between creating a novel and giving birth to children.
My child-bearing experience was different from many women. I stopped working as much as possible when I had both my kids and enjoyed the pregnancy. I believed and still believe that women should treat themselves very kindly when they are pregnant.
On the whole I look back at my pregnancies as some of the most enjoyable times of my life, because I felt that I was doing sacred work. My belief was that my children were special people being sent by God to live in the world and take part in the Great Turning of our world. I still believe they are my greatest creations.
Yet, I also feel that the books that I’m writing could be contributions to changing the way we look at the world to support a Great Turning towards honoring life and the earth more than greed and materialism. Creating the novels has actually felt more difficult for me than having children. So, I’m starting to honor more and more what I did when I was pregnant.
Here are a few things I’ve noticed.
During both pregnancies, I had cravings for foods that I never liked before then. The one I remember the most is pink grapefruit juice. I couldn’t get enough of it while I was pregnant with both of my children, and hated grapefruit juice before that time. I still like to drink it every so often, because it reminds me of that special time in my life.
My novel has different cravings.
While I’ve been writing my novel, I’ve had a strange desire to listen to Led Zeppelin music, which I didn’t like at any other time in my life although, though I had always loved the song Kashmir. As I started writing more deeply, I started to get weirdly obsessed with listening to Kashmir, and then decided maybe I should listen to more Led Zeppelin and found I now like it.
It’s the strangest thing to me, but I feel like somehow Led Zeppelin music has a certain kind of soul to it that the soul of my book craves. For someone who is fairly introverted and loves quiet, lyrical New Age and Classical music this attraction to Led Zeppelin music feels odd.
On top of that, I started writing my own music and lyrics. That has helped me to hear the book’s story. I attribute these new connections with music to the soul of the book requiring me to be lyrical in a different way for it.
When I was pregnant with both of my boys, I had a certain way of living that I’m now embracing with novel-writing. While pregnant, I allowed myself to:
Trust that something bigger than myself was working through me.
Treat that time of giving birth as a holy gift and treasured it.
Enjoy the process of listening to what the soul of my book needs to grow and flourish.
Act upon what the soul of the new life in me needs.
Appreciate that giving birth takes a lot of energy so I deserve to be kind to myself.
Allow the new life to come forth when it is ready.
This is my way of giving birth to children and novels. It’s not for everyone. Other people who I knew worked very hard while they were pregnant and it was not a big deal to them. They could multi-task. For the most part, I could only do one thing.
Other women’s childbirth experience was very different from mine, but also good for them. Just like there are other people who work full-time and write great books, there are many ways to be a writer. Some people need quiet, some need to be writing around other people.
We all have to find the way to give birth that is best for us. There is no one size fits all approach to writing.
Have you found your own path to honoring the cravings and soul of your writing?
I’ve told myself that I wasn’t going to do any more blog chain letter type things.
However, last week, I was given the opportunity to participate in the Lucky 7 Meme, which seemed like a good way of recognizing creative works in progress. Thank you to Erin Pike of Writerlious for tagging me. Take a look at what she’s written from her novel Enchanterhere.
Here are the rules:
Go to page 7 or 77 in your current manuscript
· Go to line 7
· Post on your blog the next 7 lines, or sentences, as they are – no cheating
· Tag 7 other authors to do the same
My novel which seems to be in never-ending development, The Book of Many Names, is about a twelve-year-old boy and his nine-year old sister who travel from 7000 years in the future to modern times to save their father from a group of time manipulators called the Disrupters. Right now on page 7, I have a scene that I’m thinking of deleting from this book, and using in the second book, but since this is a work in progress, I’m sharing what’s there now! :)
“You want to me to tell you a story. Well, here’s one. The ancient Disrupters planned for a day when they could return, and you are their means to this end. Go, go, go, you said earlier. This is exactly what you will do.”
The guardian put the human’s hand on the golden crystal now within reach. He knew that the touch of his skin upon the frail human hands would burn the nerve endings. No matter. The old guard screamed in pain and fear as he disappeared into the mists of time. In his place, a pale skinned, dark haired man returned to the same spot.
This exercise was good because it made me admit to myself that I’ve been distracting myself from final editing of my first book, again.
I’m supposed to tag 7 writers to have them do the same. I don’t want to make being called out a burden to anyone, because these kinds of things can be too much work if you’re busy. However, I thought this was a good opportunity to recognize some of the creative writers who motivate me with their talent and passion through their blogs.
Here is an eclectic grouping of writers that inspire me to keep working on my creative writing:
Millie Ho - she’s a multi-talented artist and writer, enjoy her poetry and prose.
MaggieMaeJustSayThis – MaggieMae writes some of the most original poetry I’ve ever read. It’s raw, edgy and full of brilliance.
I have to say that I’m sucker for the personality quizzes that ask you what type of tree you are or your favorite color. So, I thought today, it might be fun to play a game with writing and flowers. This is not any type of comprehensive test to gauge your life by. I just thought about this as I was waiting to pick up my boys today and spotted a field of dandelions.
There is a time after a flower blooms that the petals fall away or transform. With dandelions, the bright yellow flowers give way to the feathery seeds that all of us have seen blowing in the wind at one point or another. With a flower like a dandelion, there’s a cycle of blooming then the sea of beauty.is spread through seeds.
Writing has that cycle. We create the flower of a finished article, poem, story or book and then we let go of the bloom and let the seeds of ideas and stories be spread wherever they may travel. In some sense, we can’t get attached to the blooms, we must let them go and go on to our primary work of creating the next bloom.
I was reminded of dandelion seeds today, when I had a conversation with some great folks in Michigan who are trying to start a by-product synergy (bps) network there. A couple of years ago, I had written a guide on how to create such a network after I had created a bps network for the City of Chicago. I found it fascinating that these people found me and wanted to hear and read about my experience, a few years after the flower of my work had bloomed. It’s interesting to see how the seeds of even our most obscure writing and ideas spread on their own without any effort on our part.
I’m definitely approaching creative writing and blogging with the spirit of the dandelion. I write something, I let it bloom, let it go, and allow the writing to plant its seeds wherever they land. I am aiming for prolific creation, plain and simple. For me, this is the only way I know how to develop my craft and skill.
There may come a day when I publish and distribute my ideas in a more careful fashion, and become as lyrical of a writer as I would like to be. Maybe then I will become more like a lobelia.
These dainty little purple flowers are one of my favorites. They go on blooming and blooming all spring and summer long, often into autumn. However, unlike dandelions, they don’t seem to seed themselves. They are an annual flower that needs to be planted fresh every year, at least, in the Chicago planting zone.
I could probably go on and on with how our writing can be like various flowers. Maybe your writing is like a flower that blooms on a cactus, only rarely, but oh so beautifully when it does.
Or maybe your writing is like an orchid that needs just the right conditions and special care to bloom.
If you had to choose a flower to describe your writing at this point in time, what would you choose?