I hope everyone who reads my blog is having a good holiday season. This wish is different than the normal pablum because all events can be helpful to writers. For us writers, a good holiday season is not only a pleasant and abundant one, but also one full of new material to inspire our work in the New Year, and I wish you one of those with all of my heart.
I personally am having what many would consider a difficult time because of death and illness within the family. People comment on my strength and calm in the face of all this turmoil. As a fellow writer, I wanted to share how it is that I can remain so focused:
All these years of writing, teaching and coaching have given me a different perspective about life. I have come to understand that each of us experiences life as if it were a movie, and that while we don’t control life, we can control our perception and hence our responses to the things that happen.
In the midst of trauma, I still find myself so fascinated by the people involved and their responses that I find myself constantly taking note; which is how I remain calm.
This notetaking process doesn’t distance me from what is going on, but allows me to participate in life on my own terms and do my job. I am a writer, and it’s my moral responsibility to understand the human condition, whether happy or sad, so that I can help others to do so.
For example, at a recent funeral, I watched the grieving wife respond in such a way that it seemed she was acting out the role, not actually experiencing her own feelings. Her expressions of her loss were such utter platitudes that were so general she could have been talking about anyone, not the special person that she had lost. Her speech at the eulogy had no detail that supported the idea that the departed loved one had a personality, much less a name. The speech was all about her. This intrigued me, especially because I knew that she did care for the departed. I found myself (in between bouts of tears) rewriting her generic comments into specifics, and was somehow able to connect to my own particular feelings, and also to create a new character for my next project! Out of sorrow comes creativity if you can walk this road.
1.Think about the relationship between your main character and the villain or obstacle.
2.Set a timer for 10 minutes.
3.Write a brief eulogy as your main character for the villain or obstacle.
4. Reset a timer for 10 minutes
5.Write a brief eulogy as your villain or obstacle for the main character
Have a wonderful holiday season, and take notes.
Remember: Don’t get it right, get it written!