How Do You Feel When You’re Doing What You Love Most?

Johann

“The person born with a talent they are meant to use will find their greatest happiness in using it. ”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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I don’t know how talented I am at anything, much less at being a writer.  However, I do know that when I am writing, I cannot even begin to express to you how elated I feel, how happy, how calm and excited at the same time, how full of joy I am, how giddy, how child-like I get when I actually find the time to sit down and write anything creative.  It’s like a kid in a candy store or tasting ice cream for the first time or a 3 year old at Christmas and Santa has brought her most asked for prize that she’s been wishing for all year and she doesn’t even notice the other presents beneath the tree.  That’s the best way I can describe it.  Besides that, I feel like I’m home.  It’s part of me and who I am.  Besides my family, it’s where my joy resides.  Those are the only places I have found such a joy.  With my two best girls (Mama and Hallie), my furballs and creating a story or a poem or any creative writing endeavor.

And when I haven’t had time to do any writing?  Well, that’s where I find my darkness.  It makes me feel trapped, imprisoned, lost, sad, depressed, anxious, mournful and just downright pissy.  Just being honest.  When you cannot do that one thing that brings you the most joy and happiness, in a creative sense, it bleeds you dry.  Or it least it bled me dry.

For so long, all I could do was work, work, work and I’ve done pretty well fitting it all in around family time, which you know family is number one in my book (they always come first), but family and work didn’t leave any time for much else (writing, cleaning, sleeping…) and all work and no play makes Carol a dull girl.  When I write on a regular basis, I find that about 30 minutes into the process (whether I have an idea in mind or am experiencing a block), I find my magical mojo and it’s like my imaginary friends wake up and talk to me again.  They want to play.  And then it’s like a movie plays in my head and my fingers simply cannot keep up with as fast as they are talking.  That’s when my mini-cassette recorder comes into play.  I’m old-school that way, I guess.  I can talk faster than I type, but truly hate the sound of my own southern twang hick-like voice, no matter how many people claim it’s charming.  I think not.  But when I don’t get time to write, I fall into such despair.  Maybe because suppressing my joy hushes the voices in my head and then I start missing my imaginary friends.  I feel they’ve left me and I’m all alone in the world with only my miserable thoughts.  I want my characters’ thoughts, too.  I don’t wanna be all alone in there.  It’s cold and dark with just little ole me.

So, in referencing the quote above, I totally get the greatest happiness part in doing that thing that you so long to do, but as for talent, I don’t put too much thought, for I believe talent is in the eye of the beholder and all I care about is being in that place of joy and doing that thing that makes me feel whole.  And though the whole writing thing is something I do alone, I never feel lonely, for all my friends visit me in that place and we have great, great fun together.

Another quote I love by the brilliant von Goethe is “Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it.  Boldness has genius and power and magic in it.”  I’ll leave you with that.

How do you feel when you are unable to do that one thing you love most?  Can you put into words how you feel when you are doing that thing you love most?  And do you care if you have talent in it, or not?  Or do you care more about just doing that thing, because you feel a part of your soul is missing without it?

 

Which Kind of Writer Are You?

George“I think there are two types of writers, the architects and the gardeners. The architects plan everything ahead of time, like an architect building a house. They know how many rooms are going to be in the house, what kind of roof they’re going to have, where the wires are going to run, what kind of plumbing there’s going to be. They have the whole thing designed and blueprinted out before they even nail the first board up. The gardeners dig a hole, drop in a seed and water it. They kind of know what seed it is, they know if planted a fantasy seed or mystery seed or whatever. But as the plant comes up and they water it, they don’t know how many branches it’s going to have, they find out as it grows. And I’m much more a gardener than an architect.”
George R.R. Martin

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I used to try to be the architect.  I thought, ‘With all this planning and knowing, surely it will be better thought out, better organized and in the end, a better story.’  Ya know what happened?  I realized it wasn’t truly who I am.

I had written out all these outlines, all these interesting colorful characters, their names, their personal stories, backgrounds, drew out the scenes, the sounds, the fragrances in the air, the certain feel to the place, how I felt being there, what’s to happen in order to get here and there, blah, blah, blah.  Ya know what that did to me?  It robbed me of living in the moment of each individual character and scene.  It robbed me of living the story.

Life, no matter how much you want it to be, is not going to be planned out.  Or it might be planned but it will turn out differently.  Sure, you dream of the house in the country, the white picket fence, the 2.5 children, the adoring helpful husband that will always be by your side.  You plan out the wrap-around porch, the porch swing, the hanging plants, right down to the kind of grass you want in your front yard.  The truth is, not all those plans are gonna pan out.

I think a novel should be the same way.  It should be lived moment by moment.  At least for me.  I want to be in the moment and I want to breathe in that aroma that fills the air when one of my characters is baking gingerbread or chocolate chip cookies.  I want to get choked up when someone beloved dies suddenly and unexpectedly.  I want to be surprised.  Yes, surprised by whatever may occur in a story, even as I’m writing it.  I want to laugh.  I want to be heartbroken.  I want to be terrified and petrified when the hairy scary monster demon thingy is trying to eat my face off.  I want to be angry when one of my favorite characters gets killed off.  I want to feel the love and crush one character secretly holds for another.  I want to be swept up in the rapture that is complete ecstasy.

I gave up trying to plan every detail of my life.  After I got the two main ones, those are my mashed p’taters.  The rest is gravy.  I gave up trying to plan every detail of my book, too.  I think I’d rather live in the moment and be surprised, myself, how it all comes together in the end, if it ever does end.  Ya know how those sequels go.  Yup, I’m a gardener.

What are you?  A planner or a pantser?  An architect or a gardener?  ;)

Write in a Way That Scares You a Little

Holley – Holley Gerth (in case you can’t see that name — *a little blurred)

I SOOOOO love this one!  Write in a way that feels like you are channeling a favorite long time gone author.  But you can claim it as your own.  Write in a way that makes you feel as if you are having an out of body experience.  Write in a way that makes you laugh till your stomach hurts or till you cry.  Write in a way that forces you to sob uncontrollably and use up at least half a box of tissues.  Write fear so well that you are terrified to turn the lights off, are compelled to jump into the bed 36 inches from where it sits for fear of something grabbing you from underneath, much less go to sleep.  Chances are, when you write in these ways, you will transport your readers to these same experiences.

Ahhhh!  Isn’t writing a scene and/or a story delicious?!

Looking for Word Inventors

 

 

Charles“If the word doesn’t exist, invent it; but first be sure it doesn’t exist.”
Charles Baudelaire

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People invent new words all the time.  Have you looked in a more recent dictionary?  So much of it is filled with slang and new words like ginormous.  Actually, it’s not that new.  The first known use of that one is circa 1948.  However, it wasn’t added to the dictionary till 2007.

Steampunk was first used in 1987 but didn’t make it officially into the dict’ till 2014.

Who cares if your words never make it into the dictionary.  You can still create them.  And who knows?  Maybe one day, before we’re dead and ash, we’ll see our very own invented word(s) in the ole ‘Webster’s.

Photo Friday: Reflections

p6 - lost city of atlantis

Yup, I’ve posted this photo in the past, but I thought it would make a suitable entry for Photo Friday’s theme of the week.  Hope ya like it, again.  ;)

Happy Friday, y’all!  Sooooooo happy it’s Finally Friday!  Woooo-hoooo!  Here’s to hoping we all have a great one.  Cheers!  *squish*

If you’d like to join us in this entertaining weekly challenge, or see more amazing shots, check out the Photo Friday Weekly Photo Challenge:

http://www.photofriday.com/

-Carol

What I call ‘Lost City of Atlantis’.

Ruby Falls, Chattanooga, Tennessee

My Ideas, Thoughts and Words Are All Higgledy-Piggledy. HALP!

arthur schopenhauer“One should use common words to say uncommon things”
Arthur Schopenhauer

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Such a small quote and yet largely inspiring.  Yesterday was a tough act to follow, but still.  I like it.  Do you love to find interesting, colorful, humorous-sounding words and then look for ways to use them in your writing?  Sometimes, invent a new profound character just so she can have such a vocabulary?  I realize the quote says “…use common words to say uncommon things,” BUT I disagree.

The first rule to writing is to learn the rules, know the rules, then throw out the rules.  I believe WITH ALL MY HEART that we each have our own voice and our own special talent of weaving our words together, be it with common words, which is good, and also with uncommon words, which is also good.  You should write the way you feel compelled to write it.  I mean, common words are great.  Wonderful even.  But the uncommon word – AH, sheer BLISS!

I use words that, perplexing enough, not everyone knows, such as flabbergasted or higgledy-piggledy.  For me, these are common words, but for some people I know, not so much.

I love it!

Saving Us From Ourselves

Alan Watts “Advice? I don’t have advice. Stop aspiring and start writing. If you’re writing, you’re a writer. Write like you’re a goddamn death row inmate and the governor is out of the country and there’s no chance for a pardon. Write like you’re clinging to the edge of a cliff, white knuckles, on your last breath, and you’ve got just one last thing to say, like you’re a bird flying over us and you can see everything, and please, for God’s sake, tell us something that will save us from ourselves. Take a deep breath and tell us your deepest, darkest secret, so we can wipe our brow and know that we’re not alone. Write like you have a message from the king. Or don’t. Who knows, maybe you’re one of the lucky ones who doesn’t have to.”
Alan W. Watts

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Write like you mean it.  We all have something to say.  Write as if you are writing for yourself and no one will ever see it.  Write with abandon and leave nothing out.  We all have a story or to share that of our inner characters.  Do you hear voices?  Write what they are telling you.  Speak your truth.  Or theirs.  Whatever you do, just write!