All too often we overthink the starting point. It’s as if an invisible force blocks our path and we can’t seem to get past ‘Go’. We’ve stopped connecting with the beauty of our original vision. Instead, we allow ourselves to feel hemmed in by the illusion of constraints; such as feeling overwhelmed at all that needs to be done. We forget, that we can build anything one task at a time. If our thoughts go to this lightless place whenever we contemplate moving forward, we now know why our power feels stuck and inert. The truth of the matter, is that there is no obstruction, it’s simply an illusion that we are buying into.
Scores of writers have turned and walked away from their craft; sometimes for years on end. When they do return from their multi-year absence, their voice, their style, their subject matter is altogether transformed and most certainly enlightened by days spent doing something else in the world. The period of time between novels can stretch as long as a decade during these wilderness years. Where do writers go and why do they leave?
My cousin and I still exchange hand-written letters. When I see her familiar handwriting on an envelope, I set it aside to enjoy later in the day. It is a gift to receive a letter, a true gift of the writer's time. I treasure these letters from my cousin. I'll sit down with a cup of coffee while anticipating the content. She makes me laugh, shares her news and tells me what she's learned during reflective moments. I always come away feeling as though I've spent time with her, and truly I have.
Writing is a discipline. It is a system of action. How often have you heard people say that they yearn to become a writer, but do little more than dream and fantasize about it. There’s real work involved. Consider the Irish female warrior - Boudica - women hold her up as one to emulate due to her strength, her tenacity and her courage, but they fail to realize that in order to become the Celtic Warrior Queen that she was, Boudica had to practice sword fighting, condition her body, as well as learn about the art of war and leadership. She prepared and worked and sacrificed and took a risk. What was her foundation? Passion. Without passion, one won’t have the staying power to plow the row, sow the seed and reap the harvest.
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thanks ~ Bridget
Member of the Historical Novel Society