Sunday, February 21, 2016

Reflections on a writing life

The story comes to me fully formed but barely visible. In order for me to see it (capture the tone, follow the plot) I must become the story. So if I'm writing a children's picture book, I see the world through a child's eyes. The ordinary becomes the unusual. Mushrooms are thrones for frogs. Twigs are notes from fairies. If I'm writing a mystery, I become paranoid. Why did that car drive passed? Where are they headed? What are they doing? 


(Most of the photos that are published on this blog have been taken by me (Leanne Dyck) 
and are of Mayne Island. If they aren't or haven't been, I will tell you so.)

I'm thrilled to be living a writer's life. It fulfills me, even though the process isn't always easy. The dark narratives do effect me. I once shared this with a friend. Her advice was to write something positive. But I knew I couldn't force the story to be something it wasn't. If I tried to do that I knew I would lose sight of it. I knew I had to peer through the fog and record what I saw. I knew that I had to be true to what I found there.

The writing life does come with its share of frustration. It feels like establishing my career is taking so unnecessarily long. If, for example, a publisher had accepted my novel several years ago it could be a bestseller by now. 




But, as I re-write said novel, I'm so glad that acceptance letter didn't come. Sure it was good then but it's so much better now. Sure it flowed then but it flows so much better now. 


Building an author career isn't a race; it's a journey of discovery.


Work with all your heart, because--I promise--if you show up for your work day after day after day after day, you just might get lucky enough some random morning to burst right into bloom. (p. 63 Big Magic:  Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert)



Next post (Monday, February 29th):  Book review:  The 100-year-old Man Who Climbed Out The Window and Disappeared
How I found this book and what I thought while I was reading it. 

2 comments:

Laurie Buchanan said...

"I MUST BECOME THE STORY."

I love it. Absolutely love it!

Leanne Dyck said...

: ) Thank you, Laurie.
I'm fascinated by how an author comes to her story. For example, in On Writing, Stephen King talks about the story allows being there even before he starts to write it. He describes the act of writing as similar to uncovering dinosaur bones. He must carefully dig.