“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” ~ Maya Angelou
We’re back from vacation and I’m keeping the promise to myself to work on my novel before I do any other work. I know, it’s only a few days, but today when the timer went off, I didn’t want to stop working. So, I didn’t. I had forgotten how many scenes I had already written. Of course not all of them will be included in the final book, but it was nice to know I am well on my way to finishing the rough draft.
At the moment I’m interweaving Jenna and Morgan’s stories from their respective time periods. Then I’ll be able to see what needs to be added and what portions slow the story down and must be cut. Some writers love the initial work of creating their story. Not me. I love the revision process. One of my favorite things to do is to figure out the plot points of a movie I’ve watched or story I’ve read and it’s no different when I’m revising my books. I’m nerdy that way. Reading the different segments and figuring out how to put them into the modern plot outline helps me understand the shape of the story I’m trying to tell.
This realization, that I love to lose myself in writing, relates to my spiritual practice as well. Over the last few years I’ve practiced staying in the moment, rather than worrying about the future or regretting what happened in the past. Today as I read and revised, and moved segments of my story around, it felt as if time had truly stopped. I was in a kind of no man’s land of flowing creativity. It felt good. It’s a different feeling than the sense of accomplishment of ticking tasks off my to do list. Some people get great satisfaction out of doing that. I don’t feel that way. Yes, I’m happy to have accomplished lots of tasks, but it doesn’t feed my soul like becoming immersed in a creative project does.
This feeling of losing myself in working on my novel, will, I hope, keep me in the mode of putting it first day after day. I do at times feel tempted to go back on my resolve, but that’s just a matter long held habits.
What I’m coming to realize is that I must get back to compartmentalizing my tasks. When I was working on my first B.A., I soon realized that I could get overwhelmed with all the reading and homework I was required to do. I have no idea where this idea came from, but I decided that to stay sane, I had to pick one bit of work, do that, and then choose the next until all the tasks were finished. Since my life is going through a transition, and will be getting more busy, I think it’s time to revive that long forgotten practice only this time I’m giving the thing I love best the top priority.
I sometimes wonder what the world would be like if everyone put aside what they “should” do and worked on what their hearts longed to do. Barry and I had a friend long ago who said, “Should is a four letter word.” And she was right. We might have fewer people on anti-depressants and fewer grumps if everyone avoided that word “should”.
If you could do anything you wanted to do, what would that be? What’s stopping you from doing it? How does that make you feel? I’m just curious because those are questions I’ve asked myself many times over the years.
Maybe 2020 is the year for all of us to find a way to follow our passions.
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Have a blessed weekend.
Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2020
Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards. It’s a little bit like Outlander in that it’s a historical, time-travel, magical realism, novel. Except that Jenna’s life is shattered and she must find a way to put it back together. When she finds old journals, she joins consciousness with her three-times great-grandmother, Morgan, rather than traveling physically. She is able to come back at intervals and apply what she’s learned to her own life situations.
The Space Between Time is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords and for Kindle at Amazon, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. Stay tuned for news when the audiobook version is published. To join her email list, click here. She will never sell the names on her list.