Good morning Mondaayyyyy!
Ok, really. I'm not that chipper, but I am trying to be more positive. Post-Pitch Wars writing has been tough. I had started on this neat idea, but then life got a little busy around December and January with vacation and wedding planning, making it so difficult to return to said idea. That's why I truly believe in flash drafts. For me, I need to blast through that first draft before I lose the spark. Once I get it down though, I'm able to keep the spark burning by reworking and molding it into my vision.
So speaking of sparks and ideas, it's really difficult to get one of those suckers that makes your whole heart swoon. After vacation, I kind of felt like a lost lamb. I had no motivation to write, because everything that came out of my fingertips seemed no good. In truth, I was becoming really critical with myself instead of allowing myself some creative freedom in the first draft.
My awesome CP Krystal (who has been with me throughout my whole writing angst the past year--bless her kind soul) recommended that I read Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.
And I'm so glad I did. I rate this a solid 4! Here's a quick blurb:
Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration and empowerment from Elizabeth Gilbert’s books for years. Now this beloved author digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering. She shows us how to tackle what we most love, and how to face down what we most fear. She discusses the attitudes, approaches, and habits we need in order to live our most creative lives. Balancing between soulful spirituality and cheerful pragmatism, Gilbert encourages us to uncover the “strange jewels” that are hidden within each of us. Whether we are looking to write a book, make art, find new ways to address challenges in our work, embark on a dream long deferred, or simply infuse our everyday lives with more mindfulness and passion, Big Magic cracks open a world of wonder and joy.
At times it was a bit quirky, but Gilbert's idea of inspiration resonated within me and her words were comforting and encouraging. After reading, it changed my perspective on what it means to live a creative life. For instance, I had this deep desire to be validated for my writing (and that meant getting an agent), that I became so obsessed with wondering what an agent or the market would want to read instead of digging deep and figuring out what I wanted to write.
At the same time, I was really struggling with the possibility of failing. What if everything I wrote amounted to nothing. No matter how many manuscripts I wrote and revised, what if none of them were published? Would all of that time spent be a waste? Before reading the book, I would have answered yes. Now after, I would say no. Because I write for myself, and no amount of validation would bring me the same joy like getting a scene just right, or nailing down my last sentence and writing 'The End' after. And that's what creative living is all about, doing something you love and enjoy that enriches your days.
Another thing that hit home was Gilbert's advice to not expect financial reward for creativity, because nothing kills creativity more than depending on it to provide for your lifestyle. So yeah, I'd really love a career in writing, but I'm level-headed enough to know not to expect that, because if I do, I'll be taking all the joy out of something I love.
Once I finished the book on Friday, I felt more at peace with myself and free to create whatever I wanted. And a mere hour later, I was hit with this image in my mind that grew into a shiny new idea. So I went home and brainstormed and thought to myself, this is what I want to write.
Yesterday, I started the first draft and wrote 2300 words. It's kind of different from what I've written before and the main protagonist so adorkable and endearing that I'm excited to see her character arc and story blossom before me.