From murk to mantra
So, you may have noticed this blog has been a bit quiet of late. I haven’t had the dreaded ‘writer’s-block’ but I have certainly had writer’s ‘murk’. I have been putting words down but I haven’t been ‘feeling it’. I finally gave in and sought out my answer to pretty much everything – getting back to nature.
I grew up in the dense rainforests of Victoria. And just like when I was a child, I still consider them a rich wonderland of mystery and adventure. So, anytime I am feeling stuck or down I know I need to go and get a dose of vitamin green. (It also helps if your best friend is there to greet you with open arms, a hot cup of coffee, and cake.)
After having my time in nature I have found my way back to BOTH my lead characters in my WIP: Ansgar and Sanna. I was able to find the balance of male and female in my writing again because for a while there actually I lost my leading man. How? I had stopped paying him enough attention and like any relationship, it started to drift. By slowing down and taking time out in nature I was able to come back to myself and in turn come back the heart of my story.
When I am in nature I can’t help but slow down and take time to observe. I can get absorbed in the busyness of an ant colony for hours or, drift away to the sway of leaves, birds, and clouds above my head. It is a beautiful, restful and privileged place to be.
What I realized when I was laying back in the green was that the big “SHOULDS” and looming deadlines I had set myself had stopped me doing what makes a good writer great – paying attention. I had stopped paying full attention to the moment and intention of the scenes in my WIP. I was just rushing to get it done. But, for me anyway, things don’t work that way, not if I am working with my natural flow. There are so many little chain reactions that need to occur for a seed to become a tree. I can’t just rush from this chapter to that chapter without truly paying attention to each action and intention in the scene.
“Do stuff. Be clenched, curious. Not waiting for inspiration’s shove or society’s kiss on your forehead. Pay attention. It’s all about paying attention. Attention is vitality. It connects you with others. It makes you eager. stay eager.” S. Sontag
I now have a new mantra: time is not my enemy, time is my ally. Unlike how things happen in real life, as writers we have the luxury of pausing a scene and observing it from every angle and choosing the best one. I am going to get back to writing now and enjoying that privilege.