As I've been working on "Crimes of the Umbramancer," I realize there are times that I have come to it very lightly. I've come to the blank page writing out of obligation. I've come to the blank page writing out of need. I've come to the blank page writing out of fear. And you may sit there and say that that's not coming to the blank page lightly, but I would have to disagree, because I know that when obligation, need, or fear are the primary motivators of my writing that it sowing seeds for later writing. And when the seeds sown are seeds that eventually drive people from writing, the writing is light. It didn't lay seeds that could reach into the soil of life and build a lifestyle. It didn't lay seeds that could reach the depths of the concrete jungle of publishing and build me a career. It didn't lay seeds that could touch the hearts of an audience that would care about what I wrote. I approached the blank page lightly.
|By John W. Lawrence|
During NaNoWriMo when I originally wrote the first draft, I never sat down one day and came to it lightly. Instead I came with hope, love, and enjoyment of what I was doing. I started out blogging that same way. But it has been hard and I'm still learning lessons about what it means to come to things "lightly." Recently I came across a quote that really got me thinking though, from a book called The Seven Laws of the Harvest. I would like to share those laws with you in hopes that they help you as much as they have helped me since I ran across them.
|Wild Rose Seeds|
|White Wild Roses|
The Third Law: We reap in a different season than we sow. So many things in life come so easily. The internet equals instant knowledge. Our microwaves equal instant food. Our televisions equal instant entertainment. But we so frequently forget that in those endeavors we are reaping the reward of what someone else sowed. And when we buy into that thinking, we forget that to really get the best things in life we have to give them time, nurturing, love, and work to bring them to life. Writing a good novel is like raising a child. We sow the seeds and a child is born. Then it takes eighteen to twenty years of work to make certain that child becomes a good person. The season of sowing is eighteen years away from when you reap the full benefits. A good novel requires the same kind of dedication and love. (Just hopefully not eighteen or twenty years worth.)
The Sixth Law: >We reap the full harvest of the good only if we persevere; the evil comes to harvest on its own. Often times when we sow our seeds, we will discover that weeds come in and try to grow along with our harvest. Even though this can seem bad, we can't stop this process. The good and bad seeds both desire the same ground to use for their growth. What we can control is where we nourish and strengthen. If we spend our time nourishing and strengthening our good seeds until the time comes to harvest we will be able to take the good part and destroy the chaff. As writers this means we have to invest in our story until we finish it. If we spend all our time revising, editing, and in other words not getting to the end of our story we will lose it. However if we strengthen it along the way and learn what we can from the process when we get to the end we will be able to remove all the ugliness we are able at the end.
To date this has been the best year I've ever had writing. And I've loved the majority of it. I just had to learn a lesson about what it means to come to the blank page with intent to make a story that I love, instead of writing out of obligation to anyone or anything. Writing is my lifestyle. I am getting better at living this lifestyle all the time. And I know that one day, that investment is going to get me what I really want. An ability to touch the hearts of people with the words I write.
|This is two bits.|