It is one of those moments that turns life into a backdrop. It happens when the self is embraced by an essence and that essence removes you from everything, the self, crosses over to that other side where you accept the possibility of all things.
I don’t know how often I have felt it, but the first thought that comes to mind is “Heaven helps the man who helps himself.” In that, there is a realization of the power of the universe and your connection to it and everything within it. I have been writing religiously now for seven years, and that has been literally every day. I can certainly say it puts things around you into perspective. I have seen things that put me and keep me on this path indefinitely. In the incidents when I have felt doubt, I am grateful to say it is very often short lived as my spirit, drive and belief in what I am doing savagely dismiss it.
The first time I saw my work published in an actual book was both the most excited and disappointed I can remember having in the same breath. It was a terrible printing of one of my poems by some no name company in a worthless book, but… it was my name, my work, in print. Embarrassing as it might be, there I was and I couldn’t shake how I felt about it. It would be several years before my name would appear in print again and you know I still have that book fifteen years now.
One of the most amazing moments in my writing career was the completion of my first novel. It was a shirt 80,000 words, but the year it took and the agony I went through writing it was some of the greatest growth and learning I ever experienced. It ended surreally on an accident. I finished a paragraph and my fingers stopped typing. I searched my brain for the next word, next line and there was nothing. It took me a few minutes to realize that the story had been told and my novel was done. I was so shocked that I didn’t know how to celebrate.
The second amazing moments came when I self-published that first novel. I found the entire experience amazingly easy and much cheaper than I thought it would be. It was also extremely nerve racking, as I was now investing in myself. I enlisted the help of a friend who handled the business end for me, edited and designed the cover, and one day I got a call that the proof copy had arrived and he would bring it over. I am my own worst critic, but I can honestly say that there was no disappointment. The cover was exactly what I thought it would be because we had discussed it and flipping through a professionally bound book with my name on it, every word in it was mine, written, thought, agonized and rewritten by me… there aren’t now or then words to describe the elation and pride in that accomplishment.
For all who are creative, musically, lyrically, verbally, physically I hope all can have the feelings of achievement and all of the other feelings that accompany it. It’s not all sunshine and roses and I believe that is important to note. The thing is, the positives don’t have to be that big as long as take the time to acknowledge them. The reason for this is that it is, the little accomplishments that keep me on track. I put more value in the little things because I know that the big thing will come if I just keep pressing forward.
We are all of us, artists. Creation at its core is driven and necessary. Expression at its nature in our soul is necessity. Inspiration is driven plumes of volcanic passion that must erupt, orgasmic and hot directly from the cerebral cortex. Art is drawn, colored, splattered, photographed, molded, cut, danced, sung, screamed, spoken or shouted until the creator says DONE!
As writers we are often conduits rather than builders. If you are a writer don’t wait to see the body, just do it with the skeleton. It’s all already there and your characters just want to play. Let them. The rest will come.