Friday, October 28, 2016

Are You A Writer Or A Magician?

Various kinds of artists start with a blank canvas, a pure white page, a lump of clay, an empty loom or a bolt of fabric. As the poster tells us, it is magic to create something out of nothing. 

It's the painter, the writer, the sculptor, the art weaver or professional designer who hovers over nothing, then waves the magic wand and Presto! Changeo! art of some form appears. 

Oh, if it were only that easy. It is true, however, that we writers do create something from nothing, and that can feel magical at times. It is also hard work. 

When we begin with the blank page, we start with one sentence, then a full paragraph, then more paragraphs until we've written a thousand or more words. Is it a masterpiece? Of course not, If we could find that magic wand and let it hover over our words, it might be. Instead, we must go back and revise and edit until the words do appear enchanted. 

When you read a novel, do you ever give thought to what the author has been through to bring you this finished product? I do occasionally because I am a writer, and those of you who write may, as well. But the average reader most likely concentrates solely on the story. They don't think of the gnashing of teeth, the late night frustration of working out a scene, or the anger when things don't come out to the author's satisfaction. The reader doesn't consider the nights the author tosses and turns in bed figuring out why one character does something to another character. The reader is only interested in the story itself. 

It's the writer who wants those words to reach out and touch the reader in some way. He/she who has created something out of nothing wants to bring something special to the reader. 

We plant seeds and wait for the flowers to grow and bloom. When we have a story idea planted in our minds, we have to do more than wait for it to bloom. We work at it a bit at a time. We fill that blank page with words until the story begins to gel. Then we shape it to perfection before submitting it to an editor. 

If you are a writer, be proud of yourself today. Give yourself the proverbial 'pat on the back' because you have performed a bit of magic every time you create something out of nothing. 

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