One of Sheppard’s Epigrams (1651) runs thus– Virgula divina.
“Some Sorcerers do boast they have a Rod,
Gather’d with Vowes and Sacrifice,
And (borne about) will strangely nod
To hidden Treasure where it lies;
Mankind is (sure) that Rod divine,
For to the Wealthiest (ever) they incline.”
I have learned that there are writers and storytellers and sometimes those talents end up in one body- oh happy day.
If it doesn’t, it makes no difference. All of us can learn to write and we can exercise that skill by keeping journals, writing ACTUAL LETTERS, quipping on Facebook or Tweeting on Twitter.
Just don’t do that thing where you paint on the sides of buildings and trains- if you’re any good at it why are you giving it away for free or leaving it out there to be peed on by wildlife or your fellow humans?
I know what I’m talking about- my son started out doing that and stopped the minute he got his first check for his artwork- and now he makes art for a living.
Just a small FYI.
So I’d encourage anyone who feels like writing do these things- make your feelings known, share your thoughts. The things your passionate about.
To be a storyteller though- oh, that is the Holy Grail of writing, isn’t it?
I love looking for ideas for my stories- I find them in songs, conversations, glimpses and flashes into the lives around me. Once I have the character’s name the story grows legs and runs.
But there are other things that I do to get to that place.
Telling my brain to shut up is the first thing.
A messy brain can’t track very well, and if you can’t get into your own story, if you’re racing ahead of it and ending up with tons of back story and you’re spending time…and I mean more than a minute telling anyone ‘what it’s about’ that’s not going to be helpful.
You’re going to end up lost in a jungle of words, words, words.
The article offered some great things to do to get yourself in the Zone:
Inspired Reading: I read books that have NOTHING to do with the things I write about. Somehow threads do show up and that’s ok. For me reading books about astronomy or archeology are just a joy to me.
Right now I’m readying a book called Giordano Bruno Philosopher/Heretic by Ingrid D. Rowland. What a writer! What a topic- pure mind candy and when I’m done reading my chapter for the day ( I read slow so that I can savor the experience ) my brain feels refreshed and off to work we go!
Dreamtime: The article gives a very nice description and history of Dreamtime- but this is how I do it. I put on some music, close my eyes and see my story.
I watch the characters interact, hear them speak, move through their lives. Then I write their story.
The thing is, I never write what I see in ‘dreamtime’.
It’s just an exercise to help me work through the story.
At the end of the article the author listed some reflection points.
This is one I’m going to work on:
Is there a particular practice that is calling out to you that you might explore and add to your own daily routine in the coming weeks?
It involves writing of course- I’m thinking about keeping an actual journal. One where I put pen to paper. My friend Lori inspired me to do this. Check her post out :::GETTING ORGANIZED:::
I think I’ve found a few more useful tools as I mine for creative gold.
If you try them out, let me know!