Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Stand in the Moment

Happy New Year!

*squints at the date*

I mean, Happy March. Er... Happy Mid-March. It's only taken me two and a half months to kick off my triumphant 2012  return to the blogosphere, which is a lot less triumphant now that it is March rather than January. But no matter. Today I'd like to share a small bit of wisdom that it took me far too long to learn.

First, the writing application. My rough drafts are often messy, wandering, tell rather than show, boring verbiage.  In other words, they aren't very good. And that's okay, because there are always revisions sparkling in the distance, where I can take my train wreck stories and get them closer to that wonderful idea that made me catch my breath in the first place. But the other day I had an epiphany as I was revising yet another rough draft of a chapter that was sucktastic: I had to stand in my story.

Being a true storyteller isn't about telling someone a story, it's about weaving words so someone is transported through them into my world and my characters, and doing it effortlessly so the reader doesn't realize it's happening. And to do that, I have to live it first. Don't get me wrong, I get there through revisions, but I can make my writing time more efficient if I stand in my story from the beginning.So now before I start, I close my eyes and put myself in the scene first.

This applies to life as well. I am a big get-things-done person, and there have been many times I find myself focusing so much on my To-Do lists (yes, plural) that whole minutes, hours, days have passed me by. I have to put myself into life--stand in my own story. I need to pay attention to what is happening. Right. Now. And if that means less things get crossed off my list (like a triumphant blog return) or I close the laptop more and focus on what's happening around me, then so be it.

A good life, like a good story, is in the moments.