Five Minute Writing Tip
The theme for this month's newsletter is the freedom to imagine. I can't think of a better word to describe the joy of writing fiction. It's a creative art form that requires only one thing: the mind. Artist's need supplies, musicians need instruments, and architects need building materials, but a writer needs only her imagination. It doesn't cost anything. You can utilize it anywhere, anytime. Useful content is garnered from the five senses, which are free. Ideas also come from your subconscious; little surprises that wake you up when you're asleep.
Occasionally someone tells me they could never be a writer because they lack imagination. But that's not true. If you think, you can imagine and the more you do it, the easier it gets.
Moreover, there are rewards in exercising your imagination:
1. You improve your problem-solving skills by weaving plots. You have the freedom to choose your genre and set your story anywhere and at any time.
2. You increase the neurons in your brain, which improves your memory.
3. By using your imagination to write stories, you have to look at every angle and decide which best serves your purpose. This benefits you in your decision in your own life.
4. You improve your judgment by putting yourself in the shoes of your characters and understanding their needs, behavior, and motivation.
5. The biggest and best reward is that you've created something unique; something that is always yours.
My characters, Sydney Lockhart, Kate Caraway, and Ted Kendrick (not yet on the scene) are mine, as well as all the secondary characters. They grew from my imagination. I have the freedom to control their lives, take them to exotic places, put them in horrible danger, make them say profound or idiotic things, rescue them, or not. I give them space on the page, but they give me so much more - ideas, inspirations, self-satisfaction. It wasn't until I start writing this tip that I realized what a gift this process is.
In preparing the introduction for my newsletter and deciding on the subject of my five-minute writing tip, two June holidays caught my attention. June 1 has been designated as Dare Day. It is defined as a day to challenge someone, even yourself to push the envelope, take a risk; it's a call to action day. Procrastinators and weenies step aside. Yep, this is a day for me. If you've read my recent musings, you'll know that I'm staying the course to make some positive and productive changes in my writing life.
After twenty-five years of writing and telling myself financial success wasn't necessary and that knowing a few folks read my books and enjoyed them was enough. And those folks, by far, are the best aspect of my success. Having someone tell me they love my books, plots, and characters, is enough to make a plethora of days.
But I've been in denial telling myself that financial success wasn't important and that if I focused on the money, I'd be greedy and selfish. Where did that idea ever come from? I can guess, but I won't go there.
The point is that with financial success comes opportunities to share my ideas and creations with others. Being a teacher by profession, sharing my knowledge and experience is a joy that resonates deep down. Seeing a light bulb go off in someone's head as they listen to my ideas, knowledge, and experiences, is priceless.
Having some extra bucks in the bank allows me to do this more often. It also allows me to support causes I believe in. I've always donated a portion of my royalties to various groups, but the more I earn the more I can share.
Where's the writing tip in this? Simple:
Life is good and so is a sweet bank account.
Now comes the second quirky June holiday that caught my attention. June 18 is Panic Day. Wanting to make changes is one thing. Making them is another. It's like taking a giant leap of faith and when that time comes, it's exciting, but terrifying and panic, for me, sets in. But with my changed way of thinking, the panic doesn't last long because my faith is stronger than it's ever been. In situations like this, I always ask myself, what's the worse that can happen? I'll be out some money.
What's the best that can happen? I'll have enough money to save the world.
What usually happens is something in the middle. And that something is pretty darn good too.