Something magical happens in a room filled with writers, especially when they are all creating. That magic overtook me during the first meeting of my First Draft Incubator workshop. After a talk about theme, story structure, and character arc, the writers spent some time writing and brainstorming their first acts. I watched each of them write and think, and as they did, the city noise faded into the background in favor of the sound of pens dancing across blank pages. Each writer’s focus seemed to fill the room and act as a reservoir for the other writers to draw from. Gratitude and beauty washed over me and I almost started crying right there during the workshop!
This magic, this combined creative energy, remains one of the most beautiful things in my life (aside from my awesome family) and I feel incredibly lucky to facilitate that several times a week and have such beautifully creative people near me so frequently.
The moment one decides they want to be a writer is a sacred moment. This moment ushers in the start of a massive transformation. This moment is a crossing-the-threshold moment, and often a point of no return. That person embarks upon a journey of learning about craft and more importantly, learning about themselves. They learn about their own creative ability. They learn about their own tenacity. They learn about people and how to recreate them on paper. They learn about psychology and motivation and conflict. I believe that people are called to writing, much like a vocation, because they are meant to tell stories. I honor that and support that. I help writers tell the best stories they can. Because I am in love with writers.
And I understand the difficulty that comes with the next steps in the writing life: taking that material and turning into something I want to send out is one of the most difficult yet artistic parts of this endeavor. It’s as if my personality splits in three: Me, the writer who generates the material in the first place; Me, the reader who examines my work from a reader’s point of view; and Me, the critic, the part of me that projects myself into those people who might criticize my work. Sometimes the critic takes center stage.
Writers struggle with self-criticism. I understand that struggle. I’ve experienced it personally. I’m learning resilience. Even in the face of criticism, whether it’s my own or someone else’s (my own is always harsher), I learn new ways to persevere. I pass these lessons along as soon as I learn them.
I’m driven to work with writers because I understand them. Because they embody the complexity of the entire universe and attempt to document it. They are creators, and creators need to be supported and loved and encouraged.