Sunday, February 8, 2009

With a Little Help From My...

I've been in a writing jam lately. The Epic In Progress (The E.I.P, not to be confused with E.I.N), has nagged me, even though I intentionally put the entire mess on the closet shelf. That's right. All notes, printed pages and other roughness is right there in a big red accordion file. Now that the Spring semester is in full swing, I knew I wouldn't look at the E.I.P for a bit. But, still, there it is, nag, nag, nag.

The problem started with my decision to re-write the prologue in another p.o.v. I mentioned my block in the previous blog. Two of my friends, Stevie P. and Erica O. (that sounds so diva-ish), suggested it's not me, it's the E.I.P. Erica suggested brainstorming with a friend.

Saturday, while searching for her phone number, my girlfriend Marcia Colette called me. Yes, it was a Twilight Zone moment. Oh what a relief! After we bantered about this and that, I changed conversation-gears, and said, "I know why I can't move forward with my Epic," and I proceeded to unload the reasons. Never missing a beat (she rarely misses anything) Marcia said, "You have got to put that all behind you and get on with it."

If that conversation took place face to face, her face would have been in mine. Finger jabbing my chest - I felt it over the microwave. Damn, she's one powerful babe! And as if we were face to face, we brainstormed; I laid out my thoughts for the new prologue to her; she said something like, "Yes! That'll work!" and that afternoon, I sat down and wrote it. Just like that. But...

there was a prelude to Saturday. Is it possible the Universe can read emails? I know if I speak out loud, I get results, but an email request? This past Friday I said in an email to Erica O., "Now if only I could wrap my brain around the actual writing of it... It'll come. I have faith. It'll come."

The next day, Bam! Phone call with Marcia; me sitting down and writing.

I'm a huge believer that when there's something you need, say it out loud. And now I'm thinking that writing the wish had the same impact. I told Erica, albeit in an e-mail, that I had faith. I believed it would come. It did, with a little help from Marcia.

See how the Universe is? Always there, whether you believe in it or not.

It continued to amaze me. Last night I watched an interview on 60 Minutes of Chris Martin, lead singer of Coldplay. He said about his group, "We rely more on enthusiasm than actual skill. Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically and people will like it more." Steve Kroft, CBS correspondent conducting the interview, said that the group is "confident that they are not yet as good as they are going to be."

I can't stop thinking about Chris Martin's statement. It's had an overwhelming impact on my psyche ever since, provoking thought. Enthusiasm the higher power over skill. And I'm confident that after digging into the Epic just one more time, that I'm "...not yet as good as" I'm going be.

Always strive for greatness; do so with complete enthusiasm. "People will like it more." Could that be because true writing comes with gut gusto? I think so, and feel that the root of my recent block was forgetting to just let go. Forget about the skill, whether you're sentences are the correct structure, or if the world's going to like your work. Keep focus on what matters - the passion in you. It'll breed greatness, I believe.

And when the going gets bogged down, it's always best to reach out for a lifeline. In my case, they found me - Stevie P., Erica O. and the lovely ass-kicker, Marcia.

Do you find you're sometimes forgoing enthusiasm/passion for skill? Have you had any "Cue the Twilight Zone Music" moments you'd care to share?


Edie said...

I get twilight moments all the time! LaDonna and I get a lot of them, going through the same thing at the same time.

As for enthusiasm, if you love what you're writing, that energy will be in your pages, in the words you write. In your voice. And I'm betting it's in your prologue.

Stephen Parrish said...

Your best post yet! Of the two I've read. (Kidding.) Seriously, this is great.

My favorite quote, the only one taped to the wall before me (actually it's taped to my printer, but I thought "wall" sounded better), is by Dorothea Brande:

Act boldly and unseen forces will come to your aid.

Stevie P.

lainey bancroft said...

Well...I guess this was my Twilight Zone moment.

Lately I've just kind of been going through the motions, not really 'feeling it' because the motions don't seem to be moving me in the direction I'd like. Obviously my fault for not being bold enough...passionate enough about the WIP.

Thanks Kath! I needed this! =)

Erica Orloff said...

Hey Kath:
You are being way too modest. :-) Because THE kay, the way I see it, wasn't even that the Universe handed you some serendipity . . . it was that you were OPEN to hearing it. You could have shoved Epic in a drawer and forgotten about it forever. But you shared about it. You could have read what I wrote in the comments and thought, "There's that Orloff, again, that damn b-word." But instead you sort of mulled it all over. Then YOU took a chance when Marcia called.

What I have found over and over is the Universe comes knocking (or in this case, comes calling) . . . but lots of people doing answer the phone.

Kath Calarco said...

Edie, I've yet to look at the new prologue. I'm always afraid that I'll get bogged down with those "quick" edits that jam everything up. :) But, I'll bet it sizzles! On to Chapter One!

Kath Calarco said...

Stevie, you're just saying that because I gave you a shout out, lol. But, I agree. I think it is one of my better pieces. It almost looks like I was thinking while writing.

And LOVE the quote! Yes! Going bold is always better than crawling along dully.

Kath Calarco said...

Lainey! I thought you were out to sea?

Anyway, I'm very pleased that my blog is the kick in the pants you were waiting for. If you want one in person, I can be there in three (hours). :)

Robin said...

You make house calls? Why didn't you tell me? I'll have your room ready! I could so use a kick in the pants right now.

I'm currently revising and thinking this could be *so* much better, but do I have what it takes to make it so much better? So I'll echo the comments that this was a fabulous post! It was just what I needed to hear (you are so talented and gifted, Kath!) to get me to LET GO. And then hopefully the story that's deep inside me that I'm struggling to translate well to the page, will emerge.

Kath Calarco said...

Binks, I'll come out and kick your ass any time. :) Name the day.

Remember that you are good today, but not as great as you will be tomorrow. (I love that!) You already know you have what it takes, so just let go and have at it.

Kath Calarco said...

Binks, P.S. Thanks for the kind words. :)

Robin said...

Thanks, Kath! And you're so welcome!