Recently I was in a session with a Calyco healer (healing through energy). As we were talking, she related an interesting story. She has a friend that has a beautiful voice and recorded a CD professionally. The healer had bought the CD and started to listen to it, but couldn’t get through half of it because she felt anxious. This happened every time she plugged in the CD, so she threw it away. Later she asked her friend, “What was going on when you made that CD?” The healer’s friend related a tale of being rushed through production, always feeling behind, and overall… anxious.
Since then I’ve noticed writers saying things like, “I just got my manuscript back from the editors, and the only chapters they disliked were the ones I didn’t like.” Coincidence? I’ve also talked to another author who said her bestselling book is the one she really loved as she wrote it. Interesting.
My thought is, pay attention to how you’re feeling as you write. We can’t help life going on around us – sometimes it’s ideal and sometimes it’s not. Authors are human! Imagine! However, you don’t have to let life affect you “in the zone.” If it’s true you can mass produce feelings, you don’t want to produce something people are going to act adversely to.
Now there’s a plot. Someone writes a book that mass produces _________ and makes ____________ happen. That could be a cool story!
Good post. Fruit fruit for thought
L.T. Elliot said:
Hmmm. I need to take that into account more. I wonder how much of my daily stress is coming out in my writing. Here’s the real kicker…can you train your crit group to spot those kind of things?
Great post, Aine!
I think some people already critique that way without knowing it. I noticed at the Conference while a lot of people talked about the technical issues of the manuscripts, I kept talking about how it made me “feel” or what emotions were being conjured up. I thought that meant I didn’t have anything of quality to say, but as I am reading about finding different kinds of critiques (some for content, others for mechanics) before you talk to an editor, I’m beginning to see maybe there was value to what I had to offer after all.
So when someone says, “I don’t know, it just didn’t feel….” that’s when I would take notice. There were a few others, Amber in particular, you & Mary that seemed to tap into that area time & time again. My sister is really good at it – she spots those feelings that shouldn’t be there super quick – but she always says, “I don’t know… but.” Maybe it’s not training the critique group, but training ourselves to ask questions to discern if the emotions they’re feeling are due to the writing or to the energy we put into our work.
Thank you! That gave me a hug today! 🙂
I have found this to be the case too. The stories I love, that just pour out of me are usually the ones that are best received. When I struggle emotionally, the story suffers and it shows. I do think it is a form of response to energy. Maybe when the energy is blocked the muse is saying :’ I need a break now.’
Very true. Hmmm…. the next question is how do we unblock our muse? I’m sure that answer is different for everyone. My best success so far has to get a hotel and be alone for 24 hours. Can’t do that all the time though. 😉
Very interesting… it makes sense.
Fun little theory I ran across, huh? 😉