"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." - Walt Disney

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Flying High or Crashing Down?

"I pick the prettiest part of the sky and I melt into the wing and then into the air, till I'm just soul on a sunbeam."  ~Richard Bach

I recently visited the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola. As I wandered the multiple buildings, floors and exhibits archiving the history of flight and then watching the Blue Angels practice, I found myself wondering what it was like to live when man first achieved flight. How did they feel whenever a plane took off from the ground and completed a successful flight or mission?
As a writer, we come close to feeling the same excitement, romance, sheer bliss of discovery and achievement every time we achieve publication. For some of us, we capture a taste of those feelings simply from completing a project. For others, the feelings are elusive until they receive some form of recognition.
I write best when I'm not comparing myself to others, or wondering if the story I'm telling is original enough or as good as the ones that have come before it, if my family or friends will be embarrassed when they read my work, or any other of a hundred thoughts that can creep up.

The hardest part of writing (for me) isn't the writing itself. It's shutting out the noise and finding my way into a story - getting to the place of blissful writing where I can fly free. There I am free of all things but words and story. I write for myself not for anyone else (which may explain why I still have so many pieces I’ve never bothered to submit).
When I finally feel free enough for submission, I can’t help flying up on wings of anticipation. My soul soars over the completed creation.
Some days there is more to think, worry and wonder about than others. Sometimes I receive a rejection for a piece I felt particularly proud of writing. Sometimes I never hear back from a publisher. Both of these have the potential to make you crash down into the depths of despair,  deaden your spirit and prevent future liftoff – if you let it.

The choice is yours. Will you keep trying? I wish you a lot of flying, of finding that sweet potential where everything else melts away and you become the soul on a sunbeam.
Will you fly high today or let yourself crash and burn?


Kiernan said...

This was really encouraging to me today. Thanks for urging those of us who are easily discouraged to still soar high. :-)

Laurie Kolp said...

True sentiments of a writer. Hang in there!

Susan Kane said...

I love your post! The air museum must have been amazing. This is so perfect: the hardest part of writing is "...shutting out the noise and finding my way into a story..." Said so perfectly.

KM Nalle said...

I will keep trying because failure is about learning and rejections make the highs sweeter! Encouraging post today. Thank you.

Unknown said...

Awesome post! Thank you for posting this.

Tonja said...

Flying high....:)

Stephanie Faris said...

I've been trying forever, through many rejections and disappointments. I keep trying not because I'm stubbornly determined but because I love to write. I can't seem to stop doing it. So I guess either I'll eventually get published or die writing! Either way, I'll be doing something I love.

Angela said...

I keep on pushing myself, even though sometimes it all feels fruitless.

Denise Covey said...

The museum visit sounds awesome Sylvia. Keep at the writing. Sometimes it's just a hard slog, sometimes it's magical.


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Kyra Lennon said...

I have yet to attempt publication, but I am just starting to write my first novel now and it's a scary time! I hear you on the worries over originality and talent - it is something that concerns me every day! But you're right - you have to write for yourself and keep going on the days when it seems like a waste of time. :)

Terri Tiffany said...

Hi there! Normally I keep flying despite the rejections and crashes--but lately, I've been stalled, sitting on the ground, worrying about whether I can write what I need to write.

Lola Sharp said...

Flying high...always. :) Live fearless.

Also, I love the R. Bach quote.


LTM said...

FLY! And hey! That museum is like 30 mins from my house. We were there for a field trip last fall w/my 3rd grader. It is impressive. Especially the Blue Angels show~

great post! :o)

Anonymous said...

With writing, if you want to be read, that is published, it's a bumpy flight. So many rejections along the way, especially if you keep trying and trying.

A beautifully written post, Sylvia. I enjoyed it very much.
Ann Best, Memoir Author

anthony stemke said...

Your essay is very inspiring. We always have choices. You are so correct about shutting out what family and friends "might" think about your effort.
You offer great encouragement.
I've been to Pensacola probably 50 times to visit friends, but never visited the base or the museum.