The creative process is truly a wonderful thing. It ebbs and flows in our minds effortlessly, often taking us down a path we never would have dreamed taking before. It always sparks our imaginations when we least expect it; in the shower, walking down the street or driving our car. This is why a writer worth their salt carries a small notepad or journal to jot down those mini supernovas of creative expressions.
I was 10 when Star Wars hit the scene in 1977. For the first time in my young life, I was watching a science fiction movie relatable to my imagination. Sure, I had watched reruns of the original Star Trek series, which had built a true appreciation of the genre but Star Wars was a tale for my generation; it inspired me to put pencil to paper. I would not have finished the first version of my own saga or be here typing this post if it had not opened up the door of my creativity.
Let me be clear. I do not have tons of scholastic experience nor with my first published work currently in the editing process. I took college level English when I was a senior in high school; mainly due to the fact I had taken everything the school could offer and wanted more. I attended the University of Maryland while I was stationed in Germany with a focus in Criminal Justice due to my profession as a Security Specialist in the Air Force. I completed all of my core classes but neglected to finish the remaining electives to secure my degree. Through it all I was continually reminded by my professor’s, I had a gift. This is not a boast or self-proclamation; it was their words. After years of soul searching and extended bouts of not writing anything at all, I finally came to an understanding of what this gift means to me.
What I do know comes from being self-taught and mentorship. Nothing can replace the guidance of a mentor who can smooth the rough edges to put you on a path to success. They know when it is the right time to ask constructive questions while providing cautionary statements to help you avoid writing characters in to a corner. Through them I have learned writing, no matter the form, is not necessarily about getting published; it is about developing your craft and never stop practicing it. We are human and we learn by doing.
For too long I was consumed with a vision of how I was going to get my first book published. In my mind, the only way I was going to achieve this goal was for a “brick and mortar” publishing house to sign me up. So I took my completed work, “The Dark Traveler,” book one of the Sy’Arrian Legacy series and began the arduous process of submitting it to agents. I visited the websites of author’s who inspired me to see what they had gone through. I read a few, highly recommended resource materials on how to craft cover letters and chapter synopses. Truth be told, I learned a great deal and would do it again for the journey is truly more important than the destination. After receiving several denial letter templates with the “we cannot take on a project of this nature at this time” responses, I chose to mediate on my approach.
It was not until I let go of all my false realities did the creative elements within me began to change. If you have read anything about the ancient Toltec Wisdom, you will know what I am referring. Freeing the mind to see things as they truly are is nothing short of miraculous.
Fast forward to the present where I have completed a re-visioning of prior work and renamed it, The Cradle of Destiny. I have opened myself up in a way I initially resisted by joining a writer’s group and starting this blog. I am currently working with Rogue Phoenix Press who will give my little spark of creation a home.
The creative process is also a teacher. It will change your perspective, challenge your belief system and stoke the fire of your spirit. The only requirement is to let go and open your mind to its tutelage.
Feel free to post your questions, comments or concerns. I will respond, if need be, when I able.
If you have questions relating to the Toltec Wisdom I referenced above, please visit Don Miguel Ruiz for more information.