I recently had several of those incredible moments where someone I admire or respect says just exactly what I needed to hear–even though I had no idea I needed to hear it.
Giving credit where credit is due, I’d like to share those wise words. Perhaps they will speak to you in some significant way.
I happened to be at a writer’s conference last month, just a few days after receiving a representation agreement from my agent, Jennifer Schober (Spencerhill Associates).
The key note speaker was the award winning and much acclaimed writer Jess Walter. His speech was inspirational on so many levels that I could only begin to do it justice if I could publish the entire text, and even then it would be a poor substitute for those words on that day. But, one single phrase was burned into my psyche, inscribed on my writer’s soul so that I will never forget:
Tell yourself your own writer’s story and celebrate each and every success along the way.
Well, maybe not an exact quote, but the heart of it is there. In that instant I understood the great importance of standing in a single moment and however briefly, celebrating its glory before it had passed. It never comes again–finishing that first full draft, pitching to that first agent, saying the words “I am a writer” and owning them for the first time, and yes, signing that representation agreement.
Wow. Thank you Jess, for saving me before I let that one slip by without the rousing ‘huzzah’ it deserved–even if it was only in the privacy of my own mind.
Months before that, I had the privilege of talking with literary agent Karen Solem (Spencerhill Associates) about my writing. It was an incredibly valuable discussion which ultimately led me to where I am now. Many things were said in that discussion, but one comment in particular helped me to understand my own creative process more clearly than ever:
Creativity happens in the subconscious
Wonderfully simple and succinct. Even out of context it is profound. That comment was actually part of a bigger piece of advice she gave me on how to approach some major revisions. I understood the new objective but had no idea how I was going to achieve it. Her advice to me was to relax and let it go, and to trust that the answer would come–probably while I was taking a shower or walking in the park. She was right, and I will never fear writer’s block again.
The last little nugget of wisdom I will share is something best-selling author Jayne Ann Krentz said during a presentation she gave earlier this year at a bookstore event. This was her answer to a question, posed by someone in the audience, who asked her where she got her story ideas:
Writers see a story in everything
The gospel, I say. That sums it up, at least for me. And if I hadn’t known before that instant, really known it beyone a doubt, I knew it then. I’m a writer!