In Search of the Secret to (Good) Writin’

In Search of the Secret to (Good) Writing

tesla quote stars

Energy        Frequency        Vibration

“If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of ENERGY, FREQUENCY, and VIBRATION” – Nikola Tesla

Tesla quote art

I know Nikola, the “mad” scientist who invented the thermostat, thermal electric power, wireless radio, discovered alternating current, remote control, and had many more achievements, was speaking of scientific research, but what if you apply this thinking to your spiritual, personal growth? Your life goals? Your writing, your art?

Creative writing is a field imbued with a similar spirit of discovery and innovation. Through accidental and purposeful invention, sometimes exuberant experimentation, new stories, new characters are born on the page. Depending on the energy, frequency, the vibration of the work, our writing comes to life, and if we are fortunate, lives on in a reader’s heart and mind.

Energy        Frequency        Vibration

When Nikola Tesla wrote his famous words, I wonder if he believed that this quiet wisdom could be applied to any activity, any endeavor we believe is worthwhile.

After I revisited the draft of a short story that had me circling the drain, feeling as if I’d written myself into an uncomfortable corner, I asked this of myself regarding my own dreams, writing and beyond: How much energy do I bring to the task? What frequency (how often) do I bring myself to engage in it? What spirit of intent, faith, and hope (vibration) do I bring most often?

In developing and redefining my creative process, I find myself re-evaluating when and where I write and pre-write, how I revise and edit, how long I let the works grow cold before re-entering them and starting the whole process again.

The energy, frequency, and vibration of my creation have changed over my journey. This mostly depended on family and professional dynamics, but on other factors, too. Over the years I have tried new things and tossed out tactics that didn’t work well for me. Between my personal reading, attending workshops and writer’s talks to gain more insight and build community, I also devoured every word certain authors have shared with us about their own creative process and advice.

ach_teslaman

In this quest to grow and learn, I created, abandoned, and reinvented new strategies for overcoming self-doubt and fear. I had “perseverance” but not so much that inexhaustible “confidence.” I don’t know about you, but for me, no matter what new milestone I reach, no matter which old weakness I am able to cobble away at, there is always that fear gnawing in the background. As I look at a new page, after a brief moment of wonder and excitement, that “I did it!” moment when you complete a first or second draft, there is also that moment when I think, “This is a hot, weird mess and no one is going to want to read this!” Thank goodness I am able to change that negativity to a more positive energy, a more positive vibration so I can have the courage to send the work out. Thank goodness that there are editors and publishers—our first professional readers, who help lift our best writing up and shares it with the world.

There was a brief period when I was lost in the “writer’s garret” phase. I thought “real writing” only happened in the most beautiful scenic and serene places. When real life kicked me in the pants, I had to wake myself from that dream, get like Booker T and ‘cast my buckets where I stood.’ I was ruthless about protecting my writing time, even the times when doing so was neither easy nor self-evident.

Beautiful scenery, solitude, and serenity are indeed great gifts, but in learning how to write, I learned that real writers take and make the time to write whenever they can, when it makes sense for them, and they write because they must. It’s all about the unique energy, the personal frequency, and the positive, productive vibration they bring to their writing that makes all the difference in whether they get real words on the page.

There was another period when I nearly stopped writing because I was so critical of the new, fresh words on the page that I had practically paralyzed myself. I took a dear friend’s advice and put on my “writer’s hat” and asked the “editor self” to politely have a seat. I let that critical voice take several seats, in the sitting room, while I let my imagination and instincts what I was learning about technique and craft. How freeing that was! I got myself a new pair of shades when the rose-tinted ones had me wasting time in a “grass is always greener” twilight zone.

De-romanticizing the way I think about the writing and the work, just fighting my way to a more professional, purposeful approach to my writing. I’ve had to reshape my process so that I got the most, dedicated writing done in the maximum amount of time. Over the years, after I had to change my writing cycles from night to day, from burning the midnight oil to rising before the crick-crack of dawn—and back again, I found that I was able to write more solidly even with pressed for time. What a wonderful, freeing discovery that was—something I had been told by other writers that would happen over time if I remained open and dedicated to improving my craft. “Butt in the chair” time as writer Howard Waldrop once said, pays off.

So by bringing great energy, consistent practice, and positive imagination and purposeful intent, by nurturing your dream, you will succeed!

Sheree Renée Thomas