Just before the end of the year, I made good on a promise to myself to take up yoga again after more than a dozen year hiatus. It has been so amazing and transformative. There is something about being in a yoga studio and being so present in that moment – letting go of ALL THE THINGS.
Between the incredible music and the soothing direction of the different instructors, I find myself pondering their thoughtful words while breathing and moving through the different poses.
Since the new year, I’ve attended a variety of classes and each time the instructor has spoken about something so meaningful to me at that time. Letting go of the old and allowing the new things in. Defining the one thing that is holding you back at this moment and turning it out. Speaking into your mind the intention this year brings with it for you.
Of course, I was able to relate all of this to my writing. My intention for this year: head-down determination to get my work done. Letting go of the thing that holds me back: self-doubt.
This morning during my yoga practice our instructor spoke about being yourself. About letting yourself express your mind in your way. In that way that is uniquely you. This is fabulous life advice, of course. It also rings true to the writer in me.
I wish I could count how often I’ve picked up a book and found some element from my own stories in there and think, damn – do I need to change my stuff because it’s now been done? Then there was that time I found my character was named the same as a character in another book that is now quite popular and I was unable to keep that name in my story because it was so particular.
But leaving yoga today I felt a bit more free and a lot more convicted about letting all of that stuff go and letting my stories be what they want to be. I feel rather light about releasing the fear that my books will never go anywhere because some element or other in my novels has “been done before”.
The fact is even if all of us were given the same set of rules and told to go write a story, we would all come back with very different results. Proof of this actually happening can be found in last October’s Rule of Three Blogfest where 70 writers got together and wrote 70 very different stories about the same thing. It can be done.
My story (here) is so totally me. Many elements of that story exist and have “been done before” in other written works and yet my story remains uniquely mine. At the time of this contest, all of us were marveling how each of our stories were so very different from each other and yet remained true to the prompts and the rules of the world we were given. I wasn’t able to liken that to my novels at the time.
So, today’s message: Be yourself. Write your own story. Stop worrying that there are too many stories out with zombies or that there are too many out there that have a prophecy, or that there are too many out there with vampires and werewolves. Just write your book and when the time is right, the market will be ready for it.
ok – back to work!