Sunday, November 12, 2006

The Sound of Water Laughing

If you've ever closed your eyes beside a rippling brook and listened to the water careening over stones and pebbles, you may have heard the sound of water laughing.

When was the last time you listened for the sound of laughter and took a break from the serious side of your writing practice?

What if today--right now--you drop your stubborn defenses and simply laugh at the challenges that are frustrating you?

Instead of knocking your head against the wall in search of a solution, try to imagine looking at the wall and dancing with the shadow that your body makes on it, pretending that it's not a wall at all but a partner in the mystery of creation.

Instead of struggling with words, play with them.

And rather than find frustration in the gaps that still remain in your stories, take joy in the daily process of discovering the story itself.

Leap beyond the routines of an ordinary workday... and do something different for a change, something that might bring a looser, more relaxed approach to your work.

If you can listen to the sound of water laughing, you may find yourself with a completely different perspective.

You may find the plot that you think is going one way... is really going somewhere else.

Or that a character who seems kind-hearted and sweet is really a horror.

You may find a different point of view

Or another voice.

Who knows what you may find until you leave the seriousness aside for a while and simply play at your desk ... or in the backyard... or at the beach... or ... anywhere but the place where you usually do your work?

Who says that you can write only one way?

Or work on only one story at a time?

Or think about that story in only one way?

You can choose how you want to work... and which stories you want to work on.

Sometimes the simple sound of water laughing reminds us that we can step out of our routines and follow a different path.

And sometimes that different path may lead to new and unexpected ways of seeing ourselves ... and our stories.

For more on laughter and creativity, visit these online resources:

1 comment:

jo'r said...

Very seductive, and a pleasant respite from the concerns of actually getting a manuscript accepted. I sure don't understand how growing numbers of publishers can be so callous toward writers. Many are telling writers not to include a SASE with their Ms. because they don't intend to answer unless they're interested. How much effort can it take to tuck a form rejection in a SASE to let the writer know a Ms. was received and considered? Maybe we all ought to take a year off from sending anything to such publishers. I guess this just shows how much I need to listen to some laughing water.