05 September 2009

Letting Lightning Strike

This week’s assignment for my HtTS course is to help create lightning. Lightning = story ideas. I have seven days to get three strikes.

So like the diligent student that I am, I did what I was supposed to do - last week’s assignment then the bit of writing from this week. The rest of the assignment is to wait and see what happens - letting lightning strike as it will.

I’m not usually one to sit by and let things happen. If something needs to be done, I just do it. So imagine: two days after starting the assignment and I haven’t experienced lightning. I’m began to wonder, more like fret, what will, or won’t, happen. How do I complete the assignment if nothing is happening?

On Friday, I commented on a post over on GenReality, mentioning how antsy I am waiting for lightning. And nightsmusic, having taken the same course previously, reminded me that not all tools work for every person. But to go with it, not to worry and see what happens. (Which is what Holly said in the course material but I had promptly forgotten.)

One of those “duh” moments. Of course.

Being a parent requires trying things out, finding what works for the family, be it discipline, encouragement, managing it all. Parents receive lots of advice on what to do on all sorts of things - cry it out, family bed, time-out, spanking, not saying “No” to your child. Then there are the tons of books suggesting what one should or shouldn’t do - some seemingly contradicting each other. In the end, the parent has to pick and choose what to try before finding out what works. And, of course, not all things work for everyone. Each family, through lots of trial and error, develops and evolves as they need to, using what tools work and giving up those that stop working. Same goes for anything in life, like writing.

Since I’m so new to this writing gig, earnest efforts only since last November, and being an engineer by education and training, I’m keen to try new things, to see what works. It’s just that this assignment goes against my usual nature - let someone (my Muse) take control. (Don’t get me started on the Muse thing.)

So after reading nightsmusic’s comment, I relaxed and didn’t worry about it the rest of the day.

Saturday morning brings with it a small flash of something. Not a huge lightning bolt that streaks, crooked and bright, from the clouds down to the ground. But a nice flash of light in the clouds.

Looks like I just needed to get out of my own way and let nature take its course.


Alfonso said...

Interesting point. That is certainly part of the issue of developing your own voice and your own ideas - letting your muse strike. Its just as much an issue for my non-fiction writing - figuring out how to fill the next page..What how why...

And that tension on each page thing... I'm still working on it.

Alfonso said...

PS Nice image of the space station...

Anne Velosa said...

Yeah, that's the trick ... learning how to be a lightning rod.