It’s Christmas Time!
Hard to believe, but yes, the winter solstice has ticked by and 2014 is drawing to a close. So, time to reflect.
I’m learning that writing with the intention of making money can be very different from writing because a story has to be told. Some aspects coincide. But others … well, some aspects just skew.
Supposedly, for-money stories can be overhauled, revamped, targeted, whatever it takes to make them profitable. Wanna-be-told stories can also be edited – tweaked, fine tuned, altered a bit – but only so far. And, mostly, for the purpose of bringing the story more into alignment with what it actually wanted to say all along. Those stories not only allow, but actually crave, “a better way of saying what I really meant.”
Stories with agendas of their own are the ones we sentimental writers think of as being like our children. –With some traits, like bad manners or hygiene, that can usually be altered with various forms of education or a bath. But others, like eye color and gender preference, that just have to be accepted pretty much “as is” in order for our spawn to be happy and healthy. And us, content with them, in turn.
And so, while fans and sales and reviews and royalties for *all* stories would certainly be nice confirmations of appreciation, those traits which flow from a wanna-be-told story’s essence must be accepted and preserved (in my humble opinion) … even if said traits fail to garner any outward appearances of success. And, sadly, even if some of those traits are considered to be bad mannered, or foul smelling, by conventional measures.
Otherwise, both the story and the writer suffer from serious lack of fulfillment.
The trick, of course, is in knowing the difference between ego and identity (author and story). When is a trait in need of preservation, and when should it be altered for more accurate alignment with intention? Embraced and accepted as essence, fine-tuned for clarity, or released as mere ego-attachment?
For that matter, where do we and our stories diverge?
I suspect the answer would vary from author to author, and story to story.
For me, clarifying changes are easiest to recognize because the editing bits wake me up, clamoring for attention, … while the extremes of ego and identity leave me scratching my head wondering which is which. –Until I change something essential, and wake to voices demanding it be “put back!”
May the holiday season bring loving balance to ego & identity.
And the new year bring increased clarity.