“Happiness, not in another place but this place…not for another hour, but this hour.”
One mistake of beginning authors (yes, here’s looking to me), is that we tend to rush through our stories, hurrying to get to the cool things we have planned for later on. I find myself doing this all of the time, slogging through the boring but necessary filler scenes alive to only advance the plot, wishing I could skip straight to the AWESOME stuff.
I mean, I read books for the plot twists, the exciting reveals, the epic fight scenes; and as an author, I write my book for these moments as well. The moments in which my heart pounds, my sweat breaks, my tears fall upon my shaking hands, flying across my keyboard. The moments in which, after I am done writing, I feel like I have run an emotional marathon, the fatigue and elation of completing such a feat wrung from me like a soaked rag.
I live for those moments. But yesterday, I learned that I was wrong.
Trying to better myself as an author, I spend time educating myself by learning from experts in the field. One such way is by watching Brandon Sanderson’s creative writing classes, videos of his university lectures that he has posted on YouTube (for free! Thank you from all of us poor dreamers). This one such lecture was on Fight Scenes and Romance, both subjects in which I need growth. At one point he stops and states something so obvious, yet so obviously missing from my writing that I sat stunned. He said,
“Every scene should do something different and cool”
Duh. Right? Of course! Every scene. Every single scene in my book should have something different and awesome in it, right? Why didn’t I think of that? I am writing fantasy for goodness sake! Why do I even have boring, filler scenes? They should not exist in my book, so why do I put them in?
We are so busy rushing to get to the one cool thing we want, that we miss the cool things that could be happening right where we are at!
Sure we all remember books for the crescendo of the battle, for the first kiss in a long anticipated romance, but have you ever read a book where even the monotonous tasks capture your attention. Where you take wonder at the world, just as it is, because it is something different. Moments that make you pause. Moments like Kvothe trying to earn his pipes (The Name of the Wind), dinners in Roshar where the men are only allowed to have spicy/savory food and women sweet (The Way of Kings), and riding the train on your way to school (Harry Potter: The Sorcerer’s Stone).
You are a writer. Don’t rush so much that you forget to dream! Your world is an interesting place, take the proper time to explore it.
For those of you who are not writers, this still applies to you, you know why? This world that you live in, is AWESOME. God created a masterpiece of beauty and adventure, and plopped you right down in the center of it. Don’t be in such a rush to get to the cool things you hope for in your future, that you forget to make cool things happen now!
God created you to be creative, to have a mind that solves problems; maybe it is time that you stretch it out a little bit. What should you be taking wonder in, in your life now, that you are rushing by? Nothing? Does everything in your life feel like a boring filler scene that simply exists to advance that plot to the things that you are scared to even hope might happen?
Try something new. Today. Right now even! It is not as hard as you think. I mean, look at me….I started a blog, and guess what? More than just my mom reads it (Success!). Your life does not have to all be filler, each page should grasp you, entrance you, and captivate you.
If you are lost, and need some hope, need some encouragement, or even just need a list of ideas of new things you can try, please comment, or email me, I would love to help. I have been there. Your life is interesting, I promise you, sometimes you just need someone to remind you why.