Monday, December 10, 2012

So You Think You Can Dance?

Approaching the end of a year brings all last year's resolutions to mind, along with the promise of a New Year. As a writer you have goals for each year and the dance between dreams and reality is a daily battle as the tyranny of the urgent knocks on your door.

This year has brought many things to each of you. I’ve read of loss, illness, success and exciting projects. My own year has been filled with such a mixture of emotions and events. Losing my mother, publishing my first novel and seeing my children complete university degrees have been some of the milestones.

Like life, writing is an emotional and spiritual journal that is woven into the fabric of our lives. The dance of life, and writing, has several challenges.

The Dance Between Imagination and The Reality of Work
A writer’s imagination is always firing, however, getting down to write can be a challenge.

We see these books in our waking hours and dream of them through the night. However, if we don’t have the structure or time or effort or discipline to get down and write, the books stay dreams.

The dance of life between space and busyness is one that challenges every writer. How do we sit down and write when life interrupts?

A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper. E.B. White

Bryce Courtney would write a 600-page book in around six months, year in, year out. Bob Sessions, Courtney’s publisher said, “To achieve that feat he used what he called 'bum glue', sometimes writing for more than 12 hours a day.”
Many participated in the NaNoWriMo challenge this year and succeeded in completing a complete novel.
How have you danced between imagination and work in 2012?
The Dance Between Imagination and Structure
Roland Fishman from The Writers Studio says that writing “is a profound dance between imagination and structure.”

A plan and schedule for our work help us to structure our days and projects so we will be sure we will reach completion.
Having worked in events management, I know the value of having an end date and a plan that works back from that. This approach gives you steps along the way, deadlines to meet and a sense of achievement as you progress.

“We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.” Friedrich Nietzsche

The Dance Between Stepping Out and Insecurity
Creating something is a dance between the adventure of stepping out and insecurity. We all have self- doubt. We all have the thought every now and then of, “Who am I to do this?”
Insecurity and fear can bring us to a halt. We need to develop the bravery required to focus on what our calling is. I think we all have that inner voice that gives us the vision and purpose in what we are supposed to write about.
Life is short and fragile and, if you put things off, you may never do what you want to you. A few years ago I went on a tandem parachute jump. Stepping out of a perfectly good airplane, strapped to a guy with a chute via a thin piece of webbing and a metal clasp was a step of faith.
I felt the same way when embarking on my first book. (I have that feeling every time I begin a new project.) Knowing who you are and what you are doing it for helps you to step out of insecurity, and into the adventure of creating something.
Albert Camus wrote, "On the ridge where the great artist moves forward, every step is an adventure, an extreme risk. In that risk however, and only there, lies the freedom of art.”
So, Do You Think You Can Dance In 2013?
I’m learning to put more structure in place so that the books in my imagination become a reality. The motivation to push ahead and keep working on more books in 2013 is rising as 2012 fades into the past. It’s time to take the leap of faith required to make dreams a reality.

One final word, friends. We ask you—urge is more like it—that you keep on doing what we told you to do to please God, not in a dogged religious plod, but in a living, spirited dance. 1 Thessalonians 4:1

Will you dance in 2013?

 By Elaine Fraser


  1. Thanks for this post. I needed this encouragement. The next project must move from the head to disciplined action.

  2. Thanks so much, Elaine, for such an encouraging blog. And yes, even with some issues with my back, to the best of my ability, I'm planning to be part of that 'living, spirited dance' next year!

  3. Thanks for your very interesting blog Elaine. Loved the anaology of dancing to writing. Yes, I sure take up the challenge for 2013 and thanks for asking! :)

    I've just booked a much needed operation on my feet. While it means I can look forward to lots of pain, inconvenience, not being able to do what I love to do - am hoping that I can have some extra time to write as I recover. Yay!

    Bring on 2013. I am ready for you. Thanks for your encouraging thoughts Elaine and congratulations on publishing your first novel. That's awesome.

  4. Hi Elaine,
    I'm sure I'd never be as brave as you were regarding the parachute jump! That must have been stunning. As for 2012, it has been an eventful year for you. Keep up the dance with grace.

  5. What an encouragement you are to 'get on with it', particularly in the way you have dealt with many challenges this year. I hope to emulate your attitude in 2013, getting on with the 'dance' and resisting persistent 'suitors' cutting in!

  6. Hello Elaine, I had never thought of dancing and writing in the same sphere and yet, both belong to the arts.. Dancing takes you out of yourself and into a dream, its so excruciating, you go into your own world.Yes! I can see that writing does that also, and I continue to wish when I write that I could be on my own. The phone rings and people come to visit, or there's cooking, laundry and cleaning.
    With Bryce Courtney, he had a wife to attend to all the other details. I am blessed to not be trying with young children or demanding teenagers. I loved my time as a mum, yet now that I write I have the utmost respect for all the mother authors out there...Loved what you wrote here. Thank you.

  7. Not excruciating....exhilarating... LOL

  8. An encouraging blog, Elaine. Think I'll stick to writing and leave the parachute jumping to you though,

  9. well written and great motivation to keep writing