Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Soul Gold

In between moments of "Do you know where crazy is, cause you're driving your mother there" and "No, no more goldfish" and "Do you want a timeout?" (Which just proves that I'm already at "crazy" because no two year old is going to take his fingers out of his brother's nose willingly and say, "Why, yes, mother...I think I do want a timeout, thank you) Anyway, the sane moments I have this week are moments I am immersed in THE ALCHEMIST by Paulo Coelho.

If you haven't read it yet...run, don't walk to the nearest bookstore and read it NOW. Especially if you're a writer. It's seriously a spiritual experience. Okay, maybe that's just me, but WOW. I can count on one hand the number of books that have touched something deeper than my intellect. This is a book that is more like an experience. An experience of seeing the invisible thread that connects us all--to each other, to nature, to the stars, the wind, the past, present and future.

It also is a confirmation for me in some ways. I've talked before about how much I believe in serendipity and how I feel that when you're on the right path (your personal right path) you will know by the way things open up unexpectedly. Like floating down a river, instead of trying to swim up it. Not that there won't be obstacles--mountain-sized boulders and man-eating fish--but that those obstacles won't matter because what's a few bumps, bruises and delays when you are following your dreams?

"When you want something (something referring to your one great desire, not the '69 Camaro you've been dreaming about...or is that just me again?) all the universe conspires to help you achieve it."

Anyway, the book is basically a fable about finding your Personal Legend. Everyone has one.

One of the parts that I liked the most was when the main character realized at one point when he's about to give up, that it didn't matter how long it took him to reach his goal, every step was a step closer.

Isn't that a great thought to ease some of the pressure we put on ourselves? It doesn't matter if two years have gone by between step one and step two. As long as you take that step, you will never fail.

This is such an important point, especially as writers. We are trying to find personal fulfillment in a business that moves at the speed of molasses. A novel can take years to write, years to get published (with odds on forever). But the only way you don't succeed is if you give up, if you stop moving toward your purpose in life.

So, take that step! Step away from the self-doubt and dare to dream. Even if it's been a year...or ten since you took the time out to write, paint, dance, make someone laugh...whatever it is that opens your heart and pours in warm unending streams of sunshine...move toward it. It's a good day to realize you are still on the road to fulfilling your purpose in life.

How do I know?

You're breathing, aren't you?


Shelli said...

Just what I wanted to hear. Thanks. Sounds like a great book.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing. I lived long enough to know this to be true. Seams like I start over and over and with each change a new path opens and some are pit falls and some are fun loving rides..

Anonymous said...

Another one of my faves. Yay!

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, and then there's this:



Shawn said...

Are naps getting shorter at your house????? If so, can you explain how that fits my path? I'm just not sure. I cannot get all of my work done in one hour.

OK -- I'll have to read this one. I'll see if I can find a copy.

kisatrtle said...

So much truth in your post. As novelist Jane Smiley once said, "Every first draft is perfect because all the firt draft has to do is exist. It's perfect in its existence. The only way it could be imprefect would be not to exist." Write something today...it will be perfect.

Shawn said...

I just requested this from the library; think I need this NOW as you said. Hope it doesn't take long to reach me.

bella said...

it is a magical book and I've loved what you shared of it here.
To know our own legend, mythology, to live it in its unfolding is a creative act I think, infusing my world with a sense of life as art.
And this reminder, that all we must do is keep going, moving, taking the step. This is a sweet one to me today.

po-ho said...

Well, I never read anything that is not accompanied by pictures of naked women, but if I were ever going to be tempted to, this blog is so well written it would convince me.

However, last time you recommended something, knowing how I am about my reading, you tricked me: The Four Agreements did not have the first naked woman in it. As a matter of fact, not even a woman, period; I am pretty sure it was not merely the edition I had, either, you traitor!

Thanks for the thoughts on the last piece: I will be taking you up on them all. When is your convention date,, anyway?

Joe Novella said...

Hi Shannon,

I'm in the process of starting my own blog on the writer's journey and I came across your blog which is a wonderful and inspirational place for aspiring and established writers to visit. I too am a huge fan of "The Alchemist". Keep inspiring us.

Joe Novella