Synchronicities are one of my favorite parts of the writing process. Just when you're feeling lost, a little coincidence might tap you on the shoulder and make you feel a little less alone. When I work with authors, one of the most exciting parts of the creative writing process is when the synchronicities pop up and guide us further on the path.
One particular variety of synchronicity is your "guardian author." A writer from past or present that seems to guide you forward through books, quotes and happy coincidences. Lately, mine has been Charles Dickens. He always pops up with his devilish humor, right when I need him.
For instance, I remember a Christmas when I was about to make a big investment in this business as a writing coach. Now, I had been saving for a training course for over a year, actually shoving twos tens and twenties into a piggy bank in order to pay for it. It was the best method I could think of for an already stretched budget.
Then I'll never forget it. December 17th, 2016. It was time to take a hammer to the piggy bank and see how I did. Deep breath.
As I shattered the bank and let the bills spill out, I somehow decided that this would be a good moment to teach my barely verbal toddler the importance of saving for the future. He saw it as an opportunity to grab fist-fulls of cash and throw it like confetti up into the air. (An impulse we all entertain but suppress with age.)
Obviously, his carefree indulgence was getting on my nerves, so I scooped him up, plopped in front of the TV and switched on cartoons. Then I went back to counting the bills scattered throughout the living room.
When I completed my counting there still wasn't enough money for the course. I was crushed. Over a year saving on a teacher's salary and I still came up short. My high hopes had been painfully sincere and I'll admit it, tears welled.
Anyhow, I sucked it up and went back to reclaim my child, and who was the cartoon glowing on the screen? None other than Scrooge McDuck greedily palming his money and leaving Bob Cratchet the scraps. I stopped feeling sorry for myself and laughed out loud. It's the exact same classic by Charles Dickens that I used in the first chapter of my book. It reminded me not to take myself so seriously.
The fact is we're all standing on the shoulders of giants, even when we feel completely alone. It's funny how many times my favorite authors that inspire me, such as Lewis Carroll and even contemporary authors such as Nicole Krauss. It fills me with gratitude, because honestly I know I couldn't have made it this far without their support. Let's face it, it's a pretty grand inheritance.
This holiday season, I'm so thankful to you, my community of readers and writers. Wherever you're at in your on your own journey (whether you have throngs of happy readers, a family of supporters, or even some friends in a Facebook group). But we also have a community of writers on our bookshelves. Those we look to when we think we´ll never pick up the pen again. What books have been your loyal friends throughout the years of writing? When you send them a little love and gratitude, keep an eye out, you might find them dropping by more frequently, just when you need them most.