Friday, April 29, 2016

Storyteller's Journey

Photo Courtesy of the Public Domain
May the Flow Be with You!

My family members have always been big Star Wars fans. During the Christmas holiday we saw The Force Awakens not once, but twice, and recently we purchased our own copy. Over the years we were constantly watching one Jedi movie or another - not surprising with three sons! With all that magic of Midi-chlorians in the air, you'd think a scene with Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader wielding their lightsabers would be one of my favorites.

You'd be wrong.

My all-time favorite scene is from Episode IV: A New Hope (1977).
If you're a Star Wars fan you can vividly recall the scene where Luke Skywalker attacked the Death Star. (If you're not a fan, click here to view that portion of the fantasy/sci-fi film that changed movies forever.)

The reason that scene is my favorite, is due to the fact that while Luke was flying his X Wing Fighter, he heard Obi-Wan Kenobi instruct him to use the force. We're all familiar with the phrase, probably even those few people who have never seen the films. (Those folks must be from Tatooine.) But think about it: Luke had been trained to fly that fighter. Now he's being told to let go of his knowledge as a pilot...and wing it.

So why is that so important to me as a writer?

Simply stated, it comes back to a quote that is one of my favorites:
“May what I do flow from me like a river, no forcing and no holding back, the way it is with children.”
Rainer Maria Rilke

While the above quote by Rilke is powerful, it also requires us to live a somewhat precarious existence. Like Skywalker, most of us are more comfortable trusting what we know, rather than trusting the flow. That skill takes a certain amount of creativity, confidence, and courage as a writer - it doesn't happen overnight. Trusting the flow of our writing is where the magic happens. It's the place where we'll write something so special that others will read it... and truly love it. In addition to that, trusting the flow is the only way we'll take down our fears as writers.

So, pick up those pens and write. May the flow be with you!

(This post was written in honor of Star Wars Day next Wednesday!)

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