Keeping an open mind is somewhat like sitting on this beach in Kauai. You just sit, observe the waves coming close to shore, enjoy the slightly chilly breeze, marvel at the colorful drifting clouds. At that moment your mind is open and blank. Uncluttered. Collecting inspiration and experience. As a painter I start a new canvas in a mental state much like sitting at that beach in Kauai. I am open, I tune in to where my mind is at that very moment. What I am feeling…what I am wishing to share on my canvas. I am OPEN. I am BLANK. I wait to see what comes, just like sitting on the beach, waiting to see the next wave break onto shore and the colors in the evening sky turn a brighter shade of pink and purple.
I pick up tubes of paint and see what appeals to me in the moment. I squeeze out color and begin to smear, spread, scrape, splatter, and splotch it on. Adding to the single color, a second color, maybe more vibrant, maybe more subdued or a different tone of the same mother color.
All the while I keep an open mind to where this painting is taking me.
This is a similar experience I have when I write. If I’m working on a manuscript, I place myself in the scene, the storyline and see where it leads me. There is the idea, the outline, the characters and current flow of the story…but in the birthing process of future chapters I remain open to see where the story leads me.
Having recently attended the three day Kauai Writer’s Conference, it took several days to process what I learned. I’m still reviewing my copious notes and processing all the information I gathered.
What I did learned will no doubt come out in spurts, hopefully in bite size pieces. By the final day of the conference, I realized that being open to your own inner voice is just as important, if not more so, than writing a best seller. Sure it would be nice if both circumstances intertwined. Who wouldn’t want to write a best selling book? However, I remind myself to write about what I know in the best possible way, in the most concise and powerful way. Get the readers to believe in my story from the very first line in the first paragraph on the first page! Work, edit, re-edit, and then edit many more times. Work to get my story to ring true.
Be open to learn from the experts in the field of publication. Be inspired by bestselling authors. Learn from their successes and from their failures, from their highs and lows. Be motivated by their own personal stories. That in itself will give you fuel to continue your own journey of creation.
Special thanks to the wonderful authors who participated in the Kauai Writer’s Conference. All wonderful people, kind and true.