Cheerleading for writers: What this project is…and is not about

What it is not about

This project is not meant to support your ego.

If you have ever written more than a page for any kind of submission (show to a friend, send to a future employer, to an agent or a publisher), then you would know how your ego behaves.

The ego is something that judges you most, claims that what you write is not good enough, that you’re not worth being an author.

It’s that distant critic, who says without looking, “I know it. It’s all bad.”

It can also trick you into believing that it is your creative self by saying, “This was not too bad. Now I want you to write the rest in exactly same way.”

No, this book is not for this part of you. And it is neither to judge any part of you. Each part of you has a reason to be there. Without it, it wouldn’t be you.

What it is about

This project is to support your creative genius, to support your heart, which blooms when you witness a sunset, which seems to stop beating when you smell a beautiful flower, or breathe in the air coming from the damped soil after the rain.

It’s the one, who knows deep inside that there is not one, but an infinite number of perfect ways to go. That even for the same moment of creativity there is always more than one ideal solution. And all of them will be perfect. Not loved by all in the world, but perfect on their own account. That when you grab one blindly by the hand and keep going, it will lead you to amazing and completely unexpected adventures inside your own imagination and perception of the world.

This is meant to cheer the part of you, which is able to wonder, to say “Wow!”, and draw a big gulp of fresh air and pause to feel how it warms inside you.

Yes, if you pause and look closer, you will notice that inside of what you’ve written, among all those words, which you want to rip apart, to strike through with your red pen so many times that the tip of the pen pinches through the page, that among all those dead leaves you will find a pearl, and then another.

No, I am not referring here to your “darlings” here either. Those you defend, but which make others (and if you are honest with yourself, also you) stumble over those seemingly beautiful words and phrases, but which draw all attention to themselves and don’t allow the story, the text, to flow.

No. I am referring to something else. I am referring to the pearls, which have universes inside, those moving, flowing, dashing universes sweeping so easily away. Those pearls that magnetically draw you to look inside them and make you forget yourself.

If you love writing, then you can definitely recognize these from reading works by others, because this was what nudged you to write in the first place. The wish to create this kind of magic on your own.

You might not believe me now, but you are able to create those perfect pearls. And you most probably did already. If not on paper or computer screen, then in your imagination, in a story you told a friend, whose face brightened when you said it out loud.

Why do I want to do this

My cheerleaders helped me and continue doing so today to recognize these brilliant pearls inside my writing and creations. And I would like to help you to find and recognize those pearls inside your creations too.

I will not be able to guide each of you from the first to last chapter of your first or next book, as my dear friend Marcy did for me. But I can guide you through different aspects of writing, creativity and life, the first letters of which follow the alphabet.

I will guide you from A to Z. One word at a time.

In the first edition of the book resulting from this project, each letter of the alphabet will indicate one article describing a term, a notion about writing, creativity and sometimes also life. In the further editions this cheerleading glossary will be extended to contain a number of articles for the same letter of the alphabet.

How to use this book

As with any other book, it is ultimately up to you how to use it. You can read it at your own pace and in the order you like (at least those, which are already published).

A word of caution though. Do not inspect and judge your writing by comparing it to what I mentioned about my creative process and my writing. This will not motivate you. This would rather depress you, whatever the result of your comparison might be.

My suggestion is that you read an article, smile if it makes you smile. Smile if you realize how powerful your imagination and creativity are. And then forget all about it. These epiphanies are tools. And they are yours forever. They will appear when you most need them. So just relax and let your creative genius take you by the hand, and let the magic begin.

Let’s go

So let me guide you from A to Z of this cheerleading glossary for writers.

Let’s start at the very beginning. With an A. (See for this the next post in “Cheerleading for Writers”)

 

Picture: Walking through Aalborg in snow took my breath away and brought inside an amazing sense of peace and quiet.

IMG_0657

 

“Cheerleading For Writers”, copyright © 2016 by Victoria Ichizli-Bartels