An instant. That is all it takes to change course. Or, if you’re mulling over a problem or idea or situation and it is causing you anxiety that you don’t have the slightest clue what the strategic next step is, sometimes the best action is to lay low until, quite suddenly, you know exactly how to play this out.
I have two books to thank. Letters to a Young Scientist Edward O. Wilson, which I read about 75 percent of before putting down in favor of Unthink: Rediscover Your Creative Genius by Erik Wahl. First off, these two books are complete opposites, one targeting the scientific, logical, analytical function of your left brain, and the other, while understanding its importance, scoffs nonetheless. And prefers to be untouchable, creative and spontaneous in the right brain. After mixing the messages of the two books, I think I set my mind on fire.
In an instant, I stopped reading and sat up in bed, placing Unthink on my lap. I stared at the wall across the way, and though it was blank, it did not reflect in any way, what was happening inside the circuitry of my noggin. We are hardwired for connections, people. Hardwired. And in that moment, I had found it. Eureka! A term I learned from that Letters book. It means the moment of discovery.
So-what’s the discovery? The next step. My next step in this digital space where Inspired Scribble continues to grow. You see, I was having great trouble, great, great trouble determining how to use this platform in new ways. Yes, it’s a blog. And yes, I make the opportunity to tell stories real for the students I offer my yearly creative writing scholarship. But, what else was this going to be? And just like that…a book. Ladies and gentleman, I have had an already written book of 300-plus pages sitting on my printer for the last year, untouched only to dust around and underneath. I’m sure you’re all wondering what story is told in there, and I assure you, there are lots of them. And there are even more reasons why I haven’t touched them in two years, but that’s not part of the story I’m going to tell.
What I am going to do, however, is share with you my editing process. Folks, this is rare. Typically, one only sees the finished product, the final result. But as someone who has always wondered how things transform before their eyes, I have decided to find out for myself by documenting it all right here on this site. In a few days, you will see a new tab on the homepage for The Book. And in that tab will be my rummaging through, editing out, reworking and rewriting those 300-plus pages. And I’m asking for your feedback. At 500+ subscribers strong, you can all be as involved as you want, commenting in the boxes and adding your suggestions. If I have learned anything at all in this past year, it is the power of plenty. So, I’m asking for your help just as much as I am asking for your expertise, thoughts and opinions. Feedback in its most honest form. From me, you’ll get vulnerability, and a lot more stories you’ve never even heard before. Not a bad deal, right?
This solution propels the Inspired Scribble project forward in ways I didn’t even think of before. A crowd-sourcing editing gig is what I might as well try, and a finished book to boot, too, maybe. Definitely. Now is the time to do it. I’m objective enough to see my mistakes, have already captured the magic of writing the content, and am at a point now where revising past will not consume me. I’m about to set off on a whole new adventure come August, which will keep me just uncertain enough to know exactly what I’m doing while I edit. And, I’ll have the fresh voice and perspective to inject into areas that need it.
This is going to be fun, in the way that editing never is for anybody. Ever. But this is a new kind of playground. I realized, in that instant, that the story was already lived and written. It was just a matter of organizing it. Organization! I never thought it could be the greatest place for creativity and innovation, especially in Story. It’s like solving a puzzle, really. You have all of the pieces thrown out in chaos across the dining room table. But you don’t decide to solve a puzzle for the sake of organization and cleanliness. You decide to solve a puzzle because you enjoy making sense out of the mess. And you do that by making connections and apply purpose to your decisions.
Glue it together. Frame it. Hang in on the wall. Next to the refrigerator.