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Writing as a Personal Development Tool

17-05-2015 No comments yet

Actress Anne Marie Martin, also known for being one of the 4 ex-wives of famed author Michael Crichton , (Jurassic Park, creator of the television series E.R. to name just two from a wide range of Crichton’s books and achievements), once stated that being married to Crichton was like: living with a body and Michael is somewhere else.

Being an author has its price.
While ‘writing a book’ ranks among the top 10 on people’s bucket lists, only few actually do it, even if it has been their dream for decades of their lives.
What is it, that makes ‘being an author’ so extremely hard, even apart from the technical writing-struggles?
And coupled to this question: How come most people don’t start writing until later in life?

The answer may well be that it takes an almost painful amount of self awareness and self honesty as well as an uncensored eye for reality, to write fiction.
Even in the most romantic novels, the broad shouldered dark-haired blue-eyed heroes and hour-glass-shaped heroines with shining auburn hair, need to go through their quest first, in order to finally find each others lips and live happily ever after. No story gets away with a shallow storyline

Rule number one for authors, be it for books or screenplays, is to be able to touch people’s hearts with what is written. Some part of the content must be a recognizable truth; an inconvenient truth at times, one often kept hidden deep down inside, but in any case a truth that stirs the Soul.
If such a revelation is not there, the audience is not able to relate to the story.

A bad book is like a bad lie; something one sees through in an instant and feels betrayed by.
In that sense to be an author takes a considerable amount of courage, for it doesn’t allow any patchwork or ‘getting it over with’
While many people’s lives evolve on what the outside world expects of them and do what is required;
only a smaller percentage follows an inner truth.

Take a look into your own life (don’t worry, nobody but you can see you) and find what dream you have left unattended, while using time and space to meet demands of the outside world instead.
It takes guts and a certain amount of self-regard (which in most societies is seen as ‘improper’ or ‘vain’) to take the time and create the space to ponder on the quest called life.
And from personal experience I’ve found that ‘writers block’ is often paired with a ‘personal development block’ in reality.

It might well be why Anne Marie Martin felt she was ‘only living with a body’, for during Crichton’s writing spurs his dedication was with himself.
This doesn’t mean authors can’t be married or have families. What it does mean at times is to let the author’s need to nourish the writers heart come first.
In that sense, being an author comes at a price, with little regard for leisure time, idleness, white lies or other excuses. Those willing to pay that price however, do get their reward in fulfillment and personal development.
Basically what authors do is mirror their own quests on their characters, which can only be done, when one is willing to go out on a limb.

Ingrid Schippers, May 17 2015


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