Capturing Essences: A Writer’s Experience — Chapter Seven
Author’s note: This is not a book of essays “just for writers,” but a few thoughts I’d like to offer to all creative spirits wishing to make a difference in helping to lift the energy on this planet and what I feel are some important steps we can all take to bring solutions through creative expression.
Time and time again I am reminded that creativity, or the action we take we call creative action, is limited to prescribed principals. I am working on a coming-of-age novel set in Egypt before there was recorded “time.” In the novel the young heroine, Mehanaha, struggles to understand where the knowledge of the past intersects with the present. It’s a conceptual novel. I don’t think I could write about a real person in recorded history because I would have to limit myself to what is “known” about them, so rather than write about a particular Pharaoh or queen I decided to construct a fictional queen who reigns long before the first recorded historical marker of time. But because I wanted her to have a reference point I’ve constructed a past. I need my protagonist to exist inside a construct a reader will understand so I put her in a time frame. She can look at herself within the construction of the past as it relates to the now and ultimately towards the future, but the premise of the novel isn’t about conflict. Sure, there is a hero, a villain, a rescuing, and a war, because we’ve become this.
These are the stories we understand. This is our stage. Granted, it has become a revolving stage because the same stories are getting played out over and over, and the villain does his or her villain thing, the hero does her thing, and the expectations repeat over and over. We’ve come to respect the stories we write so much so I’m seeing how we’re repeating them in our lives so there is no distinction between one or the other. We write what we know and we create a story for ourselves we need to tell so the cycle is endless, never broken, and repeats on every stage or in every book.
My heroine plays the part of heroine. I get it. I understand that if I’m going to write a novel I need to construct it in a way that will be expected. But what if, through the experience, I can create a sidebar? And in this sidebar I construct a parallel story? One in which the presence of time is distorted? Our heroine is neither in Egypt at the time before recorded history, nor struggling to right the wrongs of the day, as you will read, but she is a teacher of sorts constructed to represent timelessness. If we had limited the stories we found so fascinating, dominance and control vs submission and slavery, could time have played out differently in 2020? The novel isn’t about time travel. It is about participating in your life without the story you’re expected to tell. And there’s a huge difference as it applies to living. We tell ourselves stories because we’re creatives, and we construct our lives to be what they are because we’re creatives, but we’re stuck in this ridiculous loop. Healing ourselves and our stories will heal the planet of her past and free us up. I think it’s about time. Don’t you?