How worry steals your magic

It’s July National Novel Writer’s Month! Props to all my frantic writer peeps who are taking time out of vacation to scribble out random stories.

To get into the creation mood, I’ve been listening to all my brain-food music. One of them is Return to Pooh Corner by Kenny Loggins. I listened to it over and over as a teen while composing tons of crazy fanfics.

You know how listening to music can make those mental connections, and place you right back into a time and place where you last heard it? It also can have really powerful emotional connections. For me, it was like a snapshot of my mental state as a super-creative teen.

I lived in a world of good and evil, fantastic adventure, and heart-tearing drama. This album was some of the backdrop. I lived in Neverland, where once you’ve been there, you can never grow old. This was my land of pure imagination. I didn’t worry about genre or market. With fanfics, you don’t have to worry about that stuff anyway–it’s all built in. My plots were bonkers, but so fun.

floating_island_by_bezduch-d5yft87
Floating Island by Bezduch

But things changed.

I’ve spent the last decade learning to be afraid. Learning to worry. Learning all those dark, negative things that help you survive adulthood–but they cut off your shining Neverland. In its place, I built a narrow, dystopian world of darkness and fear.

dark_fantasy_landscape_concept_by_doppingqnk-d6yal55
Dark fantasy landscape concept by FPesantez

I didn’t realize how far I’ve come until I put on Kenny Loggins and revisited that snapshot of how the inside of my head used to look. I want to go back to being that intense, happy person. I think my kids would like her. So I’ve been trying to be thankful, like Habakkuk:

Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
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6 thoughts on “How worry steals your magic

  1. I love this. Thank you for sharing it. It resonates with me a lot. After so many years of creative juices flowing so good, the well has dried up. The past two years I’ve not been able to create anything new with the fast flowing creative passion I once had. I plan to unplug here in a few weeks and find my magic again.

    So glad that you’ve found music to do that for you! Hope you’ll find what you need to bring back the figs and grapes and olives. And a couple of sheep and cows to boot!

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    1. You’ve really been through the grinder these past few years, too! Some time off to rest and refill the tank might be just what the doctor ordered. It has been for me–that’s how I noticed this problem in the first place.

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  2. Your post makes me cry. I think that we all are like Peter Pan. We end up being lost boys but we must go forward. In finding yourself again, your writing will be deeper and more full of color. Pain and growth are needed in our lives and we can’t be strong without the other. You are an amazing Mom and an amazing wife. (Always my wonderful daughter.) Without the pain that J.K. Rowling experienced, there would be no world of Harry Potter. Same goes for you. When you listened to Pooh Corner, your life was only beginning. It was simpler and you could write. Now though, as a great artist that I know you to be, in writing and in art. You will be able to be something you never dreamed. Being a mother does that. All the great ones were mothers first.
    Wonderful pictures in the post too.

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    1. Thanks, Mom. I’m trying to reflect more, since that’s part of personal growth. That’s how I noticed this–music is just a great trigger for it. I think I can get back to that point … whatever is noble, pure, honorable, and of good report, think on these things.

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  3. Awww, I LOVE this!!! And interestingly, the playlist for my newest book has consisted of primarily music I used to listen to in my teens. I’m trying to find that “happy unworried creative” place again too, and it’s such a good thing. 🙂

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