Have you ever come across something that has completely knocked you off your feet and made you sit up and say, “WOW!”? It can be anything: a book or a quote, a photograph or a piece of art, or even witnessing an intimate moment between two people that you just happened to notice while the rest of the world hustled by unaware. I believe everything that inspires us is a direct communication from the universe and these little nuggets of magic become part of our own histories, even though we may not be involved in the origin of any of it. By simply being a witness to such things, the fabric of our lives are forever altered.
I’ve been finding inspiration like this in massive spoonfuls lately, especially after reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, Big Magic. One chapter in particular stood out in regard to the subject of synchronicity where she wrote about a moment in her life where her writing was concerned. I found it to be so in tune with where my mind has been in recent months and I recently wrote a post about the power of synchronicity HERE, which might tickle your fancy. But I digress. As I quickly devoured Big Magic, I felt the inspiration walking across every inch of my skin as so much of it resonated with my life. This section was about her friendship with fellow author, Ann Patchett and how synchronicity played a significant role in their union. They met during a panel talk they were involved in and immediately Liz fell in love with Ann’s spirit as she spoke. An instant bond was made and because neither of them care for talking on the phone, even considering that they live far apart, they instead decided to become pen pals. Handwritten paper and ink letters in the 21st century, how cool is that? In my mind these letters are similar to ones from Jane Austen novels with all the whimsy and romance of old school beauty, which may be bonkers, but a girl can dream right? 😉
Anyway, prior to meeting Ann, Liz was struggling to develop an idea for a novel about a woman lost in the Amazon. It was an idea filled with adventure and danger and chaos, but above all, it was a love story. Unfortunately, because she took too long to write it due to unexpected life events, it left her. It essentially felt free to move on to someone else who would give it the attention it demanded. Here’s the cool part: a while later, during one of their visits, Ann mentioned a new novel she was writing and it turned out that it was Liz’s story, with her own spin of course, but the similarity was undeniable. Ann said that she got the inspiration for it right after they met and Liz believes it was transferred when they hugged that day. I know, you probably think this all sounds a bit “woo-woo,” but I think it’s crazy beautiful big magic! This story gave me chills and I am just the reader, I can’t even imagine how they felt, but it must have been a profound moment. This made me realize something about my own writing, in particular a novel concept that I’ve been toying with for years, and I realized that this is perhaps why it feels so difficult to write. That particular story has clearly moved on to someone who is better equipped to write it and I’m 100% okay with that. Big Magic gave me new inspiration and I am excited to see where it takes me.
“Inspiration is allowed to do whatever it wants to, in fact, and it is never obliged to justify its motives to any of us. (As far as I’m concerned, we’re lucky that inspiration talks to us at all; it’s too much to ask that it also explain itself.) In the end, it’s all just violets trying to come to light…
Work with all of your heart, because — I promise–if you show up for your work day after day after day after day, you just might get lucky enough some random morning to burst right into bloom…
Defending yourself as a creative person begins by defining yourself. It begins when you declare your intent. Stand up tall and say it aloud, whatever it is.”
– Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic
*Stands up tall, clears throat, and speaks*