Saturday, August 16, 2014

August North Texas Romance Writers of America President's Letter

I’ve been taking this online course called LiveYour Truth by Carol Tuttle.  It’s frighteningly accurate. It basically identifies four energy movements and then helps you learn which is your dominant type and how to live in a way that you are in harmony with how your energy flows. It’s fascinating. It accurately called how my thought processes work, what my hairstyle I wear now looks like, how I deal with everyday tasks and even what my desk looks like.
Mind blown.
What does that have to do with writing?
More than you’d think.
The movement types are the typical elements of Air, Water, Fire, and Earth. Nothing new there until you really delve into it.
As an example, a Fire person is goal oriented but also compartmental. According to Carol, a Fire’s morning might look something like this: Get up, make the bed but only partway, start the coffee, shower, start doing her hair but only partway, put on makeup but only partway, and then go back to making the bed, pouring the coffee, work on the hair, work on the makeup and then back around again until all the tasks are complete. She has the ability to work on several things at the same time and successfully achieves several tasks at once.
So how that relates to an energy movement in writing is like this: A Fire will carve out her hour but won’t write straight through that hour. She’ll compartmentalize it by writing 10 or 15 minutes and then will get up to feed the dogs or check in with her writer pals on Chatzy orTwitter and tell them where she’s at with her goal, or some other task. Then back to writing for another segment of time and up again to complete another task, then back to writing. That suits her creative energy perfectly.
For me, things like Chatzy drive me crazy. But I’m a Water. Like a slow curving river. When I’m writing, I don’t want any distractions. My course is set. (Heavy plotter.) I even write in longhand because my creative energy flows much better in the movement of swirls and continuous cursive. Like that river. The tap tap tap on a keyboard just doesn’t do it for me. I also have to work from beginning to end. No jumping from one scene to another back and forth like an Air or Fire can both do and pull it all together into something fabulous.
Speaking of Air. These writers are light and fun. I’d guess they tend to have more humor in their stories. They also have a million ideas rapid firing in their brains. They are the ones who have ten manuscripts started, yet have a difficult time finishing one before another idea lassoes their attention. Air energy people need good critique partners and deadlines to hound them to finish. These writers will also tend to be predominantly pantsers because that’s way more fun. They are also most likely the writers who love to make collages of their characters for inspiration.
Then there’s the energy of the Earth. I imagine these writers sitting at the same place every time they write with both feet flat on the floor and posture straight.  They are also the heavy thinkers and perfectionists. They think long and hard before beginning a manuscript and plot everything out and then second guess themselves as they rethink everything. They’ll edit a chapter several more times than the rest of us before it’s deemed good enough for them.  They tend to take much longer to write a full manuscript but the words are extremely powerful when they are done.
As you can tell, I’ve been enjoying learning about my true nature in a lot of aspects of my life. (And secretly trying to guess what each of yours are.)  Writing is just one aspect, but understanding my own energy movement gives me permission to not worry about writing exactly the same way as another or trying to achieve the same word count or  wonder why a process that works so well for someone else totally fizzles for me.  I enjoy my process so much more now that I better understand why I do what I do and appreciate the creative energy flow of what works well for other writers without getting frustrated trying to emulate something that won’t necessarily work for me, or even better, discovering the things that do. 
So did you recognize yourself in any of these processes? Have a little bit of all of them in you?


Clover Autrey

NTRWA President
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