Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Writing Fairy -- Guest Blog by Pat Taylor

by Pat Taylor

Back in the day when I was into painting, I had a wonderful teacher. Her classes were in high demand because her creations were not only beautifully designed, but comical and a joy to look at.

She lived in her own magical world, and loved to tell stories as she taught. Sometimes she'd even teach in costume. One such night, she told us about the Painting Fairy. She said that many times as she had tried to create her designs, she would struggle and struggle -- never quite getting it right. She would finally grow frustrated and stuff the work in a trunk somewhere to get it out of her sight and forget about it.

Days, weeks, or months later, she would run across it and find that the Painting Fairy had visited while she wasn't looking and changed it into something wonderful -- something she absolutely loved.

I was charmed by that thought, and even found that the "fairy" began to visit me too sometimes. When I'd leave class depressed and downhearted because I felt I would never paint as well as my instructor, I would put my piece away, and a few days later when I went to take it out in the light of day (sometimes with thoughts of destruction in mind) I would find in its place a delightful piece of art!

The magic happened when I removed it from that room full of talented artists, stopped comparing my work to theirs, and accepted it for what it was -- my best effort, created from my heart.

Creativity flees when you try to force it to conform to someone else's ideal, but step back and look from a different point of view and it often becomes all that it was meant to be.

I'm counting on the fact that there's a Writing Fairy too!


At 1/16/2009 1:19 PM, Blogger Debra Erfert said...

I can attest that there are Writing Fairies, Pat. I have a habit of cutting disappointing scenes from my stories but can’t find the heart to delete them completely, so I deposit them in a communal file. Every once in a blue moon I open that file and read the discarded chapters, and to my delight, I find that they are written much better than when I so heartlessly tossed them in. Either I didn’t give myself enough credit at the time, or ... the Writing Fairy slipped into my computer and had some fun.

I know that there are Gremlins living in my machine, and that they love to devour single letters at the end of words. I’d like to get rid of those guys. :)

At 1/16/2009 3:03 PM, Blogger TheOneTrueSue said...

Huh. I must have the reverse writing fairy. I usually am pleased as punch with what I've written, then I put it away for a while, and when I come back to it, it's UTTER CRAP.

Stupid fairy.

At 1/17/2009 6:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I absolutely love the quote "Creativity flees when you try to force it to conform..."! How true!

At 1/17/2009 11:22 PM, Blogger Heather Justesen said...

Oh, yeah. Most of the time I'm in Sue's line of things, but once in a while I write something I think is utter crap and come back to it months later and realize it's actually pretty darn good--with some judicious editing. Unfortunately it doesn't happen that way nearly often enough.


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