Writing as Alchemy

  

 

“I write with the heart, not with the pen. The pen translates.”

Sappho

 

At whatever stage we find ourselves in our careers, writers are alchemists. We take the basic tools of paper and pen, maybe a notebook, maybe a Bic, or we sit down in front of a computer, a laptop or an iPad, and we work. We put our thoughts down on the blank screen, telling our characters’ stories one word, one paragraph, one sentence at a time.

This first draft is an act of almost blind faith. Faith that we truly have something worthwhile to say, faith that our stories are good, that once they reach the hands of readers, those stories will move the ones who hear them, and thus move the world.

Before we sell anything, before our first reader takes up the pages of our third or fourth draft, we work alone, crafting our stories with care, shaping plot, adding layers of conflict, drawing out the tale as it is meant to be told.

To tell a story, to even begin, is an act of courage. To turn a blank screen or sheaf of notebook paper into a novel or a short story is an act of alchemy, the magic of turning the bare tools of lead and fire into gold.

2 Responses to “Writing as Alchemy

  • Janie Patterson-Bachelor
    8 years ago

    Thank you for those encouraging words….I will hold them close to my heart….

  • Christy
    8 years ago

    I am so glad, Janie. When we write, we’re making magic. It’s so easy to forget that.

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