Friday, September 21, 2007

That Feeling of Contentment

by G.Parker

The other day we had the chance to go up into the mountains and see some of the fall colors. While we were driving, I experienced a feeling that I’ve had many times in my life, but it stands out because it’s such a wonderful feeling.

I felt totally content.

I was with my family, we were all healthy and happy, it was a gorgeous fall day, the leaves were gorgeous and I couldn’t have asked for anything more. Period.

It reminded me of the movie While You Were Sleeping. There is a scene where the father is talking to the son about life. He tells him that there is this one moment where everyone is happy, everyone is healthy and everything is going right. “For just that one moment, you have peace.”

That is the feeling of contentment to me.

It occurred to me that writing is somewhat like that. With writing, that feeling most generally comes when I’ve finished the book. When I’ve written “The End” at the bottom of the last page and I feel that I’ve accomplished something worth while.

In reviewing this process and my feelings regarding it, I realized that I’ve never felt this way while writing. During the writing process I’m usually too caught up in the whole idea – is the plot going to work like I want, are the characters real enough, do I have all the elements I want – to feel at peace with it. When things are going well and the thoughts are turning almost faster than I can type (which is pretty fast by the way), then the feeling is anxious – almost desperate, i.e., I’ve got to get this written down before the muse leaves me and the idea fades...

While that may not be your difficulty, I ask you: What do you feel while you’re writing? What do you feel when you are not?

When I’m not writing and I know I should be, that’s nerves. I twist my hands together and end up pacing around the house doing the random things that I need to do, but still feeling that I’m not accomplishing my true goal. I sit down at the computer and try to write, but other things are still in the way and I end up running again. I’m not able to fully relax and write unless I know other things are out of the way and I can concentrate. Perhaps that is a fleeting moment of peace, but it’s not lasting.

The lasting kind comes with a great big “The End” at the bottom of a printed page. I find contentment there.

2 comments:

C. L. Beck said...

Nice analogy. There is a peace that comes at the end of writing.

Then that's followed by nervousness, as you pace the room, wondering where to send it.

To put a twist on some great words,
"A story wasn't put in your heart just to stay, a story's not a story 'til you send it away."

Okday ... so it's a VERY loose interpretation of the original. :)

Janette Rallison said...

There is a lot of contentment--right up until you start working on revising the thing . . .