DAY #22 : A Modified “NaNoWriMo” Challenge (Write 15 Minutes of Garbage Every Day)

Earlier today, I read a post on Ana Spoke’s blog called “The Best Way To Predict Your Future.”  It gave me chills, because although she doesn’t outright say it, Ana’s discussion alludes to a concept called “The Law Of Attraction.”

In plain terms, the law of attraction is simply “like attracts like.”  A person’s thoughts influences his or her reality.  If you have positive thoughts, you will attract positive experiences.  I first heard about this concept from a borrowed copy of “The Secret,” but the book was so hokey, that I couldn’t bring myself to actually spend money on it.  However, on some level, I agree with the premise.

Now, before you roll your eyes at me and call me a new age hippie (or worse), you should know that I’m a trained engineer.  I have a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering.  I worked in the automotive industry for over twelve years.  I love data and often clung to it like a lifeline.

But the universe is filled with mysteries.  Things exist that we can’t measure or explain yet.

The first law of thermodynamics is that energy can’t be created or destroyed, only transformed.  I grew up in a Hindu/Buddhist household.  My father taught me one fundamental thing:  thoughts are a form of energy.  So if energy can’t be created or destroyed, then where do our thoughts go once we have them?  Personally, I believe that they are transformed into our reality.

Now, I’m not claiming that I’m a genie who can just think, blink, and make things materialize out of thin air.  (But let me try….  I just won a million dollars.  Wait for it…. Wait for it….  Nothing.  Damn.)  But I do think that our thoughts influence what we experience in life.

Words are powerful.  When we write something down on paper (or computer screen), we are sending our thoughts and feelings out into the universe, which responds accordingly.  I’ve actually experienced this myself quite often during my career.  Just this past weekend, I changed my LinkedIn profile to say “Freelance Writer.”  Two days later, the e-mail from Scary Mommy arrived saying that they wanted to publish my essay.  Coincidence?  Maybe.  But what if it isn’t?

So, just for the hell of it, I’m going to write down my goals in bold writing.  I know these may seem lofty, but I’m of the mindset that if I’m going to do this, I should GO BIG OR GO HOME!!!!

  • I will write an award-winning young adult fantasy series based on Indian mythology.  (Replace Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief with Shivani Roy and the Demon King of Lanka)
  • I will sell over 1 million copies of my books.
  • I will generate enough income from writing alone to support my family and to start a foundation to help inner city kids get access to a good education.  
  • I will be a New York Times best-selling author before the age of 50 years old.  (I’m 41 years old as I write this note.)  

Okay, Universe.  There’s my request.  I promise to work my ass off to achieve these goals and to have faith that everything I need will fall into place as I need it.

We shall see…..

Dear Writing Muse: I Need Your Help Finding My Voice

I know this seems strange, but I’ve found that writing letters to “The Universe” has helped me in the past.  So here goes:

Dear Writing Muse,

I need your help.  I’m struggling to find my voice.

You know.  Voice.  That elusive writer’s voice.  It’s supposed to be the one thing no other writer can truly copy from me.  I can write about any subject that’s been beaten to death, but if the words are mine, then they are truly unique.

The problem is that I’m unsure of my own voice.  I don’t think my voice will resonate with readers.  I have a story to tell and I don’t think I have it in me to do it justice.  So I’ve been chasing other authors.

You know the ones.  J.K. Rowling.  Suzanne Collins.  L.M. Montgomery.  Margaret Mitchell.  The list goes on.  All of them are phenomenal authors with phenomenal voices.  How could I go wrong if I “borrowed” their voices to tell my stories?

I just posted something that sounded a lot like some of the authors above.  I finished it and didn’t like it, but I went ahead and posted it anyway.  Just to see if I was wrong.  You see, my confidence is so shaky that I don’t even trust my own judgement anymore.

So, how do I find my voice?  Not to be pushy or anything, but I’m not a little kid anymore.  I don’t have a lot of time to wait around for this magical voice to appear.  I need it to happen ASAP.  (Not that I’m giving you orders, or anything.)

It’s a little nerve-wracking to hear that an author like J.K. Rowling couldn’t sell more than 1500 copies of her new book when she published under a different name (Robert Galbraith).  It took the power of her brand to push that book up to the top of the bestseller lists.  J.K. Rowling.  If someone with HER voice couldn’t be discovered in the noise, then how is someone like me ever going to get anyone to read her story?

What’s that, Miss Muse?  Something about Wool?

Ah, yes.  Hugh Howey.  The self-publishing hero of the decade.  A great example of the “Law of Attraction” at work.  He just wrote stories that he wanted to read.  Mr. Howey trusted the readers to find him.  And they did.

I wish I could be that hands-off about things, but the truth is that I’m a control freak.  I want to ensure the outcome.  But I can’t in this situation, can I?  So I have to just keep on writing and trust that the right voice (my true voice) for the right stories (my stories) will emerge.

My writing.  My voice.  My stories.

Well, that’s it for now.  I’m sure I’ll freak out at a later date and write you another letter.  But for now, thank you for the clarity.


A Writing Mama