Steps In Between

Celaine Charles ~ My journey as a writer ~ Author site:

A Wriggling Writing Mind

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Art by Gosia Mosz

My writing mind wriggles during down time, up time, in between time. Honestly, it never really ceases in its pursuit to create. The doctors diagnosed it as ADD, and although it can be frustrating at times (in the middle of a Tuesday night with a morning meeting in wait), I find it illuminating.

wriggling sprouts in Jan 2020

Photo taken with my iPhone:)

Ideas spark at the glimpse of bulb plants sprouting from the cold January ground, warriors against frost. The whirring night wind, rattling my windowpanes, pulls me to seek every other possible source for the noise. Ancient Native American song? Celtic banshee? Anything but the movement of air.

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Winds of Awe and Fear (link at bottom)

Even today I sit contemplating the concept of providence (from my morning dedication, by Nicky and Pippa Gumbel). The author relates a story of weaving from Ravi Zacharias, when he visited a place known for making extraordinary wedding saris. Upon expecting to see top of the line equipment, instead Ravi watched a father and son team create each sari by hand. As the father’s hands moved spools of thread from his fingers, he would nod, and his son would shift the fabric until a beautiful pattern ensued. I won’t get into the religious side of things, as that is not my place here on this platform, but rest assured, it has me accepting all I have been through. All my feelings (good and bad), all the glimpses and sounds and ideas that flock through my mind at any given time of the day (or night) …they’re all weaving together something special for me.

Well, if I take time to notice.

I miss many of them, at least 11,037,500, and that’s only half. I googled how many seconds in an average lifetime—22,075,000 seconds! I honestly thought it would be higher. Another reason to celebrate the swiftness of my thoughts. Perhaps I’m given so many because it’s only human I will miss most of them. I wonder now if the important ones repeat like a slap across the face, until I finally notice.

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Thinking of my crazy, always turning mind when it comes to creating (and pretty much, every other aspect of my life); I imagine my writing in colored threads:

  • My poetry, sunny yellow or glow-of-the-moon gold (creative)
  • My fiction, apricot sunset or dusk violet (whimsical)
  • My blog posts, midnight blue or evergreen (nurturing)

wriggling Sheila Hicks - Copy

If I close my eyes, I can see their hues weaving together into all the various projects I’m called. My slaps in the face. The feelings and sounds and ideas big enough and loud enough to claim my focus to complete something…to hopefully share with the world. And for me, when it happens—it happens. The time of day (or night), or frequency, doesn’t matter.

And it’s nice, for me, to understand how unimportant it is for others to approve, because my mission isn’t driven from the others in the world. It’s something far deeper. Something strong enough to force dormant seeds from their wintery graves, and whip worldly air and gasses outside windows.

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It’s where the sound of a gale strikes the inner creation of a sprouting story.

My mind wriggles about things like that.

Wood Bookshelf in the Shape of Human Head and books near break w

A Bit of Writing Advice: Metacognitive Reflection

I find it curious to think back and identify what seeded a story or poem project (completed or not). What was the first blinking thought about something you’ve created before you formed it into an idea? Was it a picture? A moment during an adventurous (or routine) experience? Was it the sound of laughter pulsing from the house next door, or steam swirling from a cup of Irish breakfast tea?

I often encourage my students to think metacognitively, thinking deeply about their own thinking when they read or write, so they can either catch or deliver a moment the way it was intended (at least from their perspective).

I find myself stopping in books, rereading the parts where my heart sank, or a line that caused me to shiver. What did the author do to deliver those feelings, and how can I remember this moment to recreate it for my own audience?

Take some reflection time today, read something you’ve written and think about day one, minute one, second one when the inkling of the idea sparked. It might just help the creative juices to replenish and revive…or at least remind you of that initial glow. And then—to know you have at least 11,037,500 more in you (give or take)!

Happy reflecting, and happy writing (because at least you’re writing),

Celaine Charles, January 26, 2020

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Image and Content Credit: (art by Gosia Mosz) (art by Sheila Hicks) (Google search for “how many seconds in an average lifespan) (Winds of Awe and Fear) (colored yarn) (sprout in hands) (head bookcase)

Categories: Thoughts on writing...

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3 replies


  1. Grateful for my Wriggling Writing Mind – Steps In Between

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