Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself and know that everything in this life has a purpose. ——–Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
I have to admit I really do believe in the above words. Mind you, I might not always like admitting that everything in life has a purpose especially those times when I’m not so happy with the way things are going. Still, I try and concentrate on the end result during those times and not necessarily the process. As humans we’re like that. When things are going along smoothly we’re on top of the world, life couldn’t get much better. We’re brimming with happiness, smiling at the world, and spinning on our toes while doing so.
For a writer, it’s much like finding just the right story line, the proper voice, and off we go making words, sentences and paragraphs, spinning our magnificent tales for the whole world to read. When words are flowing, nothing could be better.
But then we bump up against something we hadn’t anticipated and the words rapidly grow stale, our sudden burst of happiness falls flat. We wake up one morning only to discover that wonderful plot line isn’t nearly as wonderful as we initially thought.
Not surprisingly, the moment life becomes uncomfortable we’re complaining and griping. Okay, just so you know, I do my share of griping and complaining. I won’t pretend I don’t. Just because you don’t hear me doesn’t mean I don’t have my moments. Just ask my husband. Hmmm…. on second thought, maybe not.
Eventually we get tired of hearing ourselves complain. Complaining is a useless commodity. Not to mention that those around us start tearing off in the opposite direction the moment they see us coming. (And who can blame them. Right?)
So we can either fix what’s not working or cut it loose from our lives.
The same is true for those ineffective storylines, those once glorious magnificent scenes, those delightful words that initially made our heads spin—(who knew we were that clever?) If it’s just not working, those sentences, paragraphs, pages, need to be chopped either by you or by your editor. Ouch!
And guess what? No amount of griping and complaining over those cut scenes will make it feel any less painful.
I often need to remind myself that everything in life has a purpose, the same way that every scene in a novel must have a purpose, a reason for it being there in the first place.
Today, I am considering the purpose of some earlier scenes I have written and yes, I’m prepared to have them removed if need be. I’ll rearrange my character’s life and start all over if I must. My character has a strong voice; she’ll let me know what needs to be said, what parts of her story need to be written. It might take me awhile to sift through her life but I’ll eventually weed out any of those unnecessary scenes. I’ll make it to the heart of the story.
If only real life were that simple.
So, here are some really tough questions. If you could, would you rewrite you own life’s story? Would you cut out the pointless scenes? add a few extra scenes? Or, do you accept what Elisabeth Krubler-Ross had to say, that everything in life has a purpose?