My Novels

Sunday, January 19, 2003

Today's writing prompt: Where is your special place? Somewhere you go to feel peaceful, rested. A place that only you know about, where you can go to be alone — to think, to meditate, to pray, to get rejuvenated, or simply to be. Think about that special place for a few minutes. It may be inside - a room in your house, a church, a library, a gym. It may be outside - a forest, a beach, a mountain, a field. Wherever your special place is, imagine it; really see it in your mind's eye.

This is an essay I wrote some time ago, but it still applies to the question above.


It had been another one of those long, hectic mornings, and I was nearly exhausted with my usual routine of household chores, necessary errands -- even managing to squeeze in a short visit to the library for some research. I'd been busy, taken hostage by the frequent and varied demands on my time.

This is to be expected, and while I've never complained, it is always with a sense of joy and relief when at last I can retreat into my special room. You see, this room is my private sanctuary, my personal rendezvous with destiny, with fate. I am in a different world here, and when I walk inside, I find the serenity and solitude necessary for my work: creative writing. This is my artistic haven, the special place I've developed for intense, serious contemplation, meditation and creative work.

It is a simple room, modest-sized, but it holds all I dearly cherish for my own growth and potential as a writer: bookshelves with widely varied books; a desk and computer; reams of paper; bulletin boards with my notes for works-in-progress; file cabinet; and a recliner, so I can sit and read, make notes from research or edit/rewrite manuscripts.

There is no window, there is no scenic view outdoors, nor is there a single picture on the walls -- some might even think it is a distinctly common, messy room, full of clutter scattered around haphazardly. However, for me this is a magical, mystical room where I can always feel an awesome sense of the sacred when I cross the threshold. It is like entering a worshiping place, a mysterious and otherworldly aura within the four walls.

If you found me immersed in a story here, you might think I had been possessed; and to a certain extent, I am as rapturously engrossed in my work as a devoutly religious person in prayer. And it has been every bit as difficult to learn and master my craft as it is for any follower of an austere, arduous spiritual philosophy to overcome the lure of worldly temptations.

It was a long, tedious process with many pitfalls and setbacks, a journey that started when I first put words to paper and began to realize the depth of dedication it would take to develop my talent, not just use it as a hobby. That was when I knew the true meaning of faith --for without faith, I couldn't even begin, or survive the many rejections sure to come my way.

I don't equate success in my creative writing with monetary reward; rather, I feel successful if I've written and posted/published a piece of work that helps another human being learn an important insight, or be able to love others or live a better life -- or simply escape into an imaginary world of fictional enjoyment. Therefore, I also understand the wisdom of the spiritual sages in knowing that pursuing one's higher purpose, even if it does not bring riches, is worth the sacrifices one must make.

Always, when I walk into this room, it *is* a room with a view -- and the view is a window into my imagination, my intellectual pondering, my creativity and my own unique artistic voice which reflects the wisdom, compassion and enlightenment of universal truths.

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