Those of us who write know momentary glimpses into clear thinking come when least expected. We find ourselves typing along, wondering when the next perfect line will spill out, or what twist our plot might take. Then as if by some stroke of magic, our fingers tap out a sentence even we didn’t know we had in us—one of those lines we are amazed to have created. Those moments, for writers, remind me of other times in life when I realize a new vista has been put before me. Such as the time I took a helicopter ride over Kauai. We came up and over a cliff and the ocean appeared before us. My breath caught in my chest as I attempted to mentally grasp how fortunate I was to see something so magnificent. Those big vistas are easy to see, but there are smaller vistas, too, which we also need to be thankful for.
I spent last weekend at a writing retreat in a monastery. I know. That sounds peculiar, but reality is this beautiful peaceful and well equipped facility lets groups of any kind hold conferences or retreats, or even allows individuals to stay and rejuvenate or contemplate, whichever it is they need to do. It’s a wonderful place to be. There is a reflecting pool with fountains and walking paths. It’s a haven and very peaceful. The vistas are lovely, whether it be the ones you see or the ones you experience emotionally.
I am not an old hand at writing, but I do have six books under my belt and a decent understanding of indie publishing and the writing craft. It’s easy for me to think of writing like I now think of driving, or any other thing I am used to doing. But I mustn’t forget I can always reach a new epiphany and see a new vista. And I hope I will. New energy helps me keep creative vistas coming.
The St. Benedictine Center is nestled in the hills, and when I left for home I drove out of the long driveway, on to the highway. Just over the hill, the vista of the Platte Valley spread out before me. Breathtaking. Every time I go over that hill, or any hill where a valley appears like an epiphany below it, I’m always reminded how common my view of the world can be at one moment, and how amazing it can be at the next. I hope my books can provide vistas just like that for my readers, and for me. It is the joy of writing.