I just read The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, coming home from a road trip, wondering why I’ve never stumbled upon this book before. But, I’m insanely grateful that I’m reading it now. I’ve needed a new perspective, a different outlook, and his words are music to my heart. I feel them. They resonate with me. And I’m better for them. My highlighter can’t go fast enough as I’ve colored page after page of some of my favorite paragraphs. Ones, that I will no doubt come back and read again. I’m not sure if he knew when he was writing this book, that it would have the impact that it does, but it changed me!
In my personal life, I always have a plan set in motion, knowing exactly where I’m going to go. I can see it, feel it, and even breathe the excitement of the next chapter. Until, life happens and a bump in the road leaves me flying on the asphalt. I promise you, that’s never in my agenda for my story as I know that’s not in yours either. That’s the thing with life – much like writing a book – it never quite goes the way you start out planning it to be.
A lot of times as writers and creatives, we get discouraged that this section needs to written, once again. It’s a cycle, the rewrites of life as you will. But, somewhere along the many edits and revisions, our story transforms and we grow along with it. We learn new ways and techniques that we wouldn’t have seen before, if we hadn’t changed our perspective and tried again. We sit down at the desk after long hours of re-working a scene, and keep going even when it’s tough . . . because deep down we know that we’ll come out better for what we’ve written. It won’t break us. Even when it feels that it just might. It won’t. There’s something deep within us that longs to write this story, and even through all the tough parts, we know that there’s light at the end of the tunnel. A purpose for the shifts that we must make. There’s moments, we need reinforcements to come in, and help guide us to a place that demands some love and attention, so we can progress and grow.
Isn’t that what life’s all about? Hitting the ground and asking ourselves, “How are you going to create your story now?” It forces us to either stay put, or to stand up and get back in. To re-write that book that you we’re so sure about. Only this time, to have grace in understanding how it really needs to be written to gain the most clarity, for ourselves and the readers. We must be willing to always be teachable, to listen to our inner voice, and draw from those around us whom we trust and know have our best interest at heart.
Our stories in life and writing, are ours. There’ll be bumps, shifts, changes, tears, and much doubt. But, every step will lead us to the writers and humans we need to become. None of our experiences are the same. That’s the beautiful thing. We create the chapters. I’m excited to read yours and have you read mine. What will you make of your story?
Lauri Schoenfeld’s first love is her little clan of three silly kidlets and her wonderful hubby, Andy. Writing is a close second. She began writing poems at the age of nine, and her love for literature and music developed into composing thirty songs. In 2014 her short story, Christmas Treasure, was featured in an anthology called, Angels from their Realms of Story. Her favorite genre to write is anything dark, psychological, and suspenseful, but she enjoys expanding her horizons and dipping her feet in other genres as well. Lauri teaches summer writing classes for kids and mentors teens throughout the year. She’s a Child Abuse and Scoliosis Survivor. Lauri runs a group for teen girls with Scoliosis called, The S Squad. Their motto is Strength, Support and Self Confidence. She’s been known to dance around the house with a spoon as her microphone and sneak toppings from the ice cream bar. Lauri’s taken online classes at the Institute of Children’s Literature and was the President of the League of Utah Writers, Oquirrh Chapter for two years. She’s a member of Crime Writers and International Thriller Writers.