SOL Challenge Day 6 -Learning about writing – there must be magic

images-3This Sunday blooms with blue skies, sun, wind and warming temperatures. It is a long ways from the late night read of dark forests, faeries and magic. It is a world away from Holly Blacks writing that I was entwined in during the bewitching hours of midnight and one in the morning. Yet I hold on to a sense of magic in my soul left lingering there this morning. (I finished reading The Darkest Part of the Forest last night. I will tell you about it tomorrow in a post about reading and why I read a book I didn’t think I wanted to read.)

This magic I am thinking about really has nothing to do with the princes, knights, faeries and the folk of the woods. The magic I am talking about and feeling deep inside is the writers magic. The bit of wonder, creativity and magic that comes when an author puts their pen to paper or fingers to keys.

Every writer but especially fiction writers, I think, must have gone deep into their soul to open that door that allows story and characters to come forward and present themselves. Writers do all those things I talked about yesterday. The reading, research and importantly giving themselves space and time.

In that open space there must also be a bit of magic that allows hard working authors to form a new world for us to walk into. This world may sound and feel just like ours or it may be one so totally different – one of space travel, historical fiction or Holly Black’s dark forest of faeries. Authors, I think, must suspend their daily life to walk into the world of their characters.

This is where I marvel at the magic that writers bring forward with their words. The amazing feat of putting research, time, and words together to form a whole new adventure for us to participate in.

I have fallen under that spell once in my life when sitting on a beach writing in Mexico. (I know it sounds glamorous – it really wasn’t I was a chaperone for some high school seniors – don’t get me started.) I had a day to myself and sat squirreled away in a beach chair with waves slipping in and out, beer and trinkets being offered for a small fee every few minutes and yet I slid into a world far away. The day passed by, my pencil moved from page to page and at some point I look up to see the sun setting and my daughter wondering what I had done all day. Magic – I have been spirited away to France and a young boys adventure with Matisse.

It is an addicting magic and for some authors it comes often or they have learned to call that magic up from the depths of their writing wells. I am not one of those authors yet. But I know that deep well of magic exists and I am on a quest to find it again within the new story that I chase.

Have you felt that magic moment when writing takes you away to a new place? A time when all you heard around was the sound of your pen or the click of the keys? Have you watch students drop into this bit of magic when they are engaged in writing their stories?

And most importantly how do we help ourselves and our students find that deep well of writing magic that allows us create a new story to share with others around us? Maybe it is just important to know it is there!


About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, help in schools and write. Life is good!
This entry was posted in Reflection, writing and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to SOL Challenge Day 6 -Learning about writing – there must be magic

  1. elsie says:

    I love that writers can take us to those far away places and our minds linger in that fantasy after the book is finished. That is a gift.

  2. MaryHill says:

    I know that feeling of being spirited away in a good book. I need to find a good one too now. I will check out your title. It sounds nice.

  3. Tara Smith says:

    I think that writing magic happens here and there, but once it does, you are compelled to keep at it in the hopes that it will return.

  4. arjeha says:

    I also think that much writing magic happens here at TWT as well.

  5. Rita K. says:

    What an awesome “slice”. You so capture the essence of writing. It is a gift to be spirited away as fingers effortlessly glide across the keys and surprises appear right before your very eyes. It is a gift to loose yourself in this magic and I am so grateful that I’ve met others to enjoy the magic with me. Thanks for these beautiful words!

  6. Linda Baie says:

    I love your description of that magic happening to you on the beach, Joanne, and there are times when I feel it in the middle of a poem. What lovely posts you’re creating about writing!

  7. Heather says:

    So inspiring! I have never considered myself a writer. In fact, it’s my most intimidating subject to teach because I have never felt good at it. My hope is that this writing challenge, pushing myself to write every day and reading the writing of others each day, will strengthen my writing skills and confidence as a writer. You make writing sound so beautifully rewarding and so worth the sacrifice. Thank you!

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