Characters are not people or things, but arcs of transformation. They do, get, make, and change things to earn that Happily Ever After. Their plots arise from those actions.
~ Damon Suede, author ~
I was checking my Twitter feed the other day and came upon a post by a writer who realized that she was still not calling herself an author even though she’d written three books. Because none of those books was published…yet.
She decided that this year, she was going to stop waiting to be given that title by a publisher. Instead, after checking the definition of author–a writer of a book, article, or report—she claimed it for herself. She’s written three books. Published or not, she’s an author. Spell of a noun.
In a recent phone conversation with a dear friend whose parent died earlier in the year, my friend relayed that in all the years past, she believed she was “unloved.”
Until, after sorting through the parent’s things, my friend found letters, clippings and other evidence that she was, in fact, loved. Spell of an adjective.
In a workshop for writers, author Damon Suede says that “every project starts with dynamic verbs.” Before he starts writing, he chooses verbs for the two main characters (in a romance) that will rub up against each other and, as he phrases it, “create friction,” like protect/destroy. Spell of a verb.
Look at those labels, those word spells, from the different parts of speech. Words matter.
In working magic, words are a very important part of any spell. All the other accoutrements that people imagine are necessary for working a spell are actually secondary to the intent of the spell and the words.
In this new year, instead of unintentionally casting word spells that limit and disempower you, be mindful of your words.
Instead of making a list of I-don’t-believe-I-can-achieve-this goals, or resolutions that make your heart sink instead of sing, create a word spell with well-chosen words that expand your possibilities and get you excited. Cast a spell that supports you and your creative and life dreams.
Think of a noun that represents your gifts, talents, the experience you’ve earned and claim. Like author, actor, composer, healer.
Then, pick an adjective that empowers, like committed, courageous, impressive, disciplined, intuitive.
Finally, and carefully, choose a verb. Like persists, promotes, wonders, progresses.
Write your three words on a piece of paper, the nicer the paper the better. Light a candle and place the paper near the candle. Take a deep breath.
Then say your three words three times, or nine times if you really get into chanting them. Take another deep breath.
Feel those three words, labels you have mindfully chosen for yourself.
Breathe them in. Close your eyes and imagine how your year might unfold with the power of these three words.
Take one more deep breath, and as you release it, blow out your candle. Put the words where you’ll see them and be reminded of the spell you’ve cast.
And this year, pay attention to the word spells you cast.
Happy New Year.