character development, inner peace, inspiration, writing

The Importance of Slowing Down

So, this past weekend was Labor Day… and as any of you who celebrate it know– it’s meant for anything BUT labor.

I went “upnorth” as us Michiganders say, to Gaylord with my lovely Greg and his family.

Inevitably… like any time I take a slight haitus from the everyday hustle and bustle of life, I found a strengthening in my belief of the power of relaxation and disconnection from stress/ routine.

Often times I find myself stressing for no reason.

Okay head, what’s going on?

No response.

You’ve got homework…school…work…a bit of a family crisis

Hum of panic begins brewing.

Hey hey hey! But it’s nothing we can’t tackle like we have a million times before right?

And still… no answer, just a lingering sense of discomfort that threatens to grow hourly.

My mind doesn’t answer, because I’m still working full speed. I believe full well in the saying “Dreams don’t work unless you do”, so I’m always throttling full speed ahead– completing classwork, building a portfolio, working, blogging, and balancing my world of 300 some minions… all the while trying to make room for relationships and “normal” life.

But here’s the kicker: In order to experience life and hold substance behind our voice, we must slow down and live in the moment. It is only then that we are truly open to everything around us. 

Watching Fred (Greg’s pup)… it hit me. The scene was gorgeous. Not because he’s the beautifully handsome little man he is, but because he wasn’t concerning himself with anything other than what was happening right here, right now. 

I practiced Fred’s way of life completely for those two days… and what happened was breathtaking.

Soubi, a character of mine I have known for 11 years now stayed with me for the entire time. I learned the truth behind his life before me… wiped away false tales I had thought I heard in the past… found his mother and father who I didn’t believe were alive… and truly… really connected.

Because of this past weekend I have un-erasable and irreplaceable memories and experiences with him that have grown a better foundation to our friendship and ability to communicate.

That ability… to slow down and LISTEN… is the best tool I can possibly offer you to connecting with your characters and writing. It is priceless and will shape not only the way you write, but the way you live.

So instead of scripting out dialogue and scratching your head over where to go next or how so-and-so would react… listen to so-and-so! Let them tell you. Build a relationship with that person and part of yourself and open your own door to the world inside your mind.

 

That’s all folks! Join me next time!

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~Fioza

 

 

 

inspiration, Poetry, writing

A world trapped inside

worldtrappedinperson

 

I am not one– I am many

Woven together to create a mosaic identity

My eyes, imperfect mirrors reflecting only part

Of this consummate creation– the truths in my heart

~Fioza Leigh-Rhodes

Us writers are blessed with a single body that we must rely on to express vast spaces with even more vast personalities… but that’s why we write. 

For a long time, I got stuck on the idea of perfection. Unable to simply dump ideas and come back to them later, I edited as I wrote– scrutinized every word and stressed over every syllable. That is, until I found a quote from Pixar’s rules of storytelling:

“If it stays in your head, a perfect idea

You’ll never share it with anyone

~Pixar animation

After all… our words can’t reach a single soul or give a voice to our beloved characters if we never work to try.

So here’s my challenge to you. In a comment below geek out about a character! Whether they’re your original character or someone else’s, let go of the pressure and just have fun. Let us inspire one another and remind ourselves why we do what we do.

Tootles loves!

https://mic.com/articles/101740/the-22-rules-to-perfect-storytelling-according-to-pixar#.cF9FxLTgf

^Follow the link above to see the complete list of Pixar’s storytelling rules reblogged by Jared Keller and based off of Emma Coat’s 2012 tweets of wisdom gained from Pixar after years of working there.

This list has served as inspiration in the hardest of times throughout my years and I hope they can help you as well!