Copyright 2021 by Frank Westcott. All rights reserved. This article was published in WRITE AWAY MAGAZINE in the UK, September 2021. It was also published in the anthology MOTHER THE VERB, THE SWAN SISTER TREASURE BOOK in April 2022 .
FINDING THE MAGIC ~ SOME CALL FINDING YOUR VOICE
I have a little of the entertainer in me, be it writing, or singing, or even speaking to friends. Love to make people laugh. And too, I love to generate insights into the intangible heart of things, as they emerge from my core.
Give me a mic and I’m on! Don’t give me a mic, and I still might be !
Whether I am listened to or not.
The same goes for words emerging from my fingers, like these. But and of course, being on, is being in the flow, whether the words are read or not. By anyone but me, at least.
With my creative process, I like to let it happen, let the flow happen. Clearing the damn before beginning. Ooops, dammed. AND damned too! And let my muse direct, allowing me to see what emerges freely, from those hidden places, where often my best nuggets reside, in a song, or prose, or poem.
For me anyway, if I try to intellectualize too much, my one-cell-brain-process gets stuck. Plugged. Dammed up. And damned! My psychically-intuitive-finger, well thumb, gets stuck in my creativity-blocking-dyke. And there is no room for me or the flow. Period. Even if I write a string of them… Periods. That is. Or exclamation marks, for that matter ! ! ! !
When I work, create, especially with words, if it is a long-ish piece like a story or book or ?... I like to set a time limit on how long I work at it in one sitting. Gives me an escape. Which I need. An exit. Gives me that out to let the flow, flow freely in the moment. I am on the clock after all. I can always play with it, nuance it, fix it up… later. BUT that clock-connected-exit gives me that out I need to let the flow be, for whatever time it does, will, and be allowed to in that particular work-frame-moment. But… I am outta there when the clock strikes…! Go Cinderella go!!! No glass slippers for me!
It is… just like doing a song, or bit on stage, and you got a specified time for your bit. And if you go over, they cut to a commercial or cut-you!
Hate the sight and site of blood. Especially, if it be mine. The site of the sight of.
Ruthless, I know… but some of my best work has evolved this way. Under the clock. And on it. So to speaketh. So it works, for me. And I find it helps me to not get consumed by a project. Which, in my early days was an issue for me, dragging my non-creative life down. Not good.
And, I also like to work on more than one project at a time. Well, not literally! Not simultaneously. Got two hands, but only that one-wee-brain-cell. It seems to only flow outta my hands, left or right, with the same project in mind in a given minute. Go figure! There’s that exclamation thing, mark, thingy… again !!! So much for periods… Oh, there’s some!
Taking turns with projects through my working week and for specified time frames, gives me outs from each. It keeps me fresh, brain-wise, going from one to the other. I like variety. No different than teaching school and going from one subject to the next, or one course to the next, one right after the other. Gives you, well me, energy. Psychic-intuitive, emotional and physical. This is the complete energy reservoir I seek and like in my creative process. It is part of the magic of letting my voice emerge. Fully. Truly. As it is. Authentically, some would say. Brain-wise. Heart-wise. Soul-wise. Me-wise. My swan’s wings.
I think the voice, that which we speak with from our core, that is truly us… emerging in any form or medium, is letting our Swan-Mother, our Swan-Self, give birth to us, what is truly us, and be our best selves and do our best work.
For me, this is how I think it.
It may not be for you. Necessarily. But it, my way, my wing-flap, may help you identify your own Swan-Wings as they unfold in a way that is true for you. The feminine letting the birth be… you! Unfolding. Naturally. As intended. Nice that, when it happens. When you think of it that way. In that kind of completeness. Birthing the essence.
And, I think the audience feels it. Us. The authentic us, no matter if the audience be in chairs in a school auditorium listening to your song, YOUR SONG, regardless the medium, art form. It could be YOU reading something you have written. Or showing a sculpture you created. They are experiencing you. And you are enabling you to experience you too. Truly. With complete communication. The true gift of art. You.
John Steinbeck, one of my heroes, once said, “If there is magic in story writing, and I am convinced there is, no one has ever been able to reduce it to a recipe… The formula seems to lie solely in the aching urge of the writer to convey something.”
I think this is true for any art form where the artist is truly bonded to the work at hand, regardless how the Swan-Wings unfold. The artist has the aching urge to create the work, to take the creative chance. The artist gives the Swan room to flow and fly, with the stream and airwaves undammed, swimming in the pond of all, or through the air of the creative universe, as simply as can be, honing on what comes… letting that be the guide… what comes… their voice emerging on the wings of their swan… over and over with each different work, whether they write as I do, sing as I do… or are blessed with another medium. The important thing in swimming, flowing, even singing and writing too, is that it is YOU who does the flapping, lips-fingers-or-wings, in a way that is true to YOU and YOUR WORK.
And therein lies the magic… some call finding your, well my, voice.