Write From The Joy of Your Soul

I was at a networking event (a holiday party – ‘tis the season) and I ran into a friend of mine. He’d just sold a script and was really excited. But he also said he was feeling scared because now he had to write it. (This is a typical Hollywood thing to sell an idea first and write it later.) I asked him why he was feeling scared. “Because of what they may think of it when it’s done,” he said. I thought that was an interesting response. It sparked a juicy discussion.

For me, the writing always comes from a deep place. There’s a spark of an idea or an obsession – something that keeps me up at night – something that rattles me or lights me up. That’s the original impulse and I do my best to keep stoking the fire that appears from that spark. I told my friend that if he keeps looking deep into that flame – which is only his and which he knows more than anyone – that he would stay on track. And in that way, he would write what he was meant to write. It would be true and genuine. And I believe that, written from that place, people will appreciate it.

My friend smiled, surprised. He liked the idea – even though he hadn’t thought about it that way before.

I think many of us are too busy looking outside ourselves for the signal that we’re on the path with our writing. Especially in TV, people are often asking what the next “big thing” is – and wanting to consciously sculpt something that breaks new ground. That’s not the way it works. Everyone who creates something new comes from their own weird/quirky place. That’s the soul place. We’re called, as writers, even in the marketplace (especially in the marketplace) to write from that deep well of joy or sadness, or grief or shame or fear. I’m not saying we’re supposed to torture people with our worst and darkest selves, but I am saying that, in my experience, unique and juicy writing comes from that fertile place.

As you do your holiday preparations: cards for friends and family, decorations, networking at parties or even hosting parties – try doing it all from that soul place. The way you decorate or celebrate or host may be influenced by some secret dream – an idea of what you love – a notion of the way (deep inside) you’ve always imagined it can be. You may think this is a huge leap from finding writing inspiration to living your life. I think it’s all connected. The more in touch I am with what’s inside, the better I can manifest things (creative or otherwise) which have the effortless stamp of my individuality.

I’m celebrating you for showing up as you are, daring to lean further into your own mojo.

As ever, let me know how it goes.


By | 2017-12-20T16:44:25+00:00 December 14th, 2017|The Writer's Life|0 Comments

About the Author:

Steve Harper
STEVE HARPER is a writer, producer and actor. He was on the writing staff of the Emmy Award winning ABC show American Crime (created by John Ridley) and spent two seasons writing for the USA Network show Covert Affairs. Steve's original web series SEND ME, about time traveling black people (writer, actor and Executive Producer) was nominated for a 2016 Emmy. As a playwright he has written more than 20 works that have been produced across the country. Through yourcreativelife.com, Steve has been working with artists of all kinds since 2008, helping them achieve clarity and focus in their creative careers. His specialty is working with artists as they write dramatic scripts. Steve has run workshops in New York, L.A. and in between. Through live events, online seminars, and his channels on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, he’s helped thousands of writers and artists. Steve taught for The Harvardwood Writers Group, Young Playwrights and The Creative Gym. He’s been an instructor at the UCLA Extension School and a guest artist at Interlochen School for the Arts, Drexel University’s summer program in L.A. and USC’s Annenberg School. A graduate of Yale, The A.R.T. Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard and the playwriting program at Juilliard, he was certified by the Creativity Coaching Association in 2013.