The idea for this post came to me after I reviewed my current manuscript’s journey.
My review highlighted some reoccurring themes, which, after a strong coffee and a piece of comforting cake, got me thinking about the similarities between the mythical bird; the phoenix and the writer.
- The phoenix is a strange and mysterious creature. So too is the writer, I don’t think anyone is going to argue with me on this one. This is why I became a writer – so that I could be strange and mysterious all of the time.
- The life of a phoenix is all about creation, destruction and resurrection. The writer’s creative process follows a similar pattern; drafts are created, destroyed through editing / revision and then resurrected again…once emotions have settled down.
- When the phoenix feels like the end is approaching, it builds a nest, sets fire to it, allows itself to be consumed by the flames and turns into a heap of ashes on the floor. A similar situation occurs when the writer has been inundated with harsh criticism or rejections. In their head they feel like heading over to their nest and burning everything they have ever written but instead they erupt into a hot, fiery creative rage, announce they are quitting and turn into a teary heap on the floor.
- According to legend, the sighting of a Phoenix is a good sign as it means a new era has begun. The same can be said for a writer, once they emerge from Writing Corner after completing a draft. Loved ones and pets will only need to take a quick look at the writer’s face to know that a new era has begun!
- Here is a quote about the phoenix, which I think can be likened to a writer, ‘you may kill a fire. And everything you know falls to dust and ash. Yet the remarkable treasure in this seemingly hopeless pile, is hidden deep within.’ Akilnathan Logeswaran. Once you have edited and revised the hell out of a draft novel or short story, you do start to see the treasure hidden deep within your ‘seemingly hopeless pile’. This is the joy of writing – sigh!
- Just like the phoenix goes through a process of reincarnation, so does the writer every time they start a new project.
- How many times do we go through hell with our writer demons and despise our art? This inevitably leads to dark literary times and us questioning our creative abilities. How many times do we then rise from the ashes (a few days later) feeling like we have been reborn and start to love our writing again?
This phoenix-like process of creation, destruction and regeneration is what I think being a writer is all about.
To be successful we have to keep rising from the ashes.
Let me know what phoenix stage you are currently at:
I am hoping we can find writers at each of the three stages.
I have just started a new project so I am back in the creation stage. When my manuscript comes back from review I will have to destroy it and then resurrect it again for the third draft.
Have a great day my fellow phoenix friends!