Jumping into the Unknown
“An artist’s job is to risk everything
on the present moment.
To jump into the unknown
and bring back a record of the journey.
This is where all art begins.
Without this spirit there would be no art.”
~ Author Unknown even to Google ~
Jumping into the Unknown
Exactly! Every time I start a new painting, there I am facing the unknown in the form of a blank sheet of paper. Because I am an intuitive painter, I never know what will emerge as I start to paint. It’s always a surprising journey.
And this quote also describes my experience in writing The Star Seer’s Prophecy trilogy. When I wrote a tiny story in my journal, I had no plan to write a book. However, the protagonist of the story jumped onto the page and demanded that I write his story from its terrible beginning to its amazing end. I had no idea where this story was going or what it was about, no plot, no outline. In addition, I had never considered myself to be a writer, much less an author, nor studied the craft of writing fiction.
Bringing Back a Record of the Journey
However, the story kept flowing out, and I was having so much fun, I kept on writing. For three years, every time I sat down at my computer, I dove into the unknown and brought back what I was shown.
Once I reached the conclusion, I saw that it is a powerful story worthy of being shared. And that meant I faced another jump into the unknown – learning to write fiction. In addition to learning to write fiction as I went, with much revising and editing,* I’ve been going up the learning curve of book marketing. So I keep having to leap into that abyss over and over!
Facing the Unknown with Every Choice We Make
Actually, every time we face a decision point in life as well as in art, we are facing the unknown. If we choose one path or another, we don’t know where that choice will ultimately take us. Often we have to choose between the familiar “safe” path, or a path we have never traveled before.
At a crucial point in my life, I faced such a choice: whether to keep my well-paying government job or quit to take a minimum wage counseling job in a home for teenage girls. Quitting my nice, safe job felt like jumping off a high diving board with no idea what was beneath me. I was scared but I knew I’d never forgive myself if I didn’t make the break out of the safe, stifling life my parents approved of. So I jumped into the new adventure my soul was calling for: to become a psychotherapist to help others heal from trauma and recover their connection to their true selves. Though this new path was often challenging, I have never regretted that high dive into the unknown.
One thing is for sure: I never would have written The Star Seer’s Prophecy if I hadn’t taken that leap and followed the call to become a psychotherapist. This choice ultimately led to my understanding of the healing journey that is the focus and source of my trilogy. And I learned to trust the wisdom of the dreaming mind (the unconscious) and to allow its free expression through art. Without that trust, I wouldn’t have been able to allow this gritty and inspiring story to come through onto paper. So far, it’s been a surprising, scary and exciting journey into the unknown, and I’m glad I’m still on this unfamiliar path.
QUESTION FOR YOU:
When have you jumped into the unknown and what happened as a result?
Please share. I’d love to hear your story!
(*Eighteen years later, I have finished writing, editing and polishing The Star Seer’s Prophecy trilogy. Book One, Dark Innocence, and Book Two, Fierce Blessings, have been published by Rose Press. Book Three, Perilous Bliss, will be published in January 2018.)