Friday, February 4, 2011

Thinking with the Heart

This week, I intended to work on Walker Universe.  Instead, I chose a different path, one where I could both write commercially and for myself, one where I could write something the publishers might deem acceptable while keeping the most precious ideas for myself and my faithful readers.  In following this path, I followed my mind, my reason, and in doing so, I failed.  I hadn't wanted the traditional market exorcising out what made me and my writing tick, so I did so myself, and thought I could be two different people.  In my attempts to protect my heart, I had forgotten to follow it.  The novel idea failed.  I was lost.

The failure cut deep.  I took it to heart that I was therefore a failure.  Why had I wasted so much time?  I should have been working on Walker.  So I went back to Egyptian studies, to play catchup on Novel One, to ease my way in.  I did this because the headache of my recent failure was too strong and painful that I feared ruining something precious to me.  But in studying ancient Egypt, I realized something important:  though my project failed, it did not fail its purpose in my life.

This is what I learned.  The Egyptians believed the heart was the source of both thoughts and feelings, unlike in our times where our heart symbolizes the seat of our emotions and our brain the seat of our reason.  In our world, thoughts and feelings are often in conflict with each other.  In the Egyptian world, they must have lived in harmony.  That is what I want for my writing.  Harmony of mind and heart.  Passion and reason.  Projects I love that earn me my living.  This is what my failure taught me:  I cannot have one without the other.  My plans for my writing career must include the satisfaction of both reason and passion.  Though my plan needs to be developed, I can see that path ahead of me.  Though I am not ready to walk it, at least, I will not choose a path upon which I will be lost.  No, not when I am ready to think with my Egyptian heart.   


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