About two weeks ago, my thirteen-year-old son and I went to Walt Disney World. Yes. Orlando, FL in July. Everyone looked at us like we were crazy. Isn’t it humid enough in New Hampshire at this time of year? Why do you need to go to an even hotter and more humid place—for vacation?
In part, the vacation was a last-minute decision. When we were talking about going somewhere, and WDW came up, I checked the prices. Actually pretty affordable, which I guess isn’t so surprising. I mean, who the hell goes to Florida for summer vacation??
Disney addicts, that’s who.
As some of you might know, the great Walt Disney himself is my hero. He sparked my creativity. Disney inspired me ever since I was learning how to tell stories. For me, “it all started with a mouse” is wondamagiliciously true.
“I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing … that it was all started by a mouse.” Walt Disney
I was about eight or nine years old when I began to really get into Disney and his whole story from when he was a young boy living on a farm. Before that, I only equated Disney as a name behind cartoons, animation, and amazing television shows. I never missed an episode of The Wonderful World of Disney that aired every Sunday night.
When I began to understand there was actually a man, a human being, behind all of that incredible magic, I was truly astounded. You mean, a person came up with all of that? I’m not sure exactly what I thought Disney was before I knew Disney was a real man, but the realization changed my life.
I saw exactly how imagination could start as a seed, a breath, and then be coaxed and nurtured into a form of reality that would matter to someone else.
I wanted to be a part of something like that.
Throughout my teen years, Disney was like therapy to me. I was sorely shy on top of being an introvert, and had painfully low self-esteem (not a good combo). Disney inspired me to write stories and draw cartoons. I was okay at the former and no good at the latter. But at the time, my creations were just for me, so it didn’t matter.
What did matter was that I saw an insane dream in there—to be a novelist. To write stories that I would eventually share with the world. There was magic in that dream, because it felt like something I couldn’t have unless I took very, very special care of it. Kind of like being given a golden egg, and you’re really not sure what you have in your possession but you know it’s something freaking amazing.
Disney gifted me with that dream. And even though I resisted that dream for years (another blog post topic), it never truly left my heart. I may have turned what could have been a regular old writing journey into a Labyrinth of Self-Destruction, but the magic continued to pulse patiently. Waiting for me to be ready.
All of that is to explain why visiting WDW on a regular basis is so important to me. Vacationing at WDW is more than going on Space Mountain or Tower of Terror. More than indulging in a Dole Pineapple-Vanilla Float. More than swimming late afternoon while pirates sing to me.
There is a magic I associate with Disney because Disney helped pull me through some painful adolescent days and some tough times at home. I have grown to trust that Disney will pull me through anything, revitalize me, clarify my vision, refuel me.
Disney sparks a writing magic that helped me forge my identity and my journey. A writing magic that hits me in the gut and reminds me of what I want to achieve with my stories.
But it’s tough magic too, getting me to dig deep, to challenge myself. Am I happy with my progress? Am I being daring enough? Am I taking advantage of opportunities?
Disney reminds me of all that is possible, even when there are plenty of obstacles and walls. He knew what he wanted to achieve, even before it had been done or dreamed. He was a man of invention, imagination, innovation. He believed in himself and what he could achieve, and he didn’t let anything stand in his way.
Somehow I can’t believe that there are any heights that can’t be scaled by a man who knows the secret of making his dreams come true. This special secret, it seems to me, can be summarized in four C’s. They are curiosity, confidence, courage, and constancy, and the greatest of these is confidence. When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way. – Walt Disney
I came home from my vacation rejuvenated and empowered. I have increased confidence in my ideas and my projects. My muse is ready to rock and roll, and everything that felt impossible mere months ago feels doable now. My writing magic has been sparked.
The writing journey is not easy, we all know. Most of us spend the majority of our time disheartened or frustrated or exhausted. These negative feelings almost always lead to quitting if we don’t take the time to do a mindset check to spark that magic.
So I ask you: What sparks your writing magic? Are you able to tap into it every day? Beyond that, how are you doing with your writing journey? Are you feeling fulfilled with your progress and your choices? What do you hope to achieve with your writing? Are you taking the steps appropriate to your dreams and goals? Are you daring yourself at least once a day? Have you pinned down a writing time so that you can make the most of your journey? What is it? Are you able to navigate the obstacles in a way that makes you feel challenged but not stressed or anxious?
The above questions are just a starting point for creativity mindset. Check in with questions like these on a regular basis, and more often if you’re feeling especially vulnerable. The connection you make with your mindset will actually spark the magic. This is also a great method to discover what it is that sparks your writing magic, as you may not even know! You will feel more empowered and ready to make the most of the opportunities you encounter.
Whatever your dream, goal, or wish, honor it every day. Make it a part of your daily life so that you are more likely to achieve what you want. The more of a “regular thing” it is, the easier it will be to cultivate into reality. The more your magic will spark.