The first time I became aware of this quote was on a YouTube video of The Piano Guys playing a classical cello and piano version of—I think—All My Secrets Away by One Republic… while I was in the midst of writing my second book. It flashed on the screen so quickly; I had to keep going back to pause it to really tell what all it said. It made sense that it was a Beethoven quote since they were so effortlessly playing their instruments, making the already pretty song even more beautiful.
But then I thought about my art. Despite the fact that the heroine in my debut novel, The Hesitant Heiress, is a piano prodigy… I, indeed, have zero talent in that arena. But I did practice a form of art in writing that story about the music Amaryllis Brigham so easily brought to life over and over. So I tried to wrap my head around what this quote meant for me.
Because I write for the inspirational market, the last part should be a given. But how do we get to that last part? Not by practicing? No. In fact, it takes more than that, which is something I figured out when I first started writing The Hesitant Heiress four years ago. Because I have ADD, I also have this awesome super-power called “hyper-focus.” It has absolutely nothing to do with paying attention, and everything to do with getting lost. “Force your way into its secrets….” is another, a bit more eloquent, way of saying just that.
I don’t just write a story when I write a story. That would drive me bonkers. I delve in so deep that I am my heroine. I am on the rocky coast in Maine. I am in the room of that brownstone mansion on Commonwealth Avenue. I can hear the crunching rocks under my feet, and I feel the dread in my soul when everything falls apart. I don’t think that’s considered practicing… but more like what Beethoven was trying to get at by that middle sentence.
What secret does your art hold that you might not have uncovered? Are you writing as deeply as you could be? And if your art is something else entirely, what do you think it will take to get to those secrets that need to be uncovered? Are you willing to “force your way in…” farther if it means raising your fellow man (or woman) to the Divine?