The Circle of Life (and Writing)
If you read the title to this post and instantaneously thought of The Lion King, know that this was the goal. Well, that and some other things that I’m planning to address in the coming paragraphs, but it is my sincerest hope that you read these words whilst humming along to the Disney melody in your head. You’re welcome.
Regardless of the connection to The Lion King, I have been ruminating as of late on the cyclical nature of life and, of course, of writing. In the spring I attended another PPWC and was amazed at the way everything came full circle. It was a year later, with a newly minted me (although really not much had changed since the last edition) with slightly changed versions of the same people and more new things to learn. It was an interesting experience, being both familiar and unfamiliar with what was going on, having the same conversations (more or less) that I had the previous year, and still feeling like everything with completely different.
I’m now going through a similar process with a new job. It’s new, but it’s also the same process that I’m going through as the last time I was the new person at a job. It’s in the same field as my last position, but harder in some ways and easier in others. I’m still in school, but as a staff member. There’s still students, but I am (supposedly) older and wiser than them. I find myself relating to the students I help more than my coworkers. Maybe it’s my age. Maybe it’s the freshness of my degree (which I’m still waiting on, by the way – that silly piece of paper needs to come in the mail already).
To get back to more writerly things, I just had a story published online. (please note the literary journal is now defunct) It was an honor, and it’s one of my favorite stories that I’ve written, but I went through the same cycle I have so many times to get there. Why was this submission different from the other fifty that didn’t get in anywhere? And once my story got in (again, a huge honor), the process was just like when I’ve had other stories published, yet it was a new magazine with new readers and a new idea that I had put out into the world.
I feel like life in general is cyclical. Yes, time moves in a straight line, but in many ways, that line does a lot of loop-de-loops. Up until a little over a month ago (it was really only that short time ago?) my loop-de-loop was the school year. Start school, struggle through the semester, take finals, have a break, go back to school, end of year finals, summer break, repeat. Now I will have a similar cycle, but a different role. Now my days will be cyclical, and my years will be too, but not in quite the same way. My writing, I’m sure will be cyclical. I’m planning on applying to grad school again (this time only to schools I would 100% go to if I were to get in) and going through that cycle once more. I will write, and I will edit, and I will submit, then I will write some more. Life is cyclical, writing life is cyclical, and some of the best plot-lines in literature are cyclical.
While thinking about this concept may seem fruitless, my dwelling on this is something that I think will help in my writing. I’ve realized that life is full of twists, turns, and now loop-de-loops, which will help me write life in a more realistic way. I can take a character’s life and habits to a whole other level, and take The Lion King, and all the truth that’s found in that silly little song to heart.