Cheerleading for Writers: W – Wonder and How We Find Our Way to It

In dedicated chapter I – Ideas and Inspiration, we’ve talked at length about finding ideas and inspiration. The conclusion was that we can’t control of how the ideas appear. It can be anything, and they can appear anywhere. Completely unexpectedly.

This could be the clue. The unexpectedness of it all.

But where does the unexpected starts? How do we find a way to the point where we exclaim or whisper, “Wow!”?

How do we find the beginning of the path, which leads to that moment when we are taken with this power of wonder and into the momentum of passion?

One of my favourite writers, who has been quoted many times in this book, Elizabeth Gilbert wrote the following brilliant words in her book “Big Magic: Creative Leaving Beyond Fear”:

“I believe that curiosity is the secret. Curiosity is the truth and the way of creative living. Curiosity is the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end. Furthermore, curiosity is accessible to everyone. Passion can seem intimidatingly out of reach at times — a distant tower of flame, accessible only to geniuses and to those who are specially touched by God. But curiosity is a milder, quieter, more welcoming, and more democratic entity. The stakes of curiosity are also far lower than the stakes of passion. Passion makes you get divorced and sell all your possessions and shave your head and move to Nepal. Curiosity doesn’t ask nearly so much of you.

In fact, curiosity only ever asks one simple question: ‘Is there anything you’re interested in?’


Even a tiny bit?

No matter how mundane or small?”

Curiosity was what made Liz, as Elizabeth Gilbert and her friends call herself, try out gardening, which later made her curious about plants and their origins, and then about the history of botany, and finally ignited a passion of writing an epic story of a woman passionate about botany and discovering through botany it secrets of the world. Elizabeth Gilbert’s novel “Signature Of All Things” was an amazing best-selling work of creativity, which in spite of it being fiction, has been nominated in Great Britain in 2014 for The Welcome Prize, an award for achievement in writing on a medical subject. “The Signature of All Things”, or SOAT as Liz Gilbert loves referring to her now famous novel, was the only novel on the list of nominees, alongside works of recognized scientific authors Andrew Solomom and Oliver Sachs. (You can read about Liz’s excitement on this nomination on her side following this link: I am sure this nomination was made due to the amazingly meticulous research clearly visible when reading this novel.

Many would agree that such an achievement would not be possible without passion.

But the passion came later.

For her, and I dare to say for all of us, the magic of any passion starts with curiosity.

Curiosity was also the one that helped me to make the first steps in writing. My fear was to big to let me see the looming passion for writing inside me. But curiosity was a gentle friend. “Don’t worry. Just try it out. You don’t have to commit to anything.” It said, “Taste it and if you don’t like it, spit it out.”

After writing my first short story in 2009 in a notebook, which I still have today, I didn’t spit it out. I liked the taste too much. And still love it.

Yes, I am sure curiosity, this gentle friend, will help me out in the other daunting beginnings. “Let’s see what we can do today”, it will tell me.

Dear, writers friends, let’s continue our journey to the wonder of creativity, and let’s start by looking around and looking closer at what we say to ourselves or out loud, “Hmm, this could be interesting.”

Picture: Autumn treasures discovered on the way home from Niklas school. Nature will never stop being amazing.


“Cheerleading For Writers”, copyright © 2016 by Victoria Ichizli-Bartels

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *