Friday 14 November 2014

Searching for Treasure

Photo courtesy of Stoonn/

One of the joys and frustrations I find in writing fiction is when I start out to write I’m frequently unsure of what will come out on the page. That’s not entirely true all of the time as I try to finish each day leaving some crumbs for the next. An author whose name I now forget but I think quite a famous one wrote that was part of his daily writing routine: “leave some crumbs for tomorrow.”

Perhaps that’s because I’m a pantser, you plotters may have a far different experience but I expect there will still be days when a character completely surprises you with what they do, say or think.

But I know that for most of us turning up each day (or whatever your routine is) is often the key battle of the day. If the crumbs I left behind the night before are meager it makes that struggle of putting the first words down on the page even harder.

However, the more I write, the more I find joy in the process. Heck, if there’s no joy in it, then why do it? Right? And much of that joy comes from both the anticipation of and then excitement of discovering something special as the words flow (or bleed out as it can often be) on the page. Like we’ve stumbled across hidden treasure.

Only today one of my villains revealed to me something that caught me off guard. It was a delicious moment as all of a sudden it unlocked a mystery that had stumped me for a while. Very quickly I was able to visualize Book 3 that had me jumping with joy.

Aren’t those days extra special when a gold nugget miraculously appears out of the many (or sometimes few) words you’ve written that day?

The mystery of Jesus

To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”(Colossians 1:27 NIV)

I read that verse the other day and the aspect of Jesus mystery struck me. The more we dig, the more He reveals of Himself. The treasure that He is and that we are united in Him.

And in revealing more of Himself, Jesus reveals more of us.

Just like our stories unfold as we sit down each day with our manuscripts, Jesus unfolds more of Himself each day.

I reckon that’s pretty good reason to turn up each day to my quiet space with Jesus and to my manuscript.

Ian Acheson is an author and strategy consultant based in Northern Sydney. Ian's first novel of speculative fiction, 
Angelguard, is now available in the US, UK, Canada and Australia. You can find more about Angelguard at Ian's website, on his author Facebook page and Twitter


  1. HI Ian,
    I love those 'aha' moments. Writing is a joy (most of the time). I like the way you compare the voyage of discovery with our journey with Jesus. Looking forward to your second - and indeed third - book :)

  2. Encouraging post, Ian. May the trail of breadcrumbs lead to many more gold nuggets!

  3. The unfolding mystery and nuggets which push us into the next book, are what keep us 'at it.' I know for me, I can read pages of words I'd like to polish up and then one gem grabs me and I know I couldn't be doing anything better with my day. I want to believe it's the Creator's gift to the writer.

    Thanks for your encouraging post, Ian. :)

  4. Thanks Jeanette, Andrea, Dotti and Iola for your encouragement. I hope you have lovely weekends.

  5. Ian, I agree, the gold nugget days are special :) I learned to end my writing day mid-scene rather than at the end of a scene, which was my natural inclination. I've found it's much easier to start my writing day when I'm in the middle of the action in the story.

    1. Mid-scene, yes, I'm increasingly incorporating that strategy as well, Narelle.

      Appreciate your response. Thanks, Narelle.


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