Sunset on the ocean

New Beginnings In Storytelling

New Beginnings In Stroytelling

By Ilana R. Wieder

With Rosh Hashanah right around the corner, I started thinking of new beginnings. The way I begin a new story, the beginning of a painting or a sculpture, and the way our Torah begins.

spiral formation into the void

In the first chapter of the Torah (Genesis 1: 1-2), we read:  “In the beginning, God created heaven and earth—the earth was unformed and void. Darkness and wind swept over the surface of the deep and over the water —“

When G-d created the earth, he created it, still unformed and void. He began to make sense of what He created, only after He formed this complete chaos!  He began creating light, distinguishing between the waters of earth and heaven, separating the earth from the sea and so on throughout the seven days of creation. 

And then it hit me. This is how I begin all of my stories; unformed and void of plot. A salad of words, if you will. Only after the salad of words is on the page, can I begin to slowly make sense of it all. Separating ideas and characters and forming chapters and paragraphs into a coherent, engaging story.

Yet up until recently, I always felt a sense of guilt (that old Jewish guilt) when I would begin writing a story and not have a full sense of where that story was going.

When I read published books, I forget the simple fact that authors have worked on these book for years. And that they must have reworked the plot, structure and characters many times.  

Then, I recalled Michelangelo’s famous quote: 

“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”

This is what we do as painters, sculptors, and writers. We begin with the large brush strokes, with the unformed marble, with the chaotic mess of words. Then slowly, we begin to create the finer painted lines, to chip away at the marble, and to form exciting characters and plot. What is more, this is how all life begins and all life’s endeavors too. 

In your own creative journeys, I wish you messy beginnings that will surely take beautiful shape over time.

In your spiritual journeys, I wish you a happy and sweet New Year! 

Apple dipped in glass of honey

Shana Tovah U Metukah.

Click Here for a fun apples and honey cookie recipe


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