Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Butterfly Effect

I recently read an article that said the caterpillar is the most confused creature in nature because stamped on its soul is the call to fly. I started thinking...Isn't that us as writers? To look at us is to see regular, ordinary people, but like the caterpillar, impressed on our souls is the call to be so much more than what we appear. So, if we have this calling on our lives--and we were born to do it--than why is it so hard? And frustrating? And...and impossible?

We often look at the beautiful, graceful butterfly and forget its journey. Just as we look at Sherrilyn Kenyon or Gena Showalter and forget their journeys. We forget the rejections, the criticism, the menial jobs...the preparation. For the butterfly, the cocoon is where it is hidden, shaped, molded and prepared. Many of us are in our cocoon time.

Take me, for instance. Every day I go to my job and I work and I work. But, it's just not what I want to do for the rest of my life. I want to write! I want to wake up in the morning and know that my manuscript awaits me, not a loan. And, I become so frustrated because I want that dream now. I ask, God, why show me this dream, and yet I feel no closer than I did three years ago? But, then I stop and think...If I can submit to my supervisor when she asks for something in an impossible amount of time, than I definitely can submit to an editor when she requests a laundry list of revisions, and wants them yesterday. Preparation. If I can type up Bible Study notes that are due weekly, than surely when the time comes, I will be disciplined enough to meet a deadline from a publisher. Preparation. If I can think up a new topic for a bi-weekly blog, than when a multi-book contract comes my way, I know without a doubt I am capable of fresh ideas to keep my readers satisfied and happy. Preparation.

So, when I begin to struggle with losing my drive, my sight and my hope I remember the butterfly. And, I put my hands to where I am now. I don't see my circumstances as stagnant or restricting, but lessons to be learned for the fruition of a dream. It's preparation. Just as the butterfly is molded and shaped in the cocoon, we're molded and shaped by our challenges and tests.

So, if there's anything I would like for you to take from this it is, don't despise the cocoon. Because when you come out, you will fly.


M.V.Freeman said...

I am definintely with you, I am ready to "fly"...LOL

I also agree, that even though our day jobs are not necessarily what we want, it helps us in our preparation of writing and it helps temper us.

Still...I wonder how long tempering takes...LOL

JoAnn said...


Brilliant blog as always.

And just as that caterpillar cannot "give up" the urge to fly, we cannot give up the urge to write. It's impossible. All we can do is keep learning and keep writing.

Christy Reece said...

Beautiful and poetic, as always, Naima. And so true. The things we experience in our cocoon only prepare us for our future flight.

Julie J. said...


wonderful blog. I am now imagining myself as the caterpillar and I cannot wait to come out of the cocoon and fly!!