The moon holds some amazing power over people. Horror stories revolve around it, and the cool blue-white glow of its light can be equally haunting as it is magical. So magical, in fact, that it’s worth of being a writing tool.
The Significance of the Moon
The moon is commonly associated with water, which is easy to see once you think about it. The moon influences the pull of the oceans which results in our tides. It’s said that crime rates go up during a full moon, because it has such an effect on people (remember, a large part of us is made up of water). People plan to travel or launch a business based on the moon. People plant and harvest their gardens according to the moon.
Esoterically, the moon corresponds to water because of it’s shadowiness, which relates to the subconscious or psychic abilities/intuition.
In my post, Writing Through the Elements, I talk about how in the Tarot, water represents the emotion, intuition, the subconscious, and creativity. With the moon relating to water, it’s easy to see that the moon relates to creativity as well.
Tomorrow is October 1, which is not only my favorite month given that the best holiday of the year happens during this time, but this year contains a blue moon. A blue moon is when a full moon occurs twice within a month. That second full moon this year? Yeah, you guessed it, it’s on Halloween!
In light of the double full moon, I thought I would make this month about writing with the phases of the moon.
Again, water corresponds to the moon, and water represents creativity. Why not create with the ebb and flow of our biggest satellite?
To connect with the moon, I feel as though we should connect with water, and see how it connects to our creativity.
Consider what water is (aside from H20):
- Essential for life on earth
- It can be calm and nourishing
- It can be violent and destructive
- The ocean is what connects the world
- The depths of the ocean are a mystery
- The shallows of the ocean are pleasant and what we’re used to seeing
- Water cools us
- Water warms us (at least, when I’m cold, the only thing that will warm me up is warm water)
- It can exist as a solid, liquid, or gas
- It is clear yet blue at the same time
- A repetitive drop of water can be enough to wear away rock
Just to name a few things and get you started on what water is. What water means to us as individuals might be different. Are you afraid of water? Do you love it? Do you have to be bribed to drink a glass of water?
The ocean holds more secrets at this point than space does. Reaching into its depths teaches us new things about our world.
Reaching inward, much like reaching down into the ocean, helps us to bring to light things we didn’t know about ourselves. It’s an attempt at examining ourselves. It is here that the subconscious lives, and I believe, where creativity reaches from.
Unconscious, Intuition, Creativity
In the Tarot, the element of water, represented by the suit of cups, represents the subconscious, creativity, emotion and intuition. Thus, as a result, because the moon rules water, the moon corresponds to these elements as well.
The moon itself is a strange shadowy thing: sometimes we see it, sometimes we don’t. Sometimes we see all of it, sometimes we see some of it. Sometimes the light from the moon is so bright, that you don’t need your headlights on to drive (but seriously, keep them on), and sometimes it casts a strange light that seems as though things are appearing twisted and distorted.
That’s often the way we can view the aspects of ourselves that water rules. Likewise, water itself twists and distorts things when you view them from above. For example, you can put your finger in water and it will look as though it has bent when it actually hasn’t.
Creativity, which is what we will mostly be focusing on, is the same way. We catch it from the corner of our eye and try to harness it and twist it to our wills so we can produce something. The moon, with its many phases, can influence our creative process and productivity.
This week is working on how to use it.
The Moon & Writing.
We will all have our natural rhythms. However, it’s likely that these spiralic rhythms fall in line with that of the moon or of the seasons, in some way, the same way that menstruating womxn’s bodies fall into a 28-day cycle. The moon, too, has a 28-days cycle, which is why it’s often associated with womxn.
It is said that it has passive energy. While writing can be a stressful act, it’s also somewhat of a passive act, as creativity often is. So we view the phases of the moon, we have to think of what is growing, and what is fading.
As the moon goes from new to full, the energy of the moon is increasing. This means increasing creativity, energy, pull, etc.. Conversely, when the moon is waning and going from full to moon, that energy is dispersing.
Thus, when we’re writing by the moon, we can think of it in terms of how an idea or project grows.
During the first part of the moon cycle, when going from new to full, something is growing. Thus, this is an excellent time to:
- Develop a story idea through planning
- Begin writing a story
- Begin marketing/gaining a social media following
As the moon fades from full moon to new moon, it’s a great time to:
- Revisit your outline
- Go back over what you’ve already written
As the creative energy is drawn out of you by the growing of the moon, you can harness that energy and apply it to your story. As the energy fades, it’s good to switch gears to a more analytical aspect, or into full on rest before you start the cycle over again.
For those of you who are fast writers, this is a great way to write and edit, allowing yourself the first two weeks of the cycle to get out your draft of your book, and the second two weeks to edit, and repeat.
The Rest of October
The 1st and 31st of October are full moons. For the first full moon, I am releasing this post. Each week will be a different moon phase that I’ll write on:
- October 1st – full moon
- October 8th – last quarter moon
- October 17th – new moon
- October 24th – first quarter moon
- October 31st – full moon
Waning Gibbous Moon
After the full moon, the moon is known as waning gibbous. This is the section of time leading to the last quarter of the moon cycle. Contrary to popular belief, the full moon is actually the middle of the cycle, and thus we are headed toward a new beginning.
Since we’re starting this toward the end, here are some things you can do to get yourself ready for your beginning on the 17th:
Make a list of habits that are holding your writing back
These could be procrastination, self-doubts, saying yes to everything but your writing, etc. Spend some time making a plan to get rid of these habits. How can you change your attitude toward your writing? How can you make sure it comes first?
This isn’t just limited to writing habits. It could be how you handle constructive criticism. It could be how you view certain genres or publishing ventures.
Take the time and really look into any ways of thinking, attitudes, or habits, and see what you can do to alter them toward something more productive.
Kill Your Darlings
Between the full moon and the new moon is an excellent time to revise what you’ve written. You can use this time to shed any parts of your book that are unneeded. Be completely ruthless with this.
Remember, if you don’t want to get rid of your characters/purple prose/superb scene that unfortunately doesn’t contribute anything to the story/etc. entirely, you can always make a separate document and copy and paste them there. You never know when they might come in handy for something else.
Spend some time writing some flash fiction or poems around your story. Have fun with it. This will help you get in touch with your story and your characters in a different way, and it can also be a great way to gather marketing fodder. You can send this out to your mailing list, your Patreon supporters, or put it up on your website.
Wither way, this is a time to acknowledge that you’ve done the work, and to enjoy it. What better way of enjoying it than writing your own fan fic for your world?
I know, this one sounds a little weird, but hear me out.
When you write, there are plenty of things to be grateful for. And when you’re grateful, it helps you to appreciate your writing even more. For example, if you’re grateful for the time you have to write, then you’ll honor that time and be more likely to stick to it.
Here’s what my gratitude list looks like:
- I’m grateful I have a mode of creative expression
- I’m grateful I can support myself through writing
- I’m grateful for the understanding that looking through my characters’ eyes bring me
- I’m grateful I have time to write every day
- I’m grateful my partner supports my creative pursuits
What are you grateful for regarding your creative practice?
These are just a few ways you can use this time of the cycle in your writing practice. I challenge you to spend a month working with the moon phases to see how it affects your work and let me know how it goes at the end of October.
There are two parts to this week’s homework. The first part is to journal on the following questions. Spend some time, giving yourself at least five minutes for each question. This allows you to really explore yourself and your thoughts on each prompt.
- What is your relationship to water?
- How do you respond to your own emotions?
- How do you respond to other people’s emotions?
- What habits are holding your writing back?
- What attitudes might be holding you back?
The second part of your homework is to spend some time creating a gratitude list. This is good to do, even if it doesn’t have anything to do with your writing. It can help you see the beauty already existing in your life and inspire you to create more.
Once you have your gratitude list, ask yourself what your ideal writing life would be like, and write it out, looking at a day in the life of Author You, writing it out from the time your successful writer self wakes up until you go to bed.
Before going to bed, your future you writes out their gratitude list. What’s on it? Write the list as if from your future you’s perspective.
Journal on the experience of this exercise, paying attention on what you learned about yourself as a writer, and what it means to be successful as a writer.
I’ll catch up with you next week when we move on to the last and third quarter moon.
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