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mentoring & breakthrough moments, aha.

As part of Kerry Hudson’s, Womentoring Project, I’m working with a fabulous mentee, Rhona Millar. This is not my story to share but I shall indulge a little without giving away too much about her journey.

Recently she had an ‘aha’ moment. I’m borrowing this term from my former writing tutor, the amazing novelist Elizabeth Reeder. Her use of the term (or is it an emotion?) perfectly sums up those precious breakthroughs that make everything swell with excitement, the distance dissipate, the impossible seem possible.

Rhona’s ‘aha’ is momentous. A real turning point, an opportunity for her to take control of her narrative and make decisions, or let the story shock her, or make her laugh and cry in unequal measure. From my wee perch from afar I’m ecstatic for her. I can see the incredible opportunities that this moment of sixth sense, inner strength, confidence and belief will offer her and her writing.

It’s moments like these that make being a creative worthwhile. I wonder sometimes if its why we do it, why we endlessly grind away, often failing, frequently facing disappointment head-on and no matter how brave we are, succumbing to the sadness, even briefly, curling momentarily into ourselves with the deflation that the loss of a project can bring.

And then there’s that moment, that pulsing frenzy when you have it all in front of you, when the journey is yours to control, the narrative yours to lose and find yourself in, the joy more important than any occasion that has passed you by in a murky period of failing to reach your goal.

It’s magical when you find your way in your writing, or when you create a concept for a documentary or TV series that you think will sell, or when the narrative journey of an APP user experience suddenly has a purpose. Or what about the project title, the one that has annoyingly sat on the shelf with its obtrusive mantle WORKING TITLE, mocking you.  And then the aha moment kisses you fully on the lips and you give it a name that perfectly fits its brilliance because let’s face it we are brilliant, aren’t we. Each and every one of us.

As creative people, if we have confidence and trust that the inspiration will come, trust the very fabric of who we are, then it will arrive with bells on. The resulting work might not even get published, or if it does it might not be widely read and it certainly won’t make you a fortune. In TV terms even the best ideas are very unlikely to win you a commission. But the joy of knowing that everything has clicked and you and your project is, for the moment in time at least, exactly where you need it to be…  It’s probably one of the reasons why we do it.

That and the fact that we just can’t help ourselves!

I get a feeling you know what I’m talking about here Helen MacKinven!

What do you think, does the creative rush make it all worthwhile?

6 thoughts on “mentoring & breakthrough moments, aha.”

  1. Fantastic post Margot!…thanks so much for sharing my ‘aha’ moment. You’ll be pleased to hear the ‘aha’ moment kept me up most of the night! ( I’m with you Helen, on the lights on through the night caper!) Not sure where this is going yet but feel a sense of freedom that I hadn’t felt before! Thanks to you and the Womentoring project- I’m loving it!

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  2. Yep, you’ve got me sussed Margot! There’s definitely a buzz from experiencing that ‘aha’ moment that makes me turn on the light during the night (much to my husband’s annoyance!) to make a quick note of an idea. I’ve just started writing a short story and was ridiculously chuffed with myself for coming up with a good title. But it’s these little flashes of inspiration that keeps us motivated and I’m sure Rhona will be on a high now that she’s made a breakthrough.

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