Mindy Hardwick's Blog

Author Mindy Hardwick Muses about Writing

Sometimes the Magic Works

on January 3, 2014

Happy New Year! I like to start January by reading an inspirational book about writing. There is not a lot that is easy about writing. Whether it’s the process of writing the book, the submission process, or the what happens after the book is published process– writing is just hard work. So, in January, I like to build up my writing warrior by reading a book about writing.

The year, I read, Sometimes the Magic Works, by Terry Brooks. 


I heard Terry Brooks speak at the Get Lit at the Beach Readers Weekend in Cannon Beach last spring. Terry Brooks is the founder of the Get Lit at the Beach Readers Weekend which takes place the second weekend in April and is sponsored by the Tolovona Arts Colony. I haven’t read any of his fantasy books, but I enjoyed hearing Terry Brooks talk at the Get Lit at the Beach Readers Weekend.

Sometimes the Magic Works begins with a story about Brooks’ path into writing and publishing in the fantasy genre. He tells the reader how his manuscript landed on the desk of an editor who was just starting a fantasy line. Later, he tells us that his popular Shannara series, came out the same year as STAR WARS.

Brooks is not an author who achieved instant fame. He wrote book after book for years and years and years before he took the leap to quit his full time lawyer job and write full time.  One of Brooks’ series, The Landover series, which begins with the book, Magic Kingdom For Sale-Sold, is written during that time when he is taking that leap to be a full time writer. All of which Brooks talks about in his writing book, Sometimes the Magic Works.

Over the New Year holiday, I was in Cannon Beach and took a walk on Chapman Point Beach. I walked down the beach and realized a section of the beach which was usually inaccessible was now accessible due to a low tide. I jumped down and over a pile of sand and onto a section of the beach I had never walked on. As I stood there, looking out at the sea, I was reminded how this section of the beach is always there, but it wasn’t open until the tide receded low enough to clear the path through the rocks. The opening only lasted as long as the tide was out, but, over the next few days, every beach walk I took in the evening, that section of the beach was accessible due to the low tide. Every time, I walked through the large rocks where the water usually runs, I felt as if I was an explorer who had just landed in a whole new world.

In his book, SOMETIMES THE MAGIC WORKS, Brooks says in order to be a writer, you must have three things: Passion, Determination, and Instinct. Each has a place in a writer’s life; each acts as a balance for the others.

I believe that it is these three things which allows the writer to be at that moment when the magic works. It is the moment when we pitch just the story the agent was looking for, the moment when our story hits just the right blogger or reader who buzzes it to other readers, or the moment when the story’s final plot point clicks into place and we finish that final draft.

And just like that beach, I think these parts of our writing life that are always there, but they don’t open until the time is exactly right, and then the tide goes out, and we walk onto that whole new beach.

Happy New Year!

2 responses to “Sometimes the Magic Works

  1. Susan Lampe says:

    Ah HA! Now I know what Terry Brooks says about writing–BECUZ I haven’t finished it yet!!! Nice. Glad I could help both you and Terry Brooks. Nice blog comments. Susan L.

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