Jack of Many Trades

Writing for Mara

Originally posted: 2015-09-02

I've flirted with, and even started working on, 30 Days of a Pagan Topic lists before. This one was supposed to be inspired by the 30 Days of Deity Devotion but I was only a few days in when I ran into topics that didn't interest me or apply. Frankly, this always happens when I try to do a meme like this. Rather than let myself lose momentum, I just kept writing about other things.

There were many times I sat down to write once the baby was asleep and asked myself, well, what tonight? I didn't plan the exercise as a whole very thoroughly. And yet, every night I wrote something. Sometimes a scene came to me quite clearly, with almost no prompting. I consider that a sign that Mara was watching and approved enough to tell me what to write.

The rapid posting schedule was a stretch for me, especially coupled with the topic limit. I have other notes on Adalric, Vala, and others that I didn't develop at the time because they were not Mara-centered. Hopefully they will make it out of my notes soon enough.

There was more listening involved than I'd expected. My understanding of Mara and how to work with her shifted quite a bit over the month. Her relationships with Brhenti and the Forest Mother were entirely new to me, as was the structure of the Our Lady of the Market franchise temples. Darja and Egle are new characters, with very different relationships and understandings of Mara. I feel like I have enough new material to chew on for another month.

Overall, as an exercise, it was a great way to unstick myself. Chewing over the same topics relentlessly, turning my mind to Mara day after day, worked well to bring my attention to details I hadn't noticed before and to shake loose assumptions I didn't know I had. It's definitely worth trying if you feel yourself in a similar place.