August 15, 2014

The Magic If - Tracy Krauss

'The Magic If' is actually an acting technique introduced by iconic director Stanislavski to help actors portray emotion on stage. Basically, an actor is asked to imagine certain situations and draw from his or her emotional memory. Sometimes, an action or even an imaginary object is added to help the actor react in a convincing manner. In a nutshell, actors should ask the question, "What if...?" and fill in the blank. (Example: If an actor is asked to portray fear, he or she could ask the question, "What if a gunman had a gun pointed at me?") I won't go into all the finer details, but when I saw this month's writing prompt, I couldn't help making the connection. (I do teach theatre arts, after all...)

The prompt reads something like this: "...what if you had a whole year free to completely focus on your writing? If financial considerations were magically taken care of, would it change how/what you write?"

Now this is a 'what if' scenario I can really get into! I don't think it would change what I write as much as how I would accomplish it. And it would certainly change the amount I would be able to produce. I can imagine myself finishing three to four full length novels per year instead of the paltry singular I've managed so far. Plus, think of all the time for online tasks that often get brushed aside. Maybe I could even make a bit of money at this gig!

I'm sure reality wouldn't run that smoothly. Murphy's Law dictates that when we have more money we spend it, so I imagine it is the same with time - more demands would eat up the hours. I am actually blessed to have a small taste of this scenario every summer. As a teacher, I have two months each year when I can focus more exclusively on my writing and it tends to be quite a productive time for me. It is something I am very grateful for.

Until the time I can quit my job, I intend to be satisfied with that - although it is fun to imagine...

Tracy Krauss continues to dream about writing full time from her home in Tumbler Ridge, BC. In the meantime, she will keep plugging away - one novel, play, or short story at a time... To see what writing she has managed to accomplish, visit her website: or sign up for her newsletter to keep up with all the latest.


  1. It truly is fun to imagine! And you have something to look forward to at the end of your teaching career as some people are not sure what they will do when they are faced with retirement. Happy writing!!

  2. Looking forward to it but I don't want to wish my life away.

  3. I think you produce an amazing amount of writing given the fact that you work full time! And I do love your books! I am enjoying the characters in Neighbors.

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  5. That's excellent transferable info, Tracy. When I'm writing a scene, I'll remember the acting prompt to search out emotions. Thanks for that.

    As for content, Ted Dekker says he's written 40 books in something like 2o years. I guess that's the ultimate in full time writing! :)

  6. Oh, yes. If I had all the finances I would hire someone to purge my computer of junk files, file my computer programs, delete e-mails and dust my office. :)
    Actually, I would probably buy a new computer!

  7. Well I think you get lots accomplished for being a full time teacher! Homeschooling my kids doesn't seem to free up my summers...I just seem to get busy in different ways. As you said, one small step at a time!

  8. Somehow it seems the summers are my least productive time, so I'm glad to hear that your summers are productive. I guess you could ask, "What if I had a year of only summers?" I guess the answer to that question will have to wait--but I'm sure the time will come for you.

  9. The grass always appears greener on the other side, I think one of the other Murphy's Laws that you allude to is that "work expands to fill the time allotted."
    Great to hear that you are satisfied with where you are at, while still dreaming.
    Not quite two weeks of summer left ... Enjoy!


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