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Metaphors: Candles

I've recently fallen in love with candles.
Since coming home from the World Race, I've bought at least one a month.
My favorite candles are the ones that come in glass jars - because when they burn out, I can clean the remaining wax out and put the jars to other uses.
Right now,  that means they get cleaned out and packed away in anticipation of my move to Flagstaff.

But as I was lighting one tonight (vanilla spice... Thanksgiving smells? Yes, please!), I saw a metaphor for writing flickering away in the flame licking at the wick and melting the wax.
I suppose it could be a metaphor for life in general, but since the theme of this blog is writing...
Well, you do the math.

The metaphor is this:
When the wick of a candle is first lit, the flame isn't very big, and it doesn't even start melting wax right away.

See? Not much wax melted yet...

But the further along the wick the flame travels, the more wax melts.
Eventually all the wax around the flame will melt.

From what I've been able to observe so far, writing is the same way.
It takes time (and energy) to be truly successful.
At first, a writer may not have anyone interested in their work, but as they put in more time and effort, and get their work out in front of the public, two things happen.

  1. Their writing skills improve.
  2. People start showing an interest in them and their work.
Eventually, a writer builds an audience.
There are times when this does happen more quickly for some than for others, but it will appear if a writer perseveres.

The wax part of the candle won't melt if the wick isn't lit.
Likewise, if a writer doesn't write, there is chance of building an audience.
The longer a candles is lit, the more wax melts.
The more time a writer puts in, the bigger his/her potential audience will grow.

The lighter color at the top is wax that melted the last time I lit this candle.
For the sake of the metaphor, you can call it the audience. :-)

Am I making any sense, or am I just completely crazy?
Either way, it smells like Thanksgiving in my living room right now, so I'm not actually sure I care if you think I am. 


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