He's the grinning cat who appears and disappears at will. He can have different parts of his body stay visible and he is excellent at answering questions if you can decipher his code. I've decided that some of his wisdom can be applied to writing.
[Alice asked]"Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?" "That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat. "I don't much care where--" said Alice. "Then it doesn't matter which way you go," said the Cat.
Here is every writers' dilemma whenever they begin a new project. Which way ought I to go? I take the cat's words to heart; I decide where I want to get to. I will know the solution to my plots long before I ever start the actual tapping on my keyboard. I will know all the major points of my myriad of plots and will outline them all from beginning to end. Certainly, things will change in the actual writing, but I know where I'm heading. If you work without an outline, you'll never know where you'll end up. If this sort of adventure appeals to you, then you will take strength from the last part of the quotation; as it truly won't matter which way you go.
"--so long as I get SOMEWHERE," Alice added as an explanation. "Oh, you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."
The writing lesson found in this quotation is that, as writers, we must have patience. If you have a destination in mind you will eventually reach it. The rather nasty part is that there seems to be no definition of how long constitutes 'long enough'. Some writers can finish their journey in a few weeks. Some take months or years. Everyone has their own 'long enough'. Accept it.
"But I don't want to go among mad people," Alice remarked. "Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat: "we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad." "How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice. "You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn't have come here."
I don't think that writers are mad, but let's be honest, we are a little strange. We spend large amounts of time alone. We have very active imaginations that enable us to invent entire worlds and we will happily spend hours there. Most of us are not the most social of creatures and although we have a strong voice when we write we often find ourselves suffering from laryngitis in the 'real world'. But you're here aren't you? Whether by accident or by determination, you're a writer. Accept and embrace the madness which always comes with creativity.
The Cheshire Cat is a wise and wonderful creature. I hope these few words may help you negotiate your way through your own Wonderland.