If I waited till I felt like writing, I’d never write at all.
– Anne Tyler
It starts innocently enough. There’s a whisper of inspiration to transcribe ideas floating in your head to paper. Maybe it’s in the form of poetry, an article written, or a creative story for a class. But then it sneaks up on you, an innate, unquestionable drive. The one to tell a story.
Not just any story, your story.
I honestly thought I have given up on my all-consuming need to be a writer. I had convinced myself that it was a life better imagined in theory than pursued through action. The risks felt too high and the outcome too unpredictable. Worst of all, my fragile ego wouldn’t handle the rejection or the humiliation if I failed. Or at least, I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t.
I was too scared to even try. I know nothing worth having comes easy, but the thought of failure slays ambition like a knife to the heart. But you can’t fail if you don’t try, right? DONE!
I resigned myself to be a corporate cube plant, suffering the same daily challenges from one position to the next.
All the while, that story I long ago shelved burned inside me.
It was a perfect storm really. A lethal concoction of disenchantment with the job and having these wonderful, crazy characters circling and feeding off each other in my head. One night, bored with the fiction I was reading, I found myself reflecting about a scene from my own story. How would it play out? How would the characters react to each other? Then a character I imagined spouted some particularly snarky dialogue that was too juicy to pass up.
So I found myself staring at my computer poised to write the scene. I could see it as clearly as a movie in my mind and it didn’t even matter if it was only two paragraphs with mostly dialogue. Those few sentences were typed and committed to paper.
And my mojo (and motivation) was back again, baby. I was smitten with my story and the characters felt real. (Side note: some of them are based on real people, but names have been changed to protect identities. So yeah.) My interest level piqued at the utter joy of putting my protagonist in outrageous plot twists that would put a soap opera to shame. Death to main characters…then resurrect them. MWHAHA!
I blame George R.R. Martin and too many Game of Thrones episodes.
Inspiration fostered in the most unlikely places like my playlist, social media and articles about other writers I admire.
I am firmly attached to the impulse of completing my story. Yes, failure lurks as an ever-present fear in my sub-conscious, but I don’t consider it failure if I finish. I will have accomplished a great feat that many never achieve, official author status.
So why not give writing a fair chance? My story may not be a best-seller, probably more along the lines of mediocre. But that’s why I joined GFW writer’s. They not only are honest and helpful with constructive criticism to make my story the best it can be, but they are supportive in holding me accountable. Since so many of them are already published authors, they are an invaluable resource.
My story is something I want to share with other people. Once my novel is out of my head and in my hand, my creative soul will be content.
After all, nothing worth having comes easy.