Monday, April 11th, 2005 • 4 Comments on This Magic Moment
An idea for a story came to me last night as I was trying to fall asleep. That’s not unusual, really. I used to make up stories when I was a kid and couldn’t sleep. Each night I’d add to the story, telling it to myself in my head until I was ready to start a new story. All those sleepless nights as a child made me a writer, I think.
So, I had a story idea last night and it seemed like a good idea at 1 a.m. The true test of whether a story is worth writing is if I wake up thinking about it, too. This morning, I did. I love it when that happens. I’ve written about five pages so far and I could probably finish it tonight (I’m figuring it’ll be around 4,000 words), but I won’t. I’m going to linger over this one for a few days. Why? Because I’m excited about it.
I love this feeling of anticipation, knowing what I’m going to write and then watching it magically unfold in front of me. The thing non-writers don’t understand is how a story can take on a life of it’s own, becoming something entirely different from what the writer originally imagined. When the writing takes over, becomes a living, breathing, thinking thing, all I can do is sit here and let the words pour out. It’s the closest thing to real magic I’ve ever experienced.
I’m excited about this story because it’s different from other things I’ve written, but I also know what I’m writing is
. That doesn’t always happen, so I try to enjoy the feeling for as long as it lasts. It doesn’t really seem to matter how I feel about a particular piece of work—stories I haven’t been particularly happy with have sold quicker than stories that made my heart ache for having written them. There is, I think, a little bit of my soul in everything I write—but some stories take more out of me than others. Or perhaps I give more of myself to some stories than others, hmm?
Much like life, the more I put into what I’m writing, the more I seem to get out of it. It’s something to remember when the excitement fades and everything I’m writing feels like work.