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Is something telling me I should start writing a book?

February 2, 2013

How do I know I really want to be a writer? Will I suddenly be struck by some creative urge to write. How do I know it’s my time?

I’ll just bet this has happened to you

Your brain is swirling with thoughts. Maybe it’s after those first couple of cups of coffee, when your brain is charged and you’re fully awake and you’re mind is not otherwise occupied. You’re driving to work and the crazy thoughts are forming, and something is happening. 

You’re creating a story in your head, right there in the car, as you head down the highway toward work. It’s inescapable. You just can’t help it. Characters are being born out of thin air, and you’re coming up with scenes, even plots. Maybe some of these people are real – a friend or enemy, as the case may be. There’s a love affair or a conflict. Perhaps you’re a central character. At any rate, this story is taking off in your head, almost effortlessly. You don’t have a pen and paper, and of course, you can’t pull over and madly jot down this great little story that’s coming together, because you have just enough time to get to work, find a parking spot and make it to your desk at the appointed time.

By the time you’re at work and reality has set in, the story has floated out of your life. Perhaps you completely forget about it.

But then … you’re driving to work on yet another morning, and a story, a completely different one starts forming in your brain. Maybe it’s the caffeine, the excitement of the weekend, your need to escape from reality. At any rate, there’s characters and scenes and plots coming together. That jack-off at work that makes your life miserable is getting his comeuppance in your little tale. There’s the requisite pain and anguish in this story, and a colorful character spouting the sort of witty dialogue that has you laughing out loud right there in your car.   

Lots of us have these creative bursts. I think they serve a purpose, a need to shrug off the humdrum of our lives, or even the crushing realities and pressures we often face. But I think they also can be a sign to many of us that we should heed that call to write that story, that book we’ve long dreamed about getting down on paper.

You don’t have to wait for these moments to strike you. They can happen anytime. Sit down in front of that computer. Get out that piece of paper and start writing. Don’t wait for that muse to strike you. Because to tell you the truth, there is no muse. You are your own muse, a creative person meant to tell a story that’s burning to get out of you. So get started. Today.

 

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