Have you ever had a story floating around in your head? You hear voices talk to you, but no one else hears them. They become your friends. They tell you their stories and you happily listen. Maybe it drifts around in your mind begging you to share it with the world.
You tell these new voices in your head that you are not the one to write for them. You don’t have the time; or you don’t have the grammar and spelling skills needed to be a writer. You may not even want to write. However, the voices won’t listen to your excuses. There is no excuse that will be accepted. I say excuses because that is what they are. They convince you to try. You may start writing to make them shut up! If you’re like me…. The words begin to sting your mind and burn at your fingertips.
This is a dangerous time to be a new writer. The Inner Critic appears at this time. He/she knows your excuses well. She will feed them to you faster than an RSS Feed keeps you updated on the news. When you pick up your pen or sit down with your keyboard, she will rattle off your To-Do List, or remind you about that TV show or the book you started reading. She might call your attention to your grammar or spelling mistakes. She will mock you when you pick up your dictionary and search for spellings.
I had one of these stories. I came across one last year. I didn’t have the time to write it. I homeschool my four children, that is a job of its self. I make everything we eat from scratch (almost everything) because of the severe food allergies one of my little munchkins have. I really didn’t have the time to write. My Muse laughed softly. “I’ll find the time for you to write,” she whispered, “Will you try it?” Inner Critic laughed loudly.
My Muse glared at her. “I need you to do this.” I nodded timidly. My Muse left and allowed the Character (Emily) to take her place. I became friends with her. I listened to her stories and wrote as fast my fingers could move. At times, other characters would doubt my ability to write their story, but Emily and My Muse believed in me. We got that novel done and we’re currently working on revisions and a sequel.
Emily’s story may never be known by more than a select few. It might be published be important to others. I don’t know (I’m leaning towards the latter.) All I know is that my need to write, the story burning in my fingers resulted in a full novel. The need to write has given me loads of short stories, a couple of poems, and a few novels in progress.
If you feel anything similar to what I just shared…. follow it! Don’t let your inner critic take the experience away from you.
**My dear friend Kristen of The Undead Duo post a great post yesterday about writing. She mentioned that they don’t try to tell you how to write. I am in no way trying to tell you how to write or what to do. I’m allowing you into my mind. I’m telling you what works for me, and or how I do it. If I ever tell you “how” to write, tell me to shut up. Writing is very personal and no one can tell you how to do it.