Have you ever had such a vivid dream that it puts every feeling you ever had on high alert? Then, all day long you think of it, not as a dream but something real—even tangible. My advice to you: Write it down! Every detail, from each character to their personality, style, accent, and can you tell where they are or the locations? Jot the information down. Days, weeks, or months later, do they hijack your thoughts, your daydreams, and invade your personal time? This is what it can be like for a writer. Our imaginations are like monsters—my editor actually calls it Creative Monster—with their own schedule and agenda. These waves of creativity can be weaved like magic inspiration at any time, any place, and I’d better be paying attention to make the notes as characters and stories unfold from my mind to my pen.
My emotions and personal history mixed with my crazy imagination all comes to life in my stories. It can be difficult to write about things that are important personally, these topics that take the most courage because they are closest to your heart. Every book and blog I write is as if I am giving away bits and pieces of my soul.
My characters have a story to tell. They are a smear of emotions. When I write, I transfer into the character, their life, and I enjoy being these characters. Their emotions become mine. I see, hear, smell, even feel everything in the scene and throughout the whole story. Plus, I can travel or go anywhere, at any time, and they can do anything. I find myself crying, sometimes crying because I am laughing so hard, and sometimes weeping with deep sorrow. When I put it down—stop writing for the day—it’s like leaving in the middle of a good movie and all I want to do is go back to it, continue on with the story. Most of the time I don’t know what’s next and get as excited as I hope readers will get when reading the story for the first time. And I always hope my written words accurately convey how they made me feel in the process of creating the story so readers will feel it too.
It’s terrifying yet satisfying, though I still can’t find one answer to the question: Why do I write? I’ve been told if I can do it, anyone can. This may sound strange, but I hope so because I would like to encourage everyone to write if it makes them feel good.
After my two journal stories were published, The Last Crabtree Girl and Girl Sailing Aboard the Western Star, my favorite thing to tell people has been that they have a story too and should share it with the world. Enjoy the trip and your new friends who are waiting to spill out from your fingertips. Just open your mind!