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This is why I write

August 12, 2011

I got a new book idea today. It’s The One. The One I’m Going To Write Next, that is.

I know this for a couple of reasons. First, I was already working on a next-book idea that wasn’t going anywhere. This seems to be my pattern: I finish a book, then I latch on to an idea that I think is going to be the next thing I write. I work on it for a few weeks, struggling with the plot, squinting at the characters, trying to make it all come into focus, but it resists. It won’t gell, I can’t find the shape of it. I keep forging on, dutifully making notes and brainstorming ideas, but it’s just not working.

As it turns out, this is my Rebound Book, and our relationship never lasts, because after I struggle for a few weeks, I always meet The One. Then I drop Rebound Book like a rock and rush into the arms of my new love.

Yeah, that just happened.

The other sign I’ve met The (Next) One is that none of the above struggling applies. I get the idea, it explodes in my head like a firework, and I’m off and running. I spend a day or two racing to scribble down everything in my brain as it unfolds before me, and then I’m diving right in to the writing. I just had day one of that process, and I have the essential bones of the story in place and some good ideas about the characters and I am PSYCHED as hell. I can’t wait to write this One.

And it occurred to me today that this is why I write. This is why I keep doing it, even though the writing can be a painful ordeal and the submitting/rejection part is no fun at all and there are times when I think I’m crazy for spending so much time on something with not much tangible to show for it. But oh, this feeling. This shivery thrill of a great new idea that hits all my favorite notes and makes me want to dance with excitement that I get to make it real? I live for this.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 12, 2011 6:08 PM

    I absolutely know what you are talking about! It is such an exciting feeling, not only to get a great new idea, but to also put the words together in that perfect way. Nothing else gives me that kind of ecstasy.

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  1. Not a winner (but I win) « Ellen Henderson

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