Every Sunday, I choose a passage of wisdom from someone who knows better and much more than I do about writing, life, the universe and/or everything.
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So many of us feel like we have this huge big story lying only half asleep within us, waiting only for the moment we have the time and silence and space and money and peace of mind that will finally allow us to sit down and listen to what this story has to say. All that we need – we feel – is to become attentive enough to our story for it to begin to tell itself to us. It does seem to exist almost preternaturally, as if ti has come from where it already seems to exist, in hibernation.
The silence we feel we need will happen – we seem to think – in a little while: as soon as we can get out of school or when the kids are older or when we can carve out some vacation time, or when this, that, or the other happens.
We can write our novel, we think, as soon as we retire.
Putting it off keeps us from the dread of that moment when we sit down and stare at the pulsing screen of the laptop or at the proverbial sheet of bright white paper, each shimmering in its emptiness. Here we are, but our story lies elsewhere, off in some darker place, and unclaimed continent, accessible only in out half-remembered dreams.
– Jane Vandenburgh, Architecture of the Novel: A Writer’s Handbook