Monday, February 21, 2011

When the Story Chooses You

For years, I've been a proponent of the sensible, rational approach to writing, the idea of keeping your focus trained in one area, of maximizing your output by targeting proposals (if you have the track record to allow it) and not getting so attached to any particular idea that you can't let it go if it doesn't sell.

But that's not the kind of writing that swept me headlong into the love of the art. It's not the kind of commitment-phobic attitude that tossed me over its shoulder and ran away with me (carting me far from any hope of a "safe" and "sensible" career with sick days, health bennies, and a secure retirement.) And recently, I've discovered that it's not the kind of author that I always want to be.

How nice it's been, to find out that all these years later, that initial passion for a story can rekindle into mad love. How delicious it feels to open up myself when the story chooses me, and not the other way around.

Not in my usual genre, this particular project's currently claiming a great deal of my attention. And for now, I'm content to enjoy the ride without worrying about the destination.

When was the last time you let the romance of a new story run away with you? Though it's not always practical or even possible (i.e. you're working on a deadline to complete a contracted project) it can provide the spark the keeps you fresh in every facet of your work.


Joni Rodgers said...

Go, girl, go!

Diane_Holmes said...

Oh, wow, WOW! You make me glad to be a writer. :) How can I so easily forget about this kind of mad passion with writing?

Must post your article on my wall. Yes, a real wall.

Suzan Harden said...

Yay, Colleen!

It's been a while since I felt that rush. I'm working on getting it back.

Colleen Thompson said...

Thanks so much, Joni and Diane. And Suzan, I think you can't make it happen (and no work would get accomplished if you sat around and waiting for the flash of inspiration.) All you can do is try to leave yourself open to it, like one of those giant outer space-tuned radio receivers pointed toward the stars.


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