I started writing something

writing


After chewing a small slab of espresso-studded dark chocolate before driving back from Spencer’s last night, I was smacked face-first with a story idea.

It’s been so long since I wrote fiction that I almost overlooked the whole thing. Like any good aspiring novelist, I once kept a notepad in my purse for turns of phrase and plot points and character names I loved. Anything and everything could become the basis for a new poem, a short story . . . or, when I was daring, a new book. I’ve started countless novels but only finished two since college, both during National Novel Writing Month. I’m proud to have finished them — even typing THE END — but reading through them now makes me cringe. They’re great drawer novels.

Since starting working at the newspapers I’ve called home the last six years, I’ve written primarily for print — and all decidedly non-fiction. I scribbled made-up stuff for four years in school before a personal column opened up so many chances for me to grow. But while I honed my real-life storytelling, my desire — and inspiration — to create fictional characters withered. I became focused on paying work (and rightfully so?), but I’ve always felt something was missing. From my writing life.

I talk about my “writing life” and my “reading life” and how important both are to me: Megan, a literary-minded and bookish gal with frizzy hair and an overactive imagination. I started writing stories as soon as I mastered the concept of a pencil, and I was telling stories even before that. I’m not saying they were any good, you know, but I was playing make-believe with characters of my own creation before I knew that could be . . . well, an acceptable thing.

Driving home tonight, Hanson blaring through my car’s worn-out speakers, I suddenly thought of an old plot I’d turned around in my head for years without ever putting finger to keyboard: a girl who wakes up in a hospital room with every man she’s ever loved crowded around her bed. Is she awake? Dreaming? In limbo? How did she get there, and what does this mean?

I looked up at the fat supermoon, hanging bright and low in the sky, and something finally clicked. I started to flesh it out. Even without my trusty notepad handy, I began to create links and back stories and wild characters before I finally reached my driveway. I’d planned to read more of Chocolates For Breakfast and crash before starting another work week, but the words and thoughts and people came so furiously that I had to sit at my laptop before they disappeared.

I wrote 4,500 words without stopping. Now it’s 12:30 in the morning. The espresso-laced chocolate seems to have worn off, but now I’m running on pure adrenaline.

This . . . I’d forgotten how good this feels.

I feel like me.


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19 thoughts on “I started writing something

  1. That is the greatest feeling in the world :) Sometimes when I get started on something new I type so fast that my hands shake, worried I’m not going to get it all down! Then I get frustrated because I can only type so fast before everything becomes a huge jumble of misspelled words and missing spaces…
    Congrats and good luck :)

  2. It’s been too long since I had one of those moments! There’s really nothing like the obsessive feeling you get when the ideas knock on the door with a sledgehammer :)

  3. I think any successful author would tell you that there has to be a few drawer novels before you write one that works. The most important thing is that you don’t give up! You’ve got a book in you (more than one!) I know it.

  4. Glad you’re finding your story and feeling more like ‘you’. Enjoy the ride, lady Meg. There’s nothing more wonderful than a writing frenzy. Can’t wait to read your books someday : )

  5. Congratulations! I am so excited for you. I think you are on the right path. Keep up the good work.

  6. Your premise sounds brilliant and fully of possibility for where to take it. I have to agree, those moments are wonderful. Keep it up :)

  7. This is so exciting! For a few reasons: 1) Because I remember that feeling, 2) Because I was afraid I would never have it again, and 3) Because I’m excited to see what you write!

  8. Aww Congrats! That is such a great feeling!! I haven’t had that in ages so was a good reminder of how it feels :). Love your story premise! Can’t wait to read more about it!

  9. I forget what peace writing can be… Life gets so busy at times that years go by without me writing anything at all… This is why a started a blog… Though I haven’t the first clue how to do it successfully…LOL!!!! Good luck!!!!

  10. HOORAY! I’m so thrilled to hear this and the story sounds very intriguing. Definitely like something I’d want to read. You just let me know when you’re ready for a beta reader ;)

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