Honestly, it wasn't so much the "book not written" or the fact I have to write it that caught me. It was one little word. One insistent, provoking, prodding word. Must. A compulsory word. A word that means, no matter what, it shall be done. It MUST be done. To feel so compelled to write, to feel so pulled by tendrils of story and light that I have no choice but to sit at my computer, at a pile of paper, to scratch words into leaves.
Not so easy. Life rushes at us at breakneck speed. I wake every morning knowing eight hours of my day is devoted to helping someone else's dreams of success come true. I wake when all is quiet and glance down my dark hallway, wanting desperately to take a candle and climb the stairs to the second hand table and type. Nothing in particular. Just to get words out. To let loose the moths in my soul and let them fly northward to the moon. They flitter about all day, turning circus tricks in my stomach. I know they want freedom. It's my freedom they mimic.
I think of stories all day long. Sometimes I act them out when no one's around. I'll speak the lines of every character. It helps me process. C.S. Lewis is rumored to have told his friend J.R.R. Tolkien that the books they wished to read weren't written yet so it fell to them to write them. What if they hadn't? What if Tolkien and Lewis had been so trapped in the day to day that Narnia and Middle Earth never existed except in their dreams?
The world would have lost out. Maybe you think you don't have a Narnia. Perhaps the thought of Middle Earth frightens you. It's full of orcs, of goblins. Of Balrogs and flaming, all-seeing eyes. But it's also full of music and love, laughter and heroines so desperately afraid of losing a chance at valor and glory, being sat on a shelf to mind manners and rule in a position she was never meant to have.
Perhaps your story sits patiently. Perhaps it speaks to you in night dreams. Perhaps it nudges you, prods you, shoves you down stairs. Perhaps, like a lady in waiting, it sits beside you, helping you with your day to day, feeding your slowly shriveling soul. And then, in the darkness, when you wake unable to sleep because of the words dancing in your head, she takes you by the hand and leads you by candle light up the stairs to a second hand table, looks you in the eyes and says, simply, "Write".
What is your story? What is pulsing in your veins? Doesn't make sense? Doesn't have a plot? Doesn't have a direction? Doesn't matter. Put in on the page and let the words have their way.Image found here