You, The Avid Author

by admin on January 28, 2009

You have written so many things: poetry, prose, flash fiction, short stories, novellas, novels and even an essay or two. There was the time you started a short story on World War I and you did so much research on the subject, it became a non-fiction history. What about when you saw that prompt for a contest and creativity poured from your fingers in ripples and waves of words?

Remember when that dry maple leaf blew across the driveway? It made a sound like “Hiiissssss”. That sound scratched over your eardrums and thoughts rushed into your mind, each one a freight train that led to the great Grand Station of Ideas. You were pushed through by the Muse Conductor who, along the way, dropped this piece and that piece into your unwary arms. By the end of it all, you not only had a poem or two, but that cute little story about the dog chasing the leaf.

Oh, but life is not easy. Yesterday, at work, remember how you were staring at the computer screen and the Idea Drawer snicked open? It was so hard to keep from jumping up and shouting “Eureka!” to the world! You jealously held that idea in your head all day long; a love that you feared might escape. Your hands itched to scrabble for a pencil, a pen, a tube of lipstick… anything that could be used to write down that thought!

But you were cool. You were calm. You bit your tongue against the urge to talk back to the characters that kept whispering Write my story! You ignored the Dark Knight when he waved his sword and shouted “Charge!” during the meeting, and even though you started to chuckle, you managed to turn it into a believable cough.

You didn’t wait until you got home. You couldn’t. You stopped at the drugstore and bought one of those small notepads and a mechanical pencil that only lasted five days before it broke. But to you, that notepad and pencil were glowing! And man, were they bright! The words that flowed forth from that lead tip were golden and full of song!

You wrote on that tiny pad for an hour, slumped down into the seat of your car. The characters you had ignored all day danced around your head, all talking at once. But you listened. You wrote. Eventually, they ran out of words to say; you ran out of words to write and it was over. And that night, you rested.

Should someone find out that you write, they either act as if you have a catching disease “Oh, wow…. Really? A writer?” or as if you have the inside straight and are constantly in communication with the Powers That Be. “Oh wow! A writer!” Either way, both characteristics cause the non-writing species of mankind to secretively lean forward and murmur, “where do your ideas come from?”

How, exactly, do you explain it to them? You tried, once or twice, to actually convey the thought process. “There was this leaf, see? And it’s whippin’ around the driveway, right? Then I saw the puppy, and it was chasin’ this leaf around…” It is here that the Friendly Listener becomes concerned for your sanity.

“You have a puppy?”

“No.”

“Oh. Neighbor’s dog?”

“Huh? No, neighbor has an old Shih-Tzu.”

“Um… was it a real puppy?”

What an absurd thought. Weren’t they listening? “No, no… it was my imagination. The leaf made me imagine that I…”

One eyebrow slowly lifts and they take a cautionary step back. “A leaf made you?”

Oh, god. So, in the attempt to explain a simple thought process, you manage to alienate and frighten said Friendly Listener. You’ve also made them think twice about your right to stand unhindered on the street. They start picturing you in tight-fitting jackets with straps. They start thinking that maybe one of those would look good on you. Not to mention a nice escort of large, burly men. In white coats. With tranquilizers.

But you, the Avid Author, are undeterred. With the Pen of Creativity in hand, you have the power to create worlds! Your blood flows with burning metaphors and vivid streaks of similes. As you write, empires rise and fall; races of creatures never before seen are born and prosper under your ever-watching eyes. The words you write can change minds and lift spirits, cause laughter and heal pain.

One person can change the world. One author… you, the Avid Author… can create it.

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