Mail from a special reader / aspiring writer

I was lucky enough to get a note the other day from a special twelve-year-old I taught in a writing workshop locally.

She wrote:

“I have lots of story ideas that I think I would enjoy to write as an adult and more for that crowd, but sometimes I worry I will forget them. How long have you had the plot of The Someday Birds in your head? Do you think I will still remember my story ideas when I’m ready to write them?”

It was such an interesting question. How do any of us know when we are “ready to write” something that’s clearly important to us? I wrote her back:

“I think that if certain stories are meant to be written, you will not forget them. Stories that come from what really matters to your heart — that have an importance to you as a person — will stay with you until it’s the right time for you write them down…and somehow you will know when that time is. You’ll just know. Each of us has different themes and issues in our lives that fascinate us and affect us. Our writing inevitably reflects this. In a way, we can’t *not* write our stories — our true heart-stories!

I thought about The Someday Birds for years before writing it. I didn’t know the exact form, or plot it would finally take, but I knew I wanted to write about an autistic boy and help him learn how to grow into himself and be more at ease in the world. The details of the story changed and morphed. But the seed of the purpose of the story was there for years, waiting, while I raised my family and worked other jobs… Finally I just couldn’t ignore it anymore — I knew it was time and I had to write it!

That said, it is a nice idea to keep a “story-idea journal,” or a story-idea folder on your computer, in which you jot down all your ideas — You had a wonderful idea about a man in search of a home — maybe you came up with it because lately, you’ve been turning the notion of ‘home’ around in your mind lately for some reason…and if so, maybe it would help to ask yourself why, and write about that a little, and see where it brings you…

Something tells me you WILL write that story, and it’s going to be great!

Thank you for reading The Someday Birds! I am so glad you enjoyed it. Someday I hope I will read a book written by YOU!

All my best,

Sally

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