Thursday, March 3, 2011

in which I run away to find myself

Ever had the urge to run away? Leave it all behind, visit a new place, meet new people.

Destroy evil empires.
Save a princess.
Kidnap a prince.

Of course. We all have. That's why we read.

But have you ever considered running away in your OWN writing? Getting lost amid the story that chose you? Hmmm, says I. This sounds like a challenge. A frightening one.

Frightening? Why? It's just a story, right? An all consuming, never ending, nagging story that wakes you in the middle of the night, tortures you at work, chants incessantly "write me, tell me, write me, tell me" until you want to claw the words out of your veins and let them trail in whatever pattern seems fit.

I'm not advocating self mutilation.

Just sacrifice.

It's a brave thing to trust your story so much that you lose yourself to it. Lock the doors, batten down the hatches, weld the pen and go forth to conquer unknown lands. It's a courage we all need, a fear we must all face.

So go ahead. Pack your suitcase and run away. Stare that story down until it consumes you and you have no choice but to tell it. Let it all out. Get lost and in the process, find the essence of your story, your characters.



  1. Love this! I've gotta lock the doors and turn off the phones today... gotta do it!

  2. Great post! Personally, I think this is the ONLY way to write ;o)

  3. I'm going to have to follow this advice!

  4. Okay. I can do this. I can. Really.

    Now, where's my suitcase? :-)

  5. Losing yourself in the writing is the only way to go. I love that groggy feeling when you realize you've been lost in another world for ... how long?!

  6. Perfect! Thanks for reminding me!

  7. The prospect of escaping into my own writing isn't frightening so much as it is difficult. Self-indulgence and writing yourself into a story are two hallmarks of bad fiction. If you're only writing for your own entertainment then it's fine, but construing the passions into good fiction, which I think you're advocating near the end, is important.

  8. I love losing myself in my story as I write the first draft, but I haven't mastered doing it as I revise. That's my goal for next week. Thanks, Jen!


Well, hello! I'm so glad you made it. Come inside and sit by the hearth. I'll take your coat and hat. The kettle is singing and there's cake and candles and good conversation. Settle in and make yourself at home. Don't mind the wolfhounds; they're friendly if you give them a bit of lemon curd.