The Saturday Morning Cup: When You’re Not Ready to Write the Book

Posted July 6, 2013 by Stormy in Blogging / 6 Comments

saturday morning cup

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you. –Maya Angelou

I don’t talk about it often on here, but like many book bloggers, I am an aspiring author. I’ve been writing pretty much since I can hold a pen(more on that here), but lately something’s felt different about my writing. Writing was always a dream, but reading so many books and being in bookish news makes me wonder if I could ACTUALLY do it. I always said I wanted to be a writer when I grew up. Now, I’m grown up. So I have several story ideas floating around on my computer in various degrees of progress. I LIKE all the stories, I BELIEVE in them. I think I could choose one and write it.

But there’s another story, another book. I believe in it SO so much that my reaction to the idea is almost physical. I won’t say what it’s really about, but I will say it’s about a boy and a girl and growing up and adventures and fantasy and time and grief and SORROW but also JOY and a different kind of life. I love this story. I don’t know if I’d love it if I wrote the book, and I know it would take me quite awhile, but the STORY. It bears no resemblance to my actual life but it feels like MY story, the one that I have that needs to be told.

But I don’t feel ready to write that book yet. And it has nothing to do with fear(OK, maybe a little), but mainly I don’t feel mature enough for it yet. I don’t feel like I’m wise enough to tackle everything the story would entail. This story–it takes on some BIG things. Really grand themes, and I just don’t feel like I, at 22, am ready to face those.

And maybe that’s true. I really don’t feel ready to face those themes that the story would require. . . but I also don’t really feel ready to face those things in real life, but I’m doing it. And it’s not a matter of wanting to or needing to–I don’t really have a choice. It’s just growing up, figuring out what this time in my life is and these things I can’t run from anymore.

I don’t feel ready to write this story. At all. But at the same time, I don’t feel ready to do the things life is requiring of me right now. I’m not ready to ask how who I am fits into the larger context of what my life has been up to this point and what I want it to be. I’m not ready for some of the more mundane things either– moving and opening up new bank accounts and scheduling my own vaccinations. And yet I’m doing them anyway. And so I think maybe I’ll write the story anyway.

It might not be very good. It might–I feel it probably will–have to sit for awhile before I could discover the hidden depths I think could be inside this story. I don’t think I’ve quite lived enough to tell this story yet. But perhaps I have lived enough to write this story, bit by bit. To sculpt out what it could be. Because I think if I ever am in some distant day published, it might not be this story, and that’s okay. But this is the story I feel I have to tell.

Your cup: Are you a writer? Do your stories ever scare you? Do you just not feel ready for them sometimes? Or am I just weird in this feeling?



6 responses to “The Saturday Morning Cup: When You’re Not Ready to Write the Book

  1. Leanne

    Writing as a career seems like something that would be so challenging and rewarding and FUN. And it scares the crap out of me. I like writing, and even get inspired to jot things down sometimes. But I’ve never gone beyond a post’s worth of content, a short blurb. I’ve never developed whole stories in my head that I wanted to see come to life on paper, and then in someone else’s connection with that story. I always figured this just meant I wasn’t supposed to be a writer, because I never had ideas for books. I just liked writing lovely words about things, whether they were joyful or dark or sad. I’ve kept myself away from writing classes and books on writing, anything that would really inspire me to pursue it. Cause I mean, I already *have* a career that demands a lot of time and effort and even mental processing power. Would I want to switch careers in what may be late in my life? And if I wasn’t going to switch careers, would it be worth it to learn how to be the best writer I could? And if I did switch, I would be going from one career that’s competitive, demaning, taxing, and sometimes difficult or near impossible with random circumstances popping up… to one that seemes elevated in every one of those categories.

    Your story already sounds fantastic, just because you’re so passionate (and a little fearful) about it. But here’s a question: those stories that have the big, grand, frightful and amazing things going on in them… I wonder if authors are ever ready to write about them, when they do get to writing about them. People are certainly never ready for those things to happen to them in real life. Maybe it’s one of those things you work at and chip away on a bit at a time, as you figure things out. But I don’t know, I’m just speculating over here. 🙂

    Also, what Trish said! She put it into much better words than I was able to.

  2. Stormy, I don’t say this lightly but there are a few bloggers whose blogs I enjoy that I know would make great authors. Not many maybe 3 or 4 and you are one of them. Write the story now, the fact that thinking about it gives you a physical reaction to it means that the time is right now. Just write it. Put it aside for a few years if you don’t feel it’s finished when you have it all down and come back to it in a few years. But write it now when the passion and feelings for it are so strong. Just my two cents worth.

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