On Writing and the Decisions We Make to Tell Our Stories
We must write what we feel called to write, and the year after my grandfather dies, I write a short essay about him and how he took to my firstborn. Those who read it receive it enthusiastically, and shortly thereafter I become inspired to tell more of the story and I begin.
When the girls are just babies -- Natalie an infant, Hannah three, I take laptop to bed one night and stare at the illuminated screen, tapping at the keys until well after my household sleeps.
I wake the next morning, re-read what I wrote, and decide that not only is it a story worth telling, it may be the best thing I've ever written.
Having never written a book before, nothing but a couple of novel starts over the years, I spend time brainstorming on paper, writing down memories, reading books on writing. I find that despite my inclination to write and having a solid story to tell, the ability to map out a book is not as natural as I had hoped.
Structure, plot, story arc, where to begin and where to end ... it's all foreign.
I know what I want to tell, I know the meaning behind the story, I just don't know how to tell it.
It's slow going at times, this weaving of narrative. But I return again and again to what I felt when I began -- it's a story worth telling. So I will tell it.