Five years ago, my husband quit smoking. He had a helluva time trying to quit. He’d go a few months then next thing you know, he’s buying a pack and sneaking to the back yard for a hit. For nearly fifteen years I would badger him about quitting. I had quit long before, cold turkey and never had a desire to return to it, so I just couldn’t understand why he was having so much trouble. But, it was just one of those things he had to do on his own. When he finally quit, it was because he was ready to.
The same could be said about writing. Everyone has a book inside them but only those who desire to write it actually do. It’s not for the fame. It’s not even for the money (and every writer who’s been there will tell you ‘don’t quit your day job’), but it’s because we have a passion for it; because we feel it’s something we have to do.
It’s been sixteen years since I decided to seriously follow my dream of becoming a novelist. And, while I felt my dreams of getting published were a bit delusional, I didn’t let it stop my from trying, because it was something I needed to do at that time in my life. There had been a sudden death in my family, and writing was part of my grieving process. I never completed the book I’d been working on because after awhile, I felt like I needed to learn more about the craft. Then I felt like I needed to learn more about the business of publishing. But, subconsciously, I was really telling myself it wasn’t time. As much as I loved what I was doing and the story I was telling, I wasn’t quite ready to write. It took me five years, but when the time came, I planted myself in front of the computer and let my imagination soar. And, I’m glad I waited.
If I were asked to give advice to a writer it would be: don’t pressure yourself to write. When the time is right, you’ll find your muse.