You never know what out there will provide eventual story material. Subconsciously, I’m always on the look out. In a real sense, I’m always working.
I try, but I can’t usually just switch my mind “off.” I find I pay attention to most “everything.” But I know I also have to do so without everyone around me suspecting I’m paying attention to, uh, “everything,” of course. 😉
Case in point: Mass last Sunday included Psalm 92. Perhaps unsurprisingly if you know the first two novels, this line grabbed my attention:
The just one shall flourish like the palm tree,
like a cedar of Lebanon shall he grow.
Within seconds I thought, “That’s going into Distances.” Moments after, I also felt I knew exactly where it would neatly fit. (Yes, yes, I am also well-aware that was NOT supposed to have been my immediate reaction to hearing it. But, again, the mind does what it will.)
After leaving, on the street outside I tapped it into the “notes” app in my phone. “Thoughts” usually go into that for later use if I’m away from my desk. I wrote it into the manuscript yesterday. It’s perfect.
Every writer’s self-confidence wobbles at times. You may know mine recently did when, suddenly, I’d found myself feeling a bit “old.” It wasn’t a “nice” feeling.
But during a “wobble” is when we need to resolve to work all the harder. Above all, you need to remember that just because what we write will never resonate with everyone, that doesn’t invalidate it overall. What you write will resonate with some at the very least.
Maybe I won’t be writing for cable, but I will continue to write based on what I have experienced, and make the “life statements” I choose to make. I can’t see myself doing it any other way. That readers enjoy it (while fully aware it’s impossible to please everyone), is what most matters to me.
Have a good Wednesday, wherever you are. 🙂