“No, it’s not a very good story—its author was too busy listening to other voices to listen as closely as he should have to the one coming from inside.”—-Stephen King
Love this quote by Stephen King. Whether or not you’re a fan of his work you’ve got to admit the man knows what he’s talking about when it comes to writing.
But it’s not always easy for a writer to listen to the voices coming from inside, is it? Sometimes those voices shock us. Where the heck did that come from? No, I can’t write that! We dig in our heels while dragging our way through the story. Or sometimes we turn and run the other way. Every once in awhile, if we’re lucky, the words even leave us a tiny bit mesmerized, and we find ourselves thinking, that’s kind of good.
Okay, we say kind of because we don’t want to openly admit that maybe it’s a bit more than “kind of good” because maybe it’s actually great! It sounds too much like bragging for us to admit otherwise. Not to mention that we’re a bit shy about the whole thing. Perhaps others might not be as awestruck by our work as we hope for.
Have you ever written a story, set it aside for some time, only to come back to it much later? As you’re reading through that long ago story did a certain line or paragraph jump out at you? Did you find your self thinking—Did I really write that?
I’m willing to bet that those lines, that we can’t imagine writing, are the result of listening to the voices that are coming from inside. I say, go for it. Forget what you’re family and friends might think. Write the story that is begging to be written. Who knows it might be good. It might even be great! Jump in with both feet and give it a try. What’s there to lose?
Are you sometimes surprised by your own writing? Do you agree with Stephen King, that we are too busy listening to other voices to listen as closely as we should to the one coming from inside?