Well, it’s true. That’s where it comes from — figuratively.
Walking the beach always brings out the pirate in me…at least the pirate writer in me. I experienced the transformation yesterday, snapped this photo, and began to feel that familiar itch in my fingers as they begged to gyrate over my laptop. The story was once again peeking through.
Often times, authors will talk about how their stories “just wrote themselves.” This is truth. It really happens this way. When stories are born, it’s as if something takes over and propogates the mind, birthing a story not long after.
I call it channeling. Others may call it something else, like inspiration, divination, wild imagination…you get the idea. Writers have an amazing propensity to “hear” stories in their heads, and then record them. It’s a talent that takes less ability than a willingness to comply. In other words, a writer’s “Gift” is to pay attention to the thoughts, ideas, and “inspiration” that comes from his or her environment.
Standing near a beach with the ocean lapping at my feet and the smell of salt and sand is my environment. It always kicks up a feeling of sailing somewhere on the Caribbean Sea, onboard an 18th-century tall ship.
Immediately after that deja vu experience, a story comes to mind. My job is to then record it.
There’s a process to it all — the toughest part being to “listen” (ie: receive). Recording the ideas and thoughts happen relatively easily, which is where the comment, “the story just wrote itself” comes from. The next step is a little more difficult — to send the message off to the public where it can be cherished or rejected, depending on the audience.
Receive. Record. Release.
To many writers, this process comes naturally. But to many of us, understanding just what is required to transcribe our thoughts into a coherent, enticing story is difficult — akin to learning to play a musical instrument…and play it well…concerto-style!
Thankfully, just like the pianist, we can practice the process — practice receiving information and listening to those oh-so-subtle thoughts and ideas that come to mind during the most inconvenient times. We can record these ideas and messages then do the work necessary to make our stories presentable and published for the world to see.
Writers may as well run a marathon! Training, practice, trial-error, success, rejection… it’s all a part of being a writer. The life we live isn’t always taken seriously. Maybe that’s because of the crazy ideas, thoughts, and habits we adopt as we receive–record–release our stories. Maybe it’s because we believe in those stories first. Whatever reason, it consumes the writer and guides his actions.
That is the process of writing. It’s a life filled with silent messages that scream to be noticed — a writer’s life. Indeed, it’s a pirate writer’s life for me!
The Deja vu Chronicles is available everywhere, at all book retailers online and in store.