All The Books I Did Not Write

Ideas spill into my brain like rain.  Some take seed, while others are blown in the wind. 

Sometimes I write a page or two before metaphorically putting away the pen.  Others are captured as a title on a note in my phone.  But the only ones that become novels, are the ones I can’t let go.  Finding those gems are rare. 

I wrestle with my thoughts.  Am I writing for myself or for others?  It is best when I am writing for both.  But finding those stories is only half of the issue, being able to stick with it and put the enormous amount of time and effort into that endeavor is the rest. 

How do I know when I have found that story?  I know it when the story doesn’t let me go.  It grabs hold of me like a toddler to its mother.  And like a mother, I know I must write this story in order for it to live and grow.  The characters become my people.  Their images play in my mind.  Their voices can be heard in my dreams.  When I least expect it, they surface and consume my thoughts.  And the writing flows.

But what of those books I will never write?  They still linger and I am left to wonder.  But without their arms clasped firmly about me, I regret that they will be left unwritten.  Those characters will never breathe life into the pages of a book.  And I can’t help but feel sad.

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