Lightning strikes. In a flurry of activity you quickly jot down every piece of information that has come to mind. Afraid to let even one tiny bit get away.
Having given birth to an idea you slump back, drained. Your eyes are now a combination of dry and itchy and glazed. Reality seems hazy. You look at your creation and beam.
In that instant you know you would do it again.
Having had three children I very much can attest to the similarities of giving birth and coming up with an idea. The lightning strike is the day of birth. The many years of watching your baby grow are the months of shaping your story into something you will maybe someday publish.
The birth of the creative work – bringing a book into reality for someone else to read – no longer just hidden deep in the imagination.
The wonder held at that initial inception of idea is not the final payoff. Instead you look forward to the months (or in some cases, years) of writing after that inspiration has struck as the first few years of life. Your idea is rolling over for the first time, taking its first steps, speaking its first words. It’s the beginning of many sleepless nights as you run into the other room to check on it.
You have read all the books that are supposed to guide you on the journey.
And still, you worry about whether you are doing everything right.
None of the rules, guides, advice from others will matter as much as making sure you are following what feels right in your heart.
After all is said and done you have to care enough to be honest. With yourself. With your story. With your readers.
Then you have to let it go out and find its own way.
Or, to quote Semisonic –
“Closing time –
Time to open all of the doors and let you out into the world”