I've been struggling to write something for this topic until I realized that the reason I am struggling is because I am conspiring with a thief of my own!
I've not been reading any blogs or phoning anyone. I owe my brother and several friends a proper email. My house is quite shocking in its mess. My laundry is piling up. I can see my regular life being neglected. I was trying to write about a time when I have either been a thief (except for bar-stuff, the list is remarkably short) or been with a thief (again a short list!) but I just can't seem to focus.
The reason for all of this is that I have had a book enter my brain. I have written before about accepting book ideas from the universe. Well, some time ago I accepted a wonderful idea. I heard it whispered in my ear and I wrote it down in one of my notebooks. I left it to percolate and found that I thought about it a lot more than some of the others. I mentioned it to Mark last week but told him that I was thinking about starting to write a different book because I didn't feel like I was a good enough writer yet to do this idea justice. (Oooh, I am a textbook case, aren't I?!) He shook his head and told me not to wait and that I should just start. After all, the first attempt is only a rough draft, right? It doesn't have to be good right away.
Well, I mulled over that for a few days. In fact, I started making notes for a different book entirely. I ignored the advice and the whispers and went on with my days. (Why do we have such angst about being 'good'??) And then a few days ago the thieves completely entered my brain. It started with a name. I got the full name of a character. I knew immediately who she was. I wasn't sure about the name and tried to change it to something different. She stubbornly stayed strong. So I wrote her name down. From there my pen hasn't really stopped moving. She has told me her whole story. So has her next door neighbor, her landlord, her ex-lover, and a whole cast of other people who inhabit her world. They have stolen me and my time away. I have found myself scribbling when I should be working, being resentful when I am asked to do something else, and desperate for a pen when another voice begins to whisper in my ear.
I'm scared. I know what this means. This has happened to me twice before. This thief will continue to steal my time. There is a real love-hate thing going on here. I love this moment. I love knowing that if I just sit down at the page, a book will begin to emerge. But I hate it as well. I hate that I will question my ability, my talent, and my use of time. I will always either want to be writing or be dreading it. I will hear the voices in my head and I either won't know how to tell their story or I won't be able to get it down quickly enough. This is a jealous and demanding thief. But I am afraid I have no choice.
For more Sunday Scribblings that have stuck to the topic much better, go here!