I believe as writers, we become dedicated to a story that we see as one we really want to write.
A story that causes our eyelids to flutter in deep sleep dreaming of new scenes, the story we wake up to in the morning, the story we see on the bestseller list.
But is there another kind of story laying low under our writing radar?
When the stories we want to write are out of our system I believe there is another story lurking deep inside, waiting for a turn. A shadow story if you will that can only be addressed when the stories we want to write have found their way to at least a first draft.
What is this deep-seated story quietly biding its time?
It’s the story we have to write. The story that is so personal, painful and revealing of our true self that it couldn’t be written except as a memoir or if fictionalized it would still be recognizable as semi-autobiographical.
It’s the story that’s written as only we can write it with all the risks that go along with it and all the power as well. The story we have to write is the story of our invisible self, waiting to be given a face, an identity, fiction or non-fiction.
There is no mystery here; we subtly use our lives in everything we write but the story we have to write is the doozy.
It contains all the events that single-handedly brand us, the events we tell only a few people but that we know we have to tell many eventually.
The story we have to write will come out someday in some form and when it does there really doesn’t need any prodding or pushing. It will happen and when it does it may end up being the most important thing we ever write.
Keep writing it’s worth it. What you have to write may be the words someone else can’t say. You have to power to say it for them. Don’t let that story remain in the dark no matter how long it takes to write it.
I wrote a play, produced in 2014. A story with a mother and two daughters very personal to me. It’s about how everyone in a family suffers when even one child is troubled.
It took four years and it was by far the story I had to write.
What’s the story you have to write?