photo: Rahul Singh

photo: Rahul Singh

Have you ever felt something powerful, deep within you, welling up, and yet, biding its time? Maybe you've always wanted to write, but it seems like time and ideas and confidence are scarce, so you don't. But still, that feeling in the pit of your being burns, it almost says, One Day...One Day...One Day to the beat of your heart. Congratulations you have the creative soul of a writer! Let me be the first to say, the world needs your story. Yes, you. And you should definitely take all the reasons why you can't write, and push them off the table in your head.

“Life isn't a support system for art. It's the other way around.” - Stephen King

The pilot light of creativity is already lit within you, that's the first step. The next step is fulfilling your destiny as a writer, and that means putting the fingers to the keys, putting the pen to the paper, putting in the hard time. So where and how do you start?

I occasionally thought about my work-in-progress for ten years before I started working on it in 2012, once all the story pieces fell in my lap (or so I thought). Now, after many years of near daily writing, I'm positive that if I'd started a daily writing habit sooner, the story pieces would've also arrived sooner. See, I originally thought I already had the story pieces, but the truth is I didn't. So many more interesting plot developments and character arcs came after I'd been working and learning the ropes for a few years. I probably spent 1 1/2 years learning how to tell a story before I could translate the wily idea in my head into a cogent tale. I will never consider my time wasted or misused, but at the same time, ten years is a long time to wait for "divine inspiration" to arrive and only then motivate me to learn the craft of writing.

Maybe you've read the Harry Potter series, by J.K. Rowling? In the 7th book, Luna Lovegood, needs to enter the Ravenclaw dormitory. (Each Hogwart's house, Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, & Slytherin, has a unique way for their students to gain entry). Ravenclaw is the house of students exemplifying traits of wit and wisdom, so naturally a marble statue of Rowena Ravenclaw asks a riddle that must be answered correctly in order for the door to open,

"Which came first, the phoenix or the flame?"

Luna Lovegood cooly responds,  "A circle has no beginning."

Ouroboros , wood block print from Abraham Eleazar's  Uraltes Chymisches Werk , 1760

Ouroboros, wood block print from Abraham Eleazar's Uraltes Chymisches Werk, 1760

This kind of question is called an infinite regress or a causality dilemma, where it is unclear which event should be considered the beginning. You know, like the old: What came first, the chicken or the egg? So I'd like to pose the question,

What comes first, the idea or the writing habit?

Tell me your thoughts in the comments below. Since I've been writing on a near daily basis for five years now, I feel that I'm in a position to give a little advice. It was my father's favorite thing to say me, "Do as I say, not as I do." If you feel that creative yearning inside you and you want to write, write. Do not wait for divine inspiration to shake you by the shoulders, because that day may never come. I was incredibly lucky to receive a shakedown. There are many paths that lead to writing. Some may answer the call and some may go looking for it, but I do know the act of writing feeds the inspiration. A circle has no beginning. It doesn't really matter what comes first, so long as you get started, but do. Get started.

Next time we'll get into forming writing habits that stick.