I learned how to read in kindergarten, and the first books my parents gave me were the Chronicles of Narnia. That gift changed my life. I began to read and write for hours….EVERY day. When I wasn't writing, I was daydreaming about it. My characters would run amok in my brain, arguing, fussing, and stamping their feet… and I loved it.
I wrote hundreds and hundreds of thousands of words about my imaginary worlds and the crazy elves, humans, and other creatures that lived in them.
Then something happened just after my eighteenth birthday.
I went to university.
My creative side survived the first year… barely …
The characters in my head struggled to keep themselves alive through the second year.
But by the third and fourth year, living on a zombie-making 3 to 4 hours of sleep each night, I began to experience something I'd never gone through before. My mind was empty of everything except medical facts, exam dates, and assignments. There were no stories dancing before my eyes, no annoying characters telling me what to write, and no fantastic ideas that had me scrambling for a pen.
University had driven a stake through my muse.
I finished university in imaginative silence. I traveled and worked… a lot. I was too busy paying off student loans, moving, meeting the love of my life, and eventually getting married to really stop and recognized what I'd lost in that concrete institution.
Then something amazing started to happen over this last winter… I started to see the magic again. It's not like it was before, but it's there. My muse's heartbeat is back - weak the fluttering, but it's still there. Plots are beginning to unfold, potential characters are starting to flex their muscles, and my fingers are beginning to itch for a pen.
What do I do?
Over the past few years of dead creativity, I've turned my attention from writing to reading. I now review books for multiple publishers. I love it. I always have a book in my hands… but it is someone else's book.
Is it time to review a few less books and take the brave step back into the writer's chair? After years of reading other's works, is it time to see what novels are hidden in me?
What do you think? Comments?