"Writing is easy. All you have to do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead."

~ Gene Fowler

April 7, 2002

Welcome to Wyndspirit Dreams ! Last night a coworker asked me one of the toughest questions Iíve ever been asked: "How do you write a story?" Iíve never been asked that before. Iíve had people tell me about "good ideas" theyíve had that they want to write about someday. Iíve had people tell me they would like to write if only they had more time, more patience, more talentÖ But nobody has ever asked me how to write.

I was completely caught off-guard. I donít know how I write. I just write! I had no idea what to tell her. I finally told her a little about a couple of the projects Iím working on. I told her about writing The Haunting just because I wanted to know what happened next. I told her about the scrap paper outline I did for Mirajhi, jotting scene ideas on memo cube sheets at work, and then one day stringing them all together and discovering I had a rough outline of my story. I mentioned Wyndspirit Dreams and how I often get ideas from quotations. I told her about a story idea I jotted down that came from a dream I had. I donít think I answered her question.

Our conversation went on to other things, but ever since, Iíve been thinking of things I wish Iíd said to her. I wish Iíd told her you donít need to be an English major to write. You donít even need to have liked English class. I wish Iíd told her it starts with having something to say, it doesnít matter what. I wish Iíd told her that a writer is compelled to write, even when the words donít want to come.

And that is the gist of it. I am a writer. I may not be published, but I am unquestionably a writer. I might be automatically scribbling down the dayís usual exciting events in my journal. Maybe Iím flying along trying to keep up with my thoughts as I write on a story, high on words, thinking, "This is what I am meant to be doing!" Maybe Iím struggling in the wee hours of the morning to come up with a topic for that weekís Wyndspirit Dreams, for no other reason than I made a commitment to myself. I do it because Iím compelled to do it.

But that still would not answer her question. How do I write? I donít know! How do you breathe?

Wyndspirit Dreams