Updated: Mar 30, 2019
What do you think you need to write a story? Go ahead and give it some thought, I’ll wait…
I don’t know what answer you came up with, but my answer is simple and straight forward – Desire.
Long before African Americans were permitted to read and write, information was passed on through oral storytelling. Griots were an integral part in helping to keep alive our stories, our culture and history.
If there is a small flame of desire within you to write, then do so. In the words of novelist, essayist and Pulitzer Prize recipient, Toni Morrison, “Don’t wait for someone to give you permission to write.” Others may scoff at what you are doing and suggest that there are better ways to spend your time. I write because it makes life engaging and freeing and fun. No one has to understand this need for creative expression and self-actualization, or my desire to leave a positive imprint on the world through my words. No one has to understand, so don’t try and explain.
Guard your new creation. Protect it from stick and stones, stifling blankets of doubt and hurtful cross-examination. To accomplish this, I suggest that you refrain from discussing the specifics of your writing. I generally tell people that I am writing, what the genre is, and that is all. Everything else, the inspiration, the motivation, the sweat and tears, the heart, grit and soul that breathes life into the story, I save all of that for the actual writing, and not dispel that creative energy through words and sound that will then disappear like vapors in the air. Channel that energy into your work instead.