There is a writer somewhere near
That heard my story on a silent wave
That wafted through a window gaping wide
And whispered neatly in his ear.
My story did inspire his hands
That tapped away at clicking keys
And came together bound in leather
Into books that sat on shelves
And made the people laugh and cry,
To feel my human soul just sigh.
I sometimes feel like books were written for me and then less frequently there are occasions when the book seems to be written about me. I’m reading one of those at the moment, and I feel like it’s the sign of a good book; when the words speak to you on such a level that you really believe your story entered the writer’s psyche.
I wonder if the writer does sit at their desk and there is some magical spirit like substance that permeates their room, giving them an idea that is so close to your own story that you have to pause while reading the words, just to catch your breath.
I read Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert a couple of years ago and she talked about writing a story that didn’t work out for her. And the day she decided to give up the story, she visited her friend, Ann Patchett. She hugged her friend and sat having a lovely coffee with her, never mentioning the story that she had decided was a failure.
A couple of months later she spoke to Ann again and Ann told her that since their last meeting she had been writing a story and she described the exact plot that Elizabeth had been working on. It was as though the idea had just bounced from one writer to the other.
So, if these creative ideas do just bounce around the atmosphere, surely our own life stories are out there to be grabbed and written down? To me, that’s quite an incredible thought.