The Spark of a Writer

From Jeff: This is a guest post by Paul Angone. Paul is an author, speaker, story-teller and host of — a website for those in between “growing” and “grown.” His debut book Are You My Life? is scheduled to debut Spring 2012. Find Paul on Twitter: @PaulAngone.

Alone. It’s your cup of choice.

Later, others will be involved. Much later. When there is something to see. When the ambers start glowing.

But not now.

Alone. You create a conversation. To make the intangible, tangible.

It’s your life. Word after word after word. Hoping something catches fire. Match after match — lit, but not lighting.

Spark of a Writer
Photo credit: Andrew Stawarz (Creative Commons)

You have to ask questions that no one will ask. You have to see what no else sees. You have to risk comfort, to define uncomfortable.

You have to skin your knees. Even when everyone is standing tall. You have to get on your tippy-toes, while everyone’s taking cover. You have to go there, not even knowing where there is.

You have to write and write and write. Only to delete and delete and delete.

Writing progress is not in pages.

It comes in sparks.

Each match that burns. Each word that falls flat. Taking you closer to that sentence that smolders. To the paragraph that catches. The page people will gather around.

That piece changes the atmosphere. In you. And in those who see its light.

Because they’ve felt the same fire. They’ve had the same thirst.

As a writer you hold out a glass of water.

Your fingers burnt and blistered. Hiding in pockets. Only you will ever know.

Hundreds of used matches — useless.

But one catches fire.

What writing “sparks” have you experienced? What spurs you on?

*Photo credit: Andrew Stawarz (Creative Commons)