I believe I have a story only I can tell, and one day it will bust out of me. It will come to me during some mundane task, like making coffee or sorting a load of socks. It will be more than a random line of prose, or bare skeleton of plot, which have tumbled in and out of my brain my whole life. It will come to me like scenes of a life that flash before impending death; a movie that only I can direct.
I come from a family who appreciates the written word; my childhood summers were filled with trips to the local library for stacks of Nancy Drews and literary classics. My mom read the rhyming children stories she penned to my elementary school class. Five Christmases ago, my oldest brother handed me his first completed manuscript. The power of his storytelling filled me with both pride and envy. I remembered how, during my last year of college, I sat down with my fiction-writing professor and asked her point-blank: “Am I good enough?” She said I showed great promise, or something like that. I knew even while asking that she couldn’t answer that question. Self-doubt led me down a different path after graduation.
Still, I’ve always had a novel within me, hanging out in my sub-conscious. When it finally comes out, I will stop whatever I’m doing, because this story will have to be told. I will take leave from my job, tell my family to fend for themselves. I will take to ordering in for dinner, despite my love for creating culinary masterpieces. My hair will go uncombed, my laundry will pile up, because the words will flow out of me almost too quickly for my fingers to type, let alone do anything else. The writer’s block I have known in the past will be nonexistent, because my characters will tell me what should go down on paper. My only struggle will be to quiet them so I can sleep at night.
I am not a writer by trade, or even by hobby-at least not anymore. Like so many of us, I’ve let creativity fall by the wayside, choosing making a living in lieu of art. But I have no regrets; because even as a four-eyed fifth grader counting syllables for my first haiku, I knew. One day I would have a story to tell.
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