Why Doesn’t Your Story Write Itself

I want to take you for a moment back to the first moment you thought of writing a story. In terms of your story’s evolution, this is probably the best and most exciting moment you can think of (since your book remains unpublished). Do you remember how elated you were with the idea of writing this story?

Weeks passed. You started your story several times, all at different points. You took some notes about your story and still had many high hopes.

Months passed. You knew you needed to really plow into that first draft, but you still weren’t too worried about it. After all, you were still in the first year of the idea, and you’d written many snippets from various scenes. You just didn’t know how they would come together.

A year passes. Now you are beginning to get worried. You told a few people about it in the first few weeks, and they’ve been asking questions. You laugh them off, saying it was a silly idea while still secretly hoping to write your story.

Another year passes. Now, you wonder whether or not you will ever complete your tale. Life has become so busy, and you’re not really certain of how to get the original idea you had – one that you knew was a great idea – down onto paper.

The sad truth about writing is that your book doesn’t write itself.

The wonderful truth about writing is that your book doesn’t write itself! You’re in control of it.

Writing a story is all about building the inspiration you had when you first thought of your story. What sort of image did you have in your head? What sort of character did you imagine? How did you think of this image?

Storytellers are inspired to write stories because of things they come across in the real world, whether they find it in a story they read, a place they journey to, a picture they see, or a friend they meet. I call these objects of inspiration “reference images”. They help build your inspiration for your own imagined images, something I call your “inspired images”. These imagined images create the scenes of your story.

Don’t give up hope! All you need to do is change your writing habits and remember your inspiration.

So, why doesn’t your story write itself? It’s because you’ve forgotten your inspired image! Rethink of that image that first inspired you to write a story, create more images based upon what inspires you about that image, and then create an outline of your story.

Your fellow writer,

Joshua Reynolds



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