Why do people write books? OK, now, I know it might sound like I’ve already answered this question when I talked about why I am compelled to write, but it really is a completely different (and intriguing) question.
A book begins, purely, as an idea. It originates in the author’s mind, started as a speck here and a couple grains there until it grows and grows and grows. It grows so big, it gets so unwieldy in its physical prison — your mind — that it needs to be let out, needs to be released. The idea continues to grow until it gets to a point where it is so pervasive that it seems there is nothing you can do except to write it down.
Now, obviously, it takes dedication and determination in order to write daily, in order to concentrate all your efforts on something but, for me, it truly was the feeling that “this thing isn’t going to be contained anymore” that was one of the starting points for my novel. As I’ve started to write, that seed of an idea has continued to grow, slowly maturing, growing branches, springing even smaller branches off of those.
In fact, the growth of a tree is the perfect analogy to writing a book. When I started, all I had was that “seed”. As I began working to plant and cultivate that idea, I started to see it grow. First, I grew the roots by providing background, context for my story and my characters. Then, finally, it breaks through the ground and you’re ecstatic… but it doesn’t stop there. As I continue to feed and nurture my little sapling, it keeps growing — fast. Sometimes it feels like it’s growing too quickly, too suddenly and in too many directions that all I can do it attempt to guide it.
But that’s the beauty too, isn’t it? The truth is, I don’t necessarily know how many branches there will be, how big it will end up being or in what direction and manner it’ll grow. It’s just the nature of these things. The idea is simply the starting point, the seed. What you end up with is something you never could have imagined, something maybe completely different than what you imagined… but it’s yours. You made it, and your idea is no longer just an idea — it’s real.