The Source of the Stories

Drawing of a plant in a ceramic pot, in front of a brick wall. Caption reads: "Stories grow from all kinds of places."

The Source of the Stories blog post by Iris Carden.

A week ago, I shared the story Return with the writers’ group I’m part of. The prompt for the week had been “reunion”, and I’d written a story about someone who didn’t want a reunion with his cousin.

A newer member of the group asked, “How much marijuana did you have to smoke to come up with that?”

I actually couldn’t think of a response. My drug of choice is coffee, and that’s the limit of my recreational drug use. I have too many prescribed medications, with their potential interactions with other things to take risks.

So where do my stories come from? Sometimes they come from pain-filled sleepless nights. Sometimes they come from vivid dreams. Sometimes I draw something just for the fun of drawing, and then the drawing inspires the story. Sometimes I see something that sets my mind running down a maze of strange ideas. Sometimes, I don’t know where they come from, they just are.

Most of my life I’ve lived in my imagination. My earlier post Worlds that don’t exist talked about this. Then I discovered as a young child, that I could use that imagination to write stories that I enjoyed, talked about in my post Never forget your first.

I suspect everyone has the potential to write. Everyone has an imagination. Everyone who is literate has the ability to write a story or a poem.

So what sets writers apart from non-writers?

I think it’s a matter of practice. Those of us who have learned to love the art of writing fiction or poetry, or whatever, keep practicing our art because of that love. The more we practice our art the easier it becomes, and the better we are at it. The more we write the better we become at writing. The more we look for ideas, the more we find them. The more we try different styles or genres, the better we learn to adapt to them.

For other writers, who are just beginning, or who like me, write a lot but haven’t made a financial success of it, I have one suggestion: keep writing. Keep practicing our art. Write for the love of writing.


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By Iris Carden

Iris Carden is an Australian indie author, mother, grandmother, and chronic illness patient. On good days, she writes. Because of the unpredictability of her health, she writes on an indie basis, not trying to meet deadlines. She lives on a disability support pension now, but her ultimate dream is to earn her own living from her writing.

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