Wednesday, July 20, 2011

On Writing and Being Afraid to Write

Charlotte Bronte
One of my favorite bloggers asked a very good question the other day.
Which book do you most wish you had written? I had the answer in a flash. Jane Eyre. Hands down.

I'd been given a small blank book embossed with Charlotte Bronte's handwriting from a dear friend two years ago. I hadn't gathered up the courage to write a single thing in it, though I've written thousands of words elsewhere since then. Since I had read and contemplated Mr. Bransford's penetrating question, my friend came for a visit.

I've often thought of writing a contemporary version of the plot. Of course that's a dead giveaway to the ending right there, but assuming my readership hasn't read the book, or perhaps loved it as much as I did...
After these two coinciding events, I asked myself some questions. What was I afraid of? That I wouldn't be able to write anything in the book that compared with Bronte's work? How long was I going to wait? Until I got better? Until I forgot all about the book? I decided right then and there that I would wait no longer. "I'm doing it." I told my friend. Today's the day.

That was Sunday. The story is writing itself. Is it comparable to Jane Eyre? How could it possibly be? No, but it is a labor of love, and a debt that I owe to Charlotte Bronte, Nathan Bransford, and my dear friend.

Thanks to all three of you!

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