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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Natural Born Writers, Part I

Natural Born Writers, thoughts from the random brain of M. S. Spencer

The desire to both create and to share that creation are two separate, albeit intertwined phenomena.  In this blog I’ll focus on the urge to write.

Part I: The Urge to Write

Natural born writers: you know who you are.

If you’re a real (notice I don’t use the word “serious” and definitely not “published” or “successful”) writer, there is an urgency that originates somewhere under your heart and a kidney stone’s throw from your liver that forces you to write. 

The physical need we writers have to put pen to paper is, I suggest, innate.  It may or may not be genetic, but you are definitely born with it.  I’ve know writers who finally publish late in life (remember And Ladies of the Club, published when the author, Helen Hooven Santmyer was 87?), but I’ve never known one to deny that he or she  “jotted” down bits and pieces, poems and essays, throughout their life. (You can find a biography of Santmyer at Note that she admitted she wanted to be a writer from the age of nine.)

Accepting the imperative to write is like accepting that you believe in God (or that you don’t). It’s not to be taken lightly.  You may put it off for years—sometimes for a lifetime.  But if you’re lucky enough to be forced to swallow the truth, it can be liberating.  The liberation may be accomplished through a momentous event (life threatening perhaps or simply enlightening) or by the simple act of surrendering to it.

I couldn’t live without writing.  Everything that tears me away from it is an intrusion, an irritant.  Thank God I didn’t come to that realization while I was raising my children and going to graduate school and working! Now that my children are grown and my husband gone I can spend guilt-free hours at the computer, all the time missing them horribly of course.

Of course the urge comes and goes, perhaps with the tides or the phases of the moon, even for those of us who don’t write paranormal!  I’ve gone for weeks, even years with nary a twitch in my writing fingers. Then all of a sudden, usually just as I’ve settled down for a nice nap, vroom! What a great line. Now where is that pen? Where are my glasses? Where can I write this down before it dissipates into cyberspace and nestles in some other writer’s psyche?

Once you have the perfect story in your dainty hand, neatly typed and carefully combed for errors, will you be able to relax and go back to your nap? Certainly not. That’s when the urge to share it kicks in like a petulant ass.  Which I shall discuss in a later blog today.  Look for it: it’s entitled The Urge to Share.

While you’re waiting, check out my new release, Losers Keepers, a tale of lust and treachery on Chincoteague. Buy link:

M. S. Spencer
~Lost without Love ~ Romance in Suspension

COMING November from Secret Cravings: Triptych
Author of the bestsellers Lost in His Arms and Lost & Found from (
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Laura Kaye said...

I totally identify with this! Fun post!

Laura Kaye
laurakayeauthor at gmail dot com

mssellsworth said...

Thanks Laura! I had fun writing it. Look for part II later today! Meredith

Toni V.S. said...

Some of these comments could be mine! Looking forward to Pt 2.

mssellsworth said...

Hi Toni! Yes, that's what I was aiming for--I think writers do have certain traits--quirks?--in common. If my blog only describes me, I'm in BIG trouble :). Meredith

ple-thora said...

Hi Meredith,
Paragraph 5 say sit all!I can go for an extended period of time and then, Wham! a meteor hits me with a flash of inspiration--and I gotta write!

Anonymous said...

I have writer friends that will stop speaking in mid-sentence and run to find a pen and paper to write down a story idea. I think that scene describes most writers accurately. :)

User1123 AT comcast DOT net

Na said...

I like this post. I havea bit of a writer in me. I think everyone does in their own way. I'm a reader but do write a lot, not necessarily stories but thoughts and ideas. It's why I like to have a notepad and pen with me for moments when a thought comes to mind.

shiderly77 said...

As a reader, I enjoyed this post!

JohnF said...

Being inspired by the muse is a quest in itself.