I’ve been haunted this week by a tree.
You read that right, I’ve been haunted by a tree.
I drove by it on my way to work and would be bathed in the most glorious early morning light. I drove by it on the way home and it would be silhouetted against a sunset. In the rain it looked like the perfect mournful tree. At night the stars tangled in its branches.
This tree had a kind of wonder-pop power. It needed to be photographed.
I had three problems, however, in photographing my wonder tree; it was on private property behind a newly planted farmer’s field, the field bordered a very busy road, and there were no side walks. I had to drive past the tree and park, and then walk back along the busy road and then find a way to take the photographs without damaging the field and also avoid being hit by a car. As I got out of the car and looked down to the tree I wondered if the light was really the best light (bright and sunny but no sunset) and if the increasing afternoon traffic meant I had better put it off until another day.
Those are the same kind of decisions that I wrestle with in my writing; do I risk, do I play it safe, or do I call it a day and not write at all. There’s always a risk when I try to chase down a new idea, or put together a new character. What if what I write bombs? What if the characters that I think are fascinating, aren’t?
There are only so many hours in the day. There are all ready millions of books crammed with thousands of words wrapped around hundreds of plots. Or variations on a plot. Why should I wrestle and sacrifice to put my own tale down on paper amid a flood of stories all ready available?
The short answer to all of those questions is the same reason that I decided to risk the road, the tricky traffic, and the newly sewn field.
I want to share something that I take great delight in, with you.