“I think, at a child’s birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift should be curiosity.” — Eleanor Roosevelt
I was lucky — both my parents let me indulge my curiosity. I grew up surrounded by books, music, film, television, all of which helped feed my imagination. I put on plays with my dolls, had imaginary friends, and was perfectly happy to curl up with a book when the Texas skies would open up and going outside wasn’t an option.
Curiosity is a wonderful gift and something that’s essential for a writer. In the beginning was the word and the word is “What if?” What if, on the run with the company bankroll, a secretary checks into a creepy motel?
What if the reigning social diva for one small town uproots herself to another?
What if a genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist was kidnapped while overseas and had to invent a device that would help him escape?
What if a girl was hit on the head and went over the rainbow?
Writers see stories everywhere because we are curious. It is in our nature. The imaginary friends we enjoyed as children are still with us, living in the tales we tell. Even when we’re not at the computer, we can often feel them itching under our skin, fingers tingling with the urge to tell one more tale. Words are our friends, whether we wrote them or they’re part of our favorite tales. We are armchair adventurers, living the lives we imagine and want to share.
Look at what we’re doing now. We’re sitting down and trying to write 50,000 words in the space of 30 days, which is crazy in and of itself. But we’re also trying to do it in one of the craziest months of the year. Why? Because at some point, we asked ourselves, “I wonder if I can do this.”
Curiosity. It’s what brings us here and what keeps us moving and writing. Let’s see what surprises it has for us today.
(And, no, I don’t think it was a coincidence that my iTunes was playing “House at Pooh Corner” while I wrote this.)