Want to be a writer? Well…my advice to you is to get used to a life of doors. Yes that’s right – doors!
Before your eyebrows start arching with surprise at my door revelation, I want to make it clear I am not in the middle of a breakfast cereal induced sugar rush and my hormones are not in a state of chaos.
This is a topic which I have been thinking about for a long time and it is time to share.
Let me show you how many doors I think there are in a writer’s life. I have highlighted my favourites:
Stories are doors that open and transport the reader off to a different place, world or time.
Trying to think of how you are going to start your story is basically where you start searching for a secret door. On some stories you will locate the secret door with ease and there will be other stories where you will spend MONTHS stumbling up and down the darkened corridor trying to find the secret door.
A painful episode of writer’s block is where someone has locked a door inside your head and thrown away the key.
Too many plot ideas is a head full of open doors.
In literature doors can represent opportunity and hope for characters.
Experiencing a lightbulb moment with your writing is when a new door opens inside of you.
Sometimes we decide to sadly close the door on a story that is no longer working.
Doors are creative tools which can be used protectively or secretively.
Sometimes we have to force ourselves to close the door on a first draft. It needs to rest. However we have such a strong emotional attachment to it and will spend days loitering outside the door wondering whether it is the right time to go back in.
There is nothing like a good door slam when you are in the midst of a creative tantrum.
In literature doors can be used to represent turning points in the lives of characters.
Certain fictional characters can get so annoying inside your mind; jumping up and down, shouting and moaning. Grrrr – you feel like chucking them in a room and locking the door – until they have quietened down.
Closing the door on your past literary mistakes and failures can be liberating.
Only you hold the key to the door of your literary dreams. No one else can unlock it but you. A tough one to come to terms with if you are still waiting for the literary elves to show up.
If a literary door shuts in your face – try another!
The special story that we can’t write or isn’t ready to be written is kept behind a locked door in our brain. Hands up who has one of these? I do – please don’t say I am the only writer who has one of these. One day we will find the key (guts) and write it.
Sometimes going on social media can be disheartening because it feels like everyone else is opening doors you have not even come across yet.
So, I have been chewing my pencil and thinking about why it feels like there are so many doors in the life of a writer. Here are my thoughts:
Doors symbolise the transition from one world to another. As writers we are constantly travelling between reality and the fictional world.
Doors played a big part in our childhood. As kids we were constantly saying, “let me see” while pulling things out of cabinets; opening, closing, and slamming doors. All the time getting excited about finding a “treasure” behind a shut door. Writing is a search within ourselves for treasure.
When we were book hungry children we devoured stories where children stepped out of their real world and into fabulous fictional worlds. Doors like the wardrobe door in Narnia took us away from our sometimes mundane existence and dropped us into new and exciting worlds. As writers we want to recreate this magic for our readers.
Doors symbolise beginnings, ends or choices presenting an unknown path for the curious writer to embark on.
You will be glad to know I am now getting off my door soapbox. Please share any thoughts you have on doors.
I hope all the doors you are experiencing in your writing life right now are open or opening 😍
I hope you have a great day.