Writer’s Quote Wednesday–A Sufi Proverb

Monument Valley with Sufi Proverb text

Newbie alert – I’m participating, for the first time, in Writer’s Quote Wednesday a feature over on Silver Threading Blog.

For years, I’ve kept a journal where I pen down meaningful bits of this and that. The cover is faded now but was once a colourful mix of pastel flowers. I have chosen this little Sufi gem from that journal because I’ve often found myself coming back to this quote. For writers, the truism in these few words imparts a necessary imperative.

At every single stage of the writing process, there are no signs saying do this or do that.

Sage advice abounds and writers worth their salt certainly read and study those posts, articles and books with avid interest.

Pantster, plotter or planner, point-of-view purist or head-hopper, cut your darlings or write a Game of Thrones type saga, shelve the first draft for months or go from start to finish without taking a breath – we take it all in and on some days the conflicting nature of the advice can drive us nuts.

When I face the blank page with my fingers poised over the keyboard, I’m on my own with the characters I’ve created. There is no rule that says they shall not eat stones. Only I can hear their voices and be true to the various stories they inhabit.

We owe our characters something that no one else can give them. So, learn the rules, read the advice and then throw it all away and listen to those voices in your head.