I want to write what I know

New view of the Pillars of Creation — visible

(This post is meant to shed more light on the writing explanation for my cosmorphosis)

Since I officially decided to become a writer about three years ago I’ve written five books, three of which I love and want to publish. But in the summer after I had finished my fifth book I had a dilemma. I had enough practice writing novels from ideas that just came from nowhere (dreams, conversations with Ben, new articles online) and I wanted my next book to reflect the story I really wanted to tell. So I sat down and made a huge, sprawling mind map chart to outline all the things I was most interested in. Then I tried combining different concepts to make a full idea. It was a painful process (mostly because I often worry an idea will never come) but finally something presented itself.

An idea I loved.

An idea I felt could truly represent a lot of the things I cared about most and struggled with.

But then I realized that although the emotional aspect of the story was something I could definitely authoritatively write about, the technicalities of the story weren’t within the scope of my knowledge. I wanted to write a story that was essentially a love letter to the universe, but I didn’t have the understanding of the universe I needed/wanted to really get my point across.

I wanted to write what I know, but I didn’t know what I wanted to write.

So I decided to go back to school. Specifically to audit a course in astronomy and when I got there I realized it wasn’t enough. Sure it was nice to have a basic understanding of certain astronomical phenomena, but I wanted to know everything I possibly could about the birth and future death of the universe. How can you write a love letter to someone if you don’t know the person you’re writing to?

So I’m going back to school.

Maybe it’s taking the idea of research for a novel a little far, but obviously I have other reasons for doing it too. I’m not satisfied with the basics, I want to know the whole story. I want my love letter to the universe to encompass more than just one novel. I want to write thousands of stories in thousands of different ways to illuminate the mystery, wonder and sheer insanity of the cosmos.

I want to write what I know and I’m excited to figure out how.


(Image from the Hubble Space Telescope depicting the Eagle Nebula’s Pillars of Creation)

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