There is a blessing in creating your own world.
And with all that creation, you need something that will hold it together. You need the thread that belief and myth provide.
When I began my writing career, I was in a sort of tailspin. I knew that I wanted to write, but I also knew that I wanted to write about a great many things!
(This is where I must plug the necessity for you as a writer to have a tribe or network by which you are engaged. It can be life saving! Don’t knock social media!)
I follow several writers on Twitter. None have been so gracious as the magnanimous Tananarive Due. She is a published writer (NYT Best Selling, mind you) and she teaches at UCLA. The fact that she would have time to even answer me, a struggling, have drowning writer in the social media ether was monumental.
I asked her about making time to write. I asked her about how she made time. I even asked her about research and work. Tananarive Due gave me a piece of advice that I will give to you:
“Make it up.”
She told me this in response to needing a myth, specific research for a topic. Her advice was if I didn’t see it, couldn’t find it, just make it up. Tananarive Due didn’t know that she had just shattered the glass ceiling of my imagination.
With imagination being my fuel and conduit to express my thoughts on the world, I did not know I could do that. I did not know I could make up what I needed independent of what I had seen in a book. I didn’t know I could do that–be allowed to do that!
In reminding me of what I am, of what I am allowed to do, that freed me is a writer. It let me explore with a more fearless stance. It allowed me to research, to read, not just to take as gospel fact–but to analyze. To bend. To reinterpret. To make my own.
As a writer, a teacher, I give you this same freedom. I free you from the staunch mechanics of your imaginations! You are a writer, so write. You have to absolute right to construct and deconstruct the worlds you create as you see fit! You must make up what you need, by simple virtue of needing it.
Go forth and create. Challenge your imagination, and see what the fruits are and become of it. Remember the guiding light from the Dark Tower of Stephen King as you do: “Do not come soft to the blank page.”