I Had to Write, You See

This post kicks off my November blog theme. A couple times a week, I'll highlight a writing resource and a source of inspiration--excerpts from fellow writers, quotes and other fun tid-bits.

Today, it's wisdom from sci-fi author C.S. Friedman.


Resource: Nathan Bransford Forums

Inspiration: C.S. Friedman on writing In Conquest Born
“I had to write, you see. That’s not a choice, for some, but a condition. A hunger as visceral, as demanding as the need for sex or food. Words build up inside you, they have to be let out. They have to have the proper form, too. It doesn’t matter if you have a master’s thesis due the next day; if a chapter of a science fiction novel is screaming in your brain to be let out, that has to come first…
So I wrote. I created worlds, and they grew as I grew, and the stories I set in them began to take on larger scope…And then, one night, it happened. I had come home from a stressful workday of fourteen hours and couldn’t sleep. I sat down at my typewriter to let off some creative steam, and the words just began to flow. Long, long into the night, until time was forgotten. Miles past exhaustion, into the hours before dawn when creativity is at its sharpest and the muse at its most demanding.
Thirty pages.
When I was done I sat back and just stared at those pages. I could still hear the music of the language in my brain, I could still taste the imagery of the story. Even in first draft form, the story sang to me. And, I knew, in that moment, that I had crossed some unnamed line. My writing was ready. If I ever wanted to publish, it was time to try.”


  1. My last novel sort of came out like that all in one big push at the beginning. I think I wrote a hundred pages in two weeks, which for me is incredibly fast. Sometimes the words just start flowing and you can't stop until they're all out.

  2. My last two manuscripts came quickly. Well, after extensive outlining of course.

  3. Very inspirational words, Nicole!

    I have times when the words just pour out of me, and other times (much more commonly) when it seems like a struggle to get two words to coherently fit together.

    Usually it's somewhere in between, and my biggest writing barriers are not what to write, it's finding the time and a quiet spot to do it.

  4. Great words from a talented author. I love Friedman's Coldfire trilogy. I write pretty fast when I have the time. I revise quite slow, though!

  5. Great words indeed! I love how he refers to the music of the language. I feel like that sometimes, words have rhythm and they make joyful music when put together in the right order.

    Thanks so much for this post!

  6. Very inspirational. I'd like to be able to write 30 pages one night.

  7. That was a beautiful quote. I feel that passionately about my need for creating a story, but can't yet express it so eloquently. On my best day, I wrote about 15 pages. I wish I could have the ideas flow out of me so fast...and still be readable. Haha. Thanks for the inspiration!

  8. Thanks for sharing this! I needed it. ^_^

  9. Man! Got to the end and then felt chills! Loved this quote. I love anything that inspires me to go write.

  10. AWESOME!
    WOW - that is so powerful! LOVE IT!

  11. I am totally in my happy place after reading this. Awesome-sauce.

  12. L.G. - Isn't it great when things flow like that?

    Alex - Of course. ;)

    Chris - "Finding the time and quiet spot." Amen! I hear ya. It's so tricky to do that.

    Christine - Ooh, I haven't read her Coldfire trilogy. I'll have to check it out.

    Gina - You are so right about the music of language. I love it when the words seem to "sing."

    Cynthia - Ha! Me too. :)

    Michael - I'd say you're on track, with a great novel published and all!

    Jackie - So glad it gave you a needed boost.

    Ashley - That's how I felt when I first read it, too!

    Leigh - Thanks!

    Leslie - Glad you liked it!