The Day I Stop Writing

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We’ll all stop writing someday. We may choose it, or we may be forced, but we’ll all do it.

I don’t know what will stop me from writing. Maybe a car accident or an illness? Hopefully, nothing more tragic than old age.

Those who loved me will shed tears, my spirit, I believe, will go back to God who gave it, and the world will go dark for me. It will take time for people to get back to normal, to move on, to feel better. There may be nights of crying for some, but in time, they’ll carry on and everyone will be okay. At least, I hope that’s the case.

My characters, though. What about them? What about their story? When faced with death, it might sound silly to some that a story would be of any concern. But I think it’s a concern for a good number of writers.

“If I die, don’t abandon the story! Don’t leave it! It deserves to live without me!”

Am I right?

Stories and characters on the page, or those I shared and put into the memory of others, will continue their lives without my assistance. Held in the hands of readers who love them, they have all they need. Faithless little critters, those characters, once they’re on the page. ;o)

But when my mind goes black, so do the stories in it. The little stories of faith, hope, love, courage, terror, fear, and suffering will shrivel up with my brain. The light of their life will be snuffed out with the light in my eyes.

And that’s okay.

They’ll find someone else. Humanity has a way of discovering the same characters and stories over and over, and while my voice may be gone, the characters will still find a voice to speak for them.

It’s never really over for a story. Writers are servants to the art, not masters. Though we can become masters of this particular type of service, I think. Writers are a unit, and when one is lost, the body of writers carries on, still searching for the same thing: The spark of life in a character, the mold of suffering, the sweet and spicy of love, the strength or weakness of the hero or heroine, the evil (and good) of the antagonist, and, above all, the right words.

The day I stop writing, the story continues, because the story was never about me. But I’ll always consider it a great honor to have served with you.

Sarah Joy Green-Hart

Photo by Devin Avery on Unsplash

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3 comments

  1. The other day a friend told me to slow down and, “leave some for the rest of us to write!”
    I thought for a moment, and shook my head. “I can’t, I can’t stop writing. I’ll never stop writing. I’ll be writing up until the moment the Big Guy calls me home and I’m fairly certain the first thing I’ll say to Saint Peter is ‘where’s the keyboard? I need a pen and paper!'”

    My greatest fear in life has always been that I’ll be called home before I’ve written my stories. But I like your theory; that the stories, the characters, the spark of light trapped inside me that I’m striving so desperately to write into existence, will find someone else if it needs to.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I actually wrote a short story with this sort of idea in mind. A writer is dying and goes to give her favorite character a happy ending, but he vows that he won’t let her die. She does die, of course, but he gets to her daughter later . . . and the daughter finishes her mother’s book by sending him into the afterlife to find her. 😉
      My be one of my favorite ideas ever.

      Like

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