How-to,  On Writing

How to Start Writing Your Life Story #2

#2 of 5

In my last post I talked about finding the right motivation to write your story. In this post, I will talk about the next thing you need to start writing. You need to find your

museThink of a person who you want to help. You know your story will help this person. Imagine their face in your mind. This person is your muse.

Let your love for this person grow in your heart as you try your best to help them by telling them your story. Your muse may not be in the forefront of your mind as you are writing, but rather when you are not writing. So when you are driving your car on the freeway and you are imagining that one big scene that you have to get to, or when you are in the shower and you remember a juicy detail about that one vacation, or when you are sitting at dinner wondering if you will have time to write before you get to bed—that’s when your muse’s face needs to come to the forefront of your mind. That is when your love for that person will motivate you to sit down at the computer and type.

Do you remember the film 127 Hours with James Franco? The real guy, Aron Ralston, was hiking by himself in an isolated canyon in Utah when a boulder crashed down and trapped his arm. He miraculously survived because he cut off his own arm with a blunt pocketknife. Before the film came out, Ralston wrote a book about his experience, Between a Rock and a Hard Place. He had a muse. His muse was a vision of his son (he wasn’t even married yet). He believes God gave him this vision while he was trapped in the canyon. The vision of his son running toward him not only reassured him that he would get out alive, but also became a muse to help him share his story, his testimony, with the world. Eventually, his story became 127 Hours, which had six Oscar nominations.

Maybe you survived through some difficult trial that totally changed your life. Maybe you know what it’s like to be a child of divorce. Maybe you grew up without your mom or dad in your life. Maybe you have had success despite unlikely circumstances. We need to hear your stories. We want to read your stories. Do you have a muse—maybe someone younger than you who is going through a similar time in life?

My muses were my high school girls at church. I have mentored high school girls for years, and their similar experiences with dating and searching for true love motivated me to write my story so they could know that God would be faithful in their lives as they followed Jesus.

The truth is that if you have a good muse, you can write your story for that one person and it won’t matter if anyone else in the world reads or likes your book. Not that you don’t want anyone else to read it—but it just puts your heart in the right place so you can do your best work.

Who is your muse?

Chelsea Rotunno is the author of Goodnight to My Thoughts of You, a novel about life as a Christian teen searching for true love.

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