I try to stay open to signs from the Universe about what I should be writing next. Sometimes, the messages are easily explained as my subconscious picking up on things in my environment, and saying, “Please? May we please play with this story now?” This phenomenon is currently manifesting as me noticing motorcycles. The particular type I walk past at least once a week happens to have the same design as the hero’s motorcycle in my current full-length novel project. I can’t even call this a coincidence. It’s summer. People are riding motorcycles more often.
But then there are the things that are more difficult to explain.
A few years ago, I bought a tablet to help with my writing. The store didn’t have a purple cover available for it (the horror!), so I went with a pretty lime green. A few weeks later, a friend gave me a birthday present in a plain bag that was exactly the same color. I paused, and said, “Whatever is in that bag is important.”
Inside the bag was a heavily decorated box that held little sheets of paper printed with an elaborate Victorian design along with a journal covered in pictures of Paris. The box had the letter “D” on it, for which my friend apologized since it didn’t match my initials, but she said it made her think of me for some reason. This friend was helping me learn Mandarin and usually gave me gifts matching that interest. She said, “I just had a feeling that I needed to get this journal instead.”
She had no idea that the story I was playing around with at that time held its roots in France, that the hero’s first initial was ‘D’, and that the box with those sheets of paper looked like something he would absolutely have sitting on his desk. I had no intention of turning that story into a novel until her birthday present slapped me in the face and said, “Get serious about this. You’re onto something.”
That box of little papers sat next to me the entire time I was writing the book and I used the journal for my notes on the project. In the darkest moment, when I was thinking about walking away from the story, that same friend emailed me out of the blue with an uplifting message that kept me going. “I saw this article and thought of you…” (I’ve said it before, and I’ll keep saying it: Thank you, S!).
More recently, at the exact moment I was thinking, “I don’t want to work on x project [with the motorcycle] right now,” I drove past the heroine’s van. This is not a common vehicle. This is not something that can be attributed to the weather or my subconscious. I was on a sleepy side street quite by happenstance, and there it was. A beat-up VW van from the sixties whose sides were more rust than paint.
I rarely see these VW vans anymore. I have never seen one in such crappy condition (no offense to the owners). It was absolutely perfect, as if the heroine had driven out of my imagination and parked it right there for me to see. I had been ignoring the little things pointing me to this story, the voice of intuition telling me there is even a market for it once it’s polished. But this? This I couldn’t ignore.
The Universe is talking to me in ALL CAPS. When that happens, it is imperative that I stop, listen, and get to writing.
Have you ever noticed signs pointing you to write a particular story? Tell me about it in the comments!