The Voices of Inspiration

Danny Sullivan
Aug 23, 2013 · 1 min read

I’m not a great fiction writer. Tried it in college, but the characters never came. The character voices, that is.

I’ve heard many fiction writers speak and talk about their craft. They often seem to hear their characters, the stories unfolding in their heads.

Rich universes, from out of nowhere. A muse? However it happens, I just never hear those voices.

It’s depressing, on the one hand. I love to read. I love enjoying exploring a new world through print. But to create one? I fear that’s never for me.

But the other day, a revelation. I realized I do hear voices, that I can seemingly magically have the words just appear in my head.

It’s just for non-fiction. I’ll be thinking about some development, some news event, something I’m covering — and there it is. My headline. My lead. The entire story just pouring into my head.

Often, this happens before I fall asleep. Well, it’ll keep me awake. Then I’ll wake, and where did the words go! Fortunately, many of them come back to me.

Maybe one day, I’ll hear the fiction voices. That would be nice. If not, at least I’ll enjoy the fiction. And a part of me feels better that even if there’s no fiction muse that I hear, I can hear a voice of inspiration, just in another way.

    Danny Sullivan

    Written by

    Google’s public liaison for search: helping people better understand search & Google better hear public feedback.

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