When Alice Walker was the editor of Ms. Magazine in New York, she began to feel there were characters inside her who needed to talk to her. But they refused to open up to her in New York. “‘What is all this tall shit anyway,’ they would say.” So Walker took a leave from her job and found a rustic cabin in Northern California. She sat and waited. Walker said there were “days and weeks and even months when nothing happened.” But eventually the characters began to visit her. They would sit down across the table from her and talk. She wrote down their stories, and these became the novel The Color Purple.
Never underestimate the power of sitting and waiting.
Post by Cathy MacLean, TWS 2012.
Information and quotations from “Writing the Color Purple,” in Delighting the Heart (1989; Susan Sellers, ed.)
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.