Charlotte Bronte describes the spirit of writing when it flows. This happens to me occasionally, and I’ve noticed you can’t wait for it before writing. It comes of its own volition but only once you start.

It also makes you wonder if writers are as much scribes as creators – sometimes the story writes itself because it will be told.

‘When authors write best, or at least, when they write most fluently, an influence seems to waken in them which becomes their master, which will have its own way, putting out of view all behests but its own, dictating certain words, and insisting on their being used, whether vehement or measured in their nature; new moulding characters, giving unthought-of turns to incidents, rejecting carefully elaborated old ideas, and suddenly creating and adopting new ones. Is it not so? And should we try to counteract this influence? Can we indeed counteract it?’


Source: Letter to G.H. Lewes, 12 January 1848, Charlotte Bronte Selected Letters, ed. Margaret Smith (Oxford World Classics, 2007), p. 98

Photo credit: picjumbo_com at


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest