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  • From Enjoyment to the Divine: Why Michelle Cox Writes
This blog was featured on 04/25/2018
From Enjoyment to the Divine: Why Michelle Cox Writes
Contributor
Written by
She Writes
April 2018
Contributor
Written by
She Writes
April 2018

Michelle Cox holds a BA in English literature from Mundelein College, Chicago, and is the author of the award-winning Henrietta and Inspector Howard series. Book three of the series, A Promise Given, is available now with She Writes Press. Cox is also known for her charmingly popular Novel Notes of Local Lore, a blog dedicated to Chicago’s forgotten residents. She lives with her husband and three children in the Chicago suburbs.

Writing to Travel through Time

People often ask me why I write. 

As an author of historical fiction, it’s tempting to say that I write as a way of traveling back in time.  I’m convinced, you see, that I was born in the wrong era, and writing is the only thing I’ve found, given the lack of time machines lying around, to get myself back there.  Surrounding oneself with antiques, reading Victorian novels or watching period dramas all do their part in inching the needle backwards, but there is nothing like creating my own world populated with living, breathing characters to really transport me.  And it’s icing on the cake when readers claim to be transported, too.  It’s the highest compliment I can get, actually. 

So that’s part of the answer of why I write, but it’s not the whole thing.  I’ve been doing this writing thing now, pretty much day in and day out, for roughly five years, and while traveling back in time to the 1930’s is wonderfully fun, it’s not enough of a draw after a while to get up every day at five am to keep at it.  There has to be something more to it.   

Creation

The real reason I write, I think, has something to do with creating itself.  The act of creating something out of nothing, I’ve come to discover, is a joyful one and nothing short of miraculous, whether the result of that act is a child or a book or a garden, or something else entirely. 

Creating requires you to reach down into some deeper source, a place of communion with something which, regardless of your beliefs, can only be called the Divine. And this hovering near the Divine—this co-mingling with it, in fact—is all at once beautiful and terrifying and addictive.  It’s a bit like love, really.  Or maybe it is love. 

I’ve always been a creative person.  Looking back, I can see so many ways that it was finding its way out of me, sometimes bursting out spectacularly, sometimes merely oozing.  But it was always there.  It’s found a home now in the form of writing, turning all systems to go, transporting me past the past to a place of even deeper joy, the place from which it begins.     

This is the real reason I write and why, now that I’ve begun, I can’t possibly stop.

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