I always write about the things that haunt me, the questions I have. —Caroline Leavitt

I love ghost stories. This season makes it clear that we all love to be a little frightened sometimes. But I also think that there’s something about ghosts, those filmy, dreamy remnants from the past that still haunt our present that’s beautifully metaphorical.

So much of life is a haunting. We feel the tendrils of our past clinging to us as we navigate our lives.  Memories exist on another plane but travel with us, influencing the way we see and experience.

Storytelling is placing moments on a page, which is another kind of haunting—an image or idea that travels from one mind to another. It’s the way we leave traces of ourselves behind. Even in fiction, the story is a diaphanous image of our spirit.

Tomorrow is the first day of National Novel Writing Month. I won’t be participating in the official challenge, but I will be celebrating by writing every single day.

If you feel a little frightened to jump into a month-long commitment to writing, I urge you to face your fear. Make a commitment to writing that feels comfortable to you (perhaps give yourself a Mulligan Day or even a few), but do make that commitment.

Your spirit wants to be released onto the page. Don’t be afraid to let it go.