For the past two weeks I have posted very little here. I have however written a great bit. Now for the frustration part.
I have put my baby on the back-burner!
gasp My pet project, the spark of an idea that blossomed into a full-blown story. The sole reason I decided to take up the challenge of writing. The tale that I want…… no I need the world to hear….has been shelved!
Why would I commit such a blasphemous action? Did my baby shit the bath water and I threw the entire mess into an unforgiving ocean of emptiness?
Not exactly. Actually I think I grew up some. I reached a point where I felt my skills were not honed enough to be able to properly tell the tale I wanted to. Thus far, I shifted from third person limited, to first person, back to third. I rearranged chapters and completely flipped some sections in a chapter. I created hooks, deleted lazy flashback scenes, and developed characters until they felt real. I have poured blood and sweat into this story. I have banged my head against walls, picked up the laptop and threatened to hurl it like a discus across the yard. A few days, I admit, I wanted to quit, I was ready to accept defeat. I thought I was insane for thinking I could write a book. I doubted my audience even cared. I wished to drift back into a world that would be thankfully silent at my surrender.
I didn’t quit. I trudged onward. Through the muck of confused lost plotlines and the mire of bland supporting characters. I waded through misery until I saw hope again. With a renewed vigor I tore back into my pet project. I cared for my baby again. I nurtured my child, hoping to be the good parent that raises a success story.
One realistic step back, I saw my fledgling. I saw the direction it was taking…..and I didn’t like it. I still had hope but I was unhappy with the course of growth we were on. Unlike real parenting I was able to hit the pause button.
After a few days of introspection I decided that even though I needed to write this book and the world needed to read this book, I wasn’t ready to write it. I needed practice. I needed another outlet to experiment this craft of literature.
So, I pulled out this wrinkled notebook. It is full of half-started stories, ideas, doodles, a few sketches, and generally a version of my brain on paper. And boy howdy it was a mess. But it is supposed to be a mess. I began digging through there, looking for inspiration and found a few gems. I polished a few only to the luster of the gemstone rubbed off and it was merely a generic rock. Casting those back into the magical notepad I found others. I found a few that I liked. I found one that I loved.
For a few days I pondered this new story. I worked through it in my head before ever writing a word. Then I sat down to do some outlining. Hours passed by quickly. I had a great idea of where it was headed. So I began writing like a monkey on crystal meth. Unlike my baby, my world-changing novel, I was actually enjoying writing. I didn’t feel a compulsion to get everything exactly right. It was relaxing. It was fun!
As I said earlier, my original idea is only on temporary hold. For now it is time to enjoy crafting stories again. What have I learned? It isn’t a bad thing to realize I am not ready but it is bad to quit. The side projects that used to distract me have instead rejuvenated my desire to be an author. Inspiration can come from defeat. I talk too much. Those are the things I have learned.