First off–I think I drank my weight in coffee today. @_@ You remember that whole ‘writerly image’ I talked about? Yeah, well, it’s probably going to kill me… or at least my stomach lining. Urp. I just kept drinking, and they just kept refilling my cup. The whole table was littered with empty creamer cartons and packets of sweet’n’low. I don’t even want to think about it, or the coffee is going to be making a return visit. No self control, I tell you. =x= Urgh.
BUT THAT IS A PROBLEM FOR A DIFFERENT DAY.
This post, which I intended to put up earlier but forgot that where I was writing didn’t have wifi, is to talk about how, so far, I’ve been doing great.
Better than great–I’ve been killing it. And feeling good doing it. Which is, honestly, a first for me.
I know this might sound terrible, or blasphemous, or whatever, but I didn’t always plan on being a writer. I DID grow up inventing stories, writing out plays that I forced my sister and cousins to perform, and generally devouring all reading materials I could get my hands on, but never in that time did I think, yeah, this is what I’m meant to do. It was just fun, and everybody knows you can’t make a career out of doing something FUN… right?
Then, sometime in high school, I’m not even really sure WHEN, I discovered writing again. Writing for its own sake, writing to create stories, not just the writing you do to make it through school. Until that point I had dabbled in fanfiction sprung from an anime/manga obsession, but HS was when I started coming up with my own stories. Writing still didn’t seem like it could be the GOAL, but I realized that I could try to work as closely to it as possible–hence going to college with the aim of becoming an Editor.
College is where I really started to trust my instincts, although it was a long an arduous road. I still didn’t seem to have the will to FINISH anything, at least nothing more complicated than a short story for class. But the response was a good one, and, surrounded by like-minded people and a creative vibe, I saw myself more as a writer–and the writer I could be. And I wanted it more and more.
Obviously that dream finally came to fruition recently, as you all know. I finished Life of Gaia, and I truly believe it was a turning point for me. Until then, any dreams I had of being a writer were blocked by my mental uncertainties, the idea that I couldn’t even begin to hope to be a writer unless I could actually FINISH a project. So I finished one, and those mental blocks came crumbling down in the wake of my success.
I actually did it.
The world was my oyster.
So lately I’ve noticed a HUGE difference in my approach to my writing. Before, I used to have to bully myself into sitting down to write. Every session was a struggle–not the writing itself, but the finding time. Although I had nothing but free time CONSTANTLY, writing was the last thing I ever seemed to want to do. And I think it’s because I was scared. Scared that it would be bad, scared I would never finish, scared the ONE DREAM I ever wanted to accomplish was just something out of my reach. Although the act of writing was something I enjoyed immensely, it never seemed to happen. Maybe I was even afraid that if I wrote too much, it would turn out to be like the tae-kwon-do lessons, or the gymnastics, or the soccer, or any of the other billions of things I’d tried in my life–not for me. Then where would I be?
A person without a dream, afloat on a sea of having no idea what I wanted to do with my life.
But finishing LoG has changed EVERYTHING. I found my discipline. I found my passion. I found myself WANTING to write; looking forward to it on my days off like a kid waiting for Christmas. I still feel that way. I wake up on time, sometimes EARLY, on days that I know I’m going out to write. Although I still waste a little bit of time on social media, I’ve gotten LOADS of work done the past few weeks; much more than I ever did before. I don’t have a giant lead on Nanowrimo, like I have some years, but I am doggedly keeping up with my word count in a way that makes me think I could actually finish it this time. After all, whats the point of having 25k on day 3 when you don’t write a single thing the rest of the month?
Part of that is the discovery of the beautiful, wonderful, arduous insanity that is editing. I thought I would hate editing, but we have formed a tentative relationship. I’d never really EDITED anything before, having never gotten far enough that it really mattered. But editing post-book has taught me an important lesson: write anything you want the first go-around, because it’s ALL GOING TO CHANGE LATER ANYWAY. I was so focused on perfection before that it held me back creatively.
But perfection is for the 6th or 7th draft. Horrific, spur-of-the-moment, seat-of-your-pants craziness is for the 1st. 🙂
So I think I have entered the first Golden Age of my writing. I have a routine that seems to be working, built around a job that I have because I can’t, as yet, support myself on my writing alone. But the two are co-existing well enough, and I’m on my way to having a physical book, THAT I WROTE, in my hands.
And you know what? It feels just right. 🙂