Today is exactly one year since I posted my first blog entry. When I first started, I had a vague idea of what I wanted to share with the world. Some of it survived the first year, while other ideas died a rapid death (earworm interpretation, ring any bells?). It’s funny how this year can feel like it lasted a lifetime and also as though it passed in the blink of an eye. So much happened in my life. The biggest thing, of course, being the passing of my mother in May. I lived with her for 13 years and was her full-time caregiver.
Losing her was a profound loss for me and adjusting to living alone for the first time in my life has been extremely hard and will continue to be a challenge moving forward into 2019. I’ve been so thankful to have my blog. It has been a place where I can go and be creative or write about what is going on in my life. I feel safe here, and that’s a beautiful sense to have. This blog has made me stop and take time to look at the world in ways I probably wouldn’t have if I weren’t in a more creative frame of mind. The poems I’ve written this year, I feel, have been some of my best work and I’ve been proud to post them here for you to read. That’s one of the biggest things I learned in my first year as a blogger. When I first started, my goal was to post something every day. I quickly realized that when I tried to post something I wasn’t proud of I felt like I am giving my audience the respect you deserved. Posting something every day isn’t what’s important. What is essential is being patient with myself and creating something I can be proud of.
This year will hold even more changes for me. I’m actively looking for transcription jobs to help support myself while turning my attention more towards writing stories, poems, and books for publication. I want to share my creativity on a broader stage and hopefully gain more followers here as well. I’m so excited to see where this journey takes me this next year, and I look forward to sharing it with all of you.
I have a confession to make. The past couple of weeks I’ve been feeling somewhat schizophrenic. That isn’t to make light of the condition; it’s merely how I feel. I have three stories kicking around in my brain, and the characters that are exploding into consciousness are all talking to me at once: the old man who is eagerly anticipating a long overdue meeting, an artist being plagued by a dream, and another man searching for something lost many years ago. I find myself wondering if other authors are ever faced with the same situation. Does anyone else find themselves juggling several stories at once within their minds? How do you handle it? Do you try to write all the stories at the same time, like I’m struggling to do, or do you tackle them one at a time start to finish and then move on? Not that I’m complaining, it is a beautiful situation that I find myself in. I feel like every waking moment; I’m creating something new and different. I can feel my imagination stretching in new ways, and I relish every second of it. If this is what it is like to be a writer, I’m never going back.
Well, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is over for another year. In the beginning, the thought of writing 50,000 words in one month was daunting, as it always is. But I stuck with it and started over several times, keeping the older drafts to keep my numbers up, and I ended up with over 51,000 words by last night. The first time I started over because I could feel my story going off into a ditch I knew I couldn’t get out of. So, I reassessed and changed that position that the story was told and began again. I was barreling along at a pretty good clip and excited about the new direction. I had gotten rid of some story plotlines that didn’t really work once I put them into motion. I brought other characters that had been minor, forward slightly because they wanted to be heard more. Then on Tuesday, I was driving home from an appointment when an idea occurred to me. An idea that meant starting over for the third time. An idea that will probably turn my book idea into a longer short story but it was so exciting it wouldn’t leave my mind. So, even though NaNoWriMo is over for another year, I’m definitely sticking with this story because I think if I work with it more it’s going to turn into something quite magical and different than anything I’ve ever written before, and that for me is the most exciting thing of all.
So, I’ve written 40,000 words so far on my project. I’ve actually started over once but kept what I had written before in case I wanted to save something from it in the future. Through the process of writing this, my story has taught me several things. The first being it doesn’t want the flood that I thought was going to be such a huge storyline. So, the bridge never breaks. The main character is going to be far more mentally unstable then I initially thought she’d be, this surprised me a great deal. And finally the story is going to be told through the perspective of different characters. I’m loving this process of writing this book because of the way the plot is finding directions to go in that I never expected. Does that sound weird? Do any of you sit down to write something with a course in mind only to have the project decide it wants to be something different?
“If you’re willing.” This is how my neighbor, who assaulted me in September, began his email to me saying he is interested in doing snow removal for me this winter. Just the fact that he sent the email in the first place set my teeth on edge but the way he began it just pushed me over the edge. It made me think he was implying that I had caused the trouble between us and not his never-ending unwanted advances towards me. It’s been two months since I had any contact with him and this missive from him just showed how much he didn’t understand what he had done to me. The extra anxiety I’ve felt at night when everything is dark and my dog is barking as if he’s seen or heard something. The going over everything time and again to make sure I didn’t send any mixed signals to him. I didn’t; by the way, I was always set in my stance on not wanting anything romantic from him. I took a night to decide what to say in response and decided upon this opening sentence.
“What I’m not willing to do is allow the man who assaulted me back into my life in any capacity.”
I thought it was succinct and very to the point. I sent it and haven’t heard anything back, so maybe my neighbor has crawled back under his rock again. I hope this is the end of this nightmare but somehow I feel like that as long as we live across from each other, I will always have to stay on my toes.
Happy first day of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)! Today I take the hand of my main character and let her guide me through her story. I have a basic idea of where the path will lead but have no clue where it will end up and that is part of the excitement of NaNoWriMo. Taking that first step on a journey of imagination and creation and seeing where it takes me.
Today I started taking the numerous story ideas I have in my head and bringing them into the real world. I bought a three-ring binder and some lined paper and am writing down my thoughts and relevant notes about them. The plan is to have each story be a section in the binder with a hard copy of the finished piece, lists of where I’ve submitted them, and other information. I just had a question I was curious about. How do you organize your stories? Are they all on computers or do you like having hard copies as I do? Also, if any of you have other ideas about my binder system you think might help me and would like to share them, it would be much appreciated. I feel like I have jumped two-footed into this whole writing adventure and am trying to stay as organized as I can.