I have been working on a tween girls novel for a while now. When I first started writing in 2011, the words just flowed and pretty quickly I developed a rough draft of about 300 words. There were holes in the story to be sure, but I was headed in a good direction. I worked hard to not be my own snarky editor and I just let the words tumble onto the paper. Sometimes I’d sit back and read what I wrote and think “that’s darn good, where did that come from?” And then I’d write some more. It was glorious! I was not striving for great, world-changing literature, I just wanted to tell the story that I didn’t know was there.
After my initial burst of writing, I became distracted (on purpose, you might ask?)….I started studying to complete a 30-years-in-the-waiting Master’s degree, work got busy, my son was older and he was involved in more sports, we moved to a new house, blah, blah, blah.
Meanwhile, I convinced myself that I was working on my story in my head. I did a bit of research, I created an official story board, I joined a writing group (that promptly folded). I had the 300 pages printed at Staples, I arranged them neatly in a binder, including tabs, a table of contents, a complete outline AND an index of story elements chapter by chapter. Then I created a paper piecing quilt block pattern to use as an inspirational wall-hanging to encourage my future self to actually write. Can you believe the book and the wall hanging both remain undone?
I keep telling myself that this is where the real writers and authors are made. Many, many people have 300 page unfinished manuscripts that are in deep storage on their computers and in their attics. The real authors push through the stalemate and finish.
It’s a quiet time at work. I have a creative space at home. I have hours in the morning and in the evening when I create. I need to finish this book…just as soon as I finish the final book of the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. I think I’m on book 6 or 7 and I understand that there are 9. Each book is more than 1,000 pages. Go Diana.
Recently, the universe has been reminding me in subtle and not so sneaky ways that time is ticking. The writing habit can only be a habit if one actually makes time to write and then writes, no matter what. Wish me luck.