Writers write to figure things out, whether that be a plot pestering them like a swarm of summertime mosquitoes, or a personal glitch that is eating away at their spirit. If they don’t map it out with words, that energy manifests in an array of negative ways. I believe the confirmation that one is in fact a writer, comes from experiencing and accepting the neuroses one suffers when she doesn’t write.
When I first began blogging, I posted nearly every day for a year. My brain and my fingers were on fire. I equated writing with being in the midst of a heated love affair. I could whip out a completed post within a two hour nap period, and I was beyond frustrated if I didn’t. I felt like I had so much to say, about everything. I easily captured my reactions to life around me and shaped them in to words with a fury.
My circumstances have changed. I am no longer in a position to have a block of time (nap time) available to me to write, nor do I have a desire to write about every idea that catches my attention. I’m back to working full time and I just feel like I have less to say. It’s different now. The high has faded. But that isn’t such a bad thing.
For the past few weeks, I’ve been coming down pretty hard on myself, because I can’t seem to finish a single post I start. I started feeling down and defeated. And then…Boom! Life turned the volume up and the whispers became full blown shouting. The question, or answer rather, became clear–Why am I punishing myself for something I don’t have to do in the first place? I realized that I can’t finish anything I start because I’m not really vested in what it is I am trying to say. It’s not that I don’t want to write. I just needed to reassess why I write and what it is that I want to write about.
Ever since I wrote A Borrowed Identity, the main character Alice has been my mosquito. I daydream about her and something is nagging at me to tell her story–who she was before she left her family, and what happened after. I don’t know where this new pull will lead me, but I know I can’t pretend that it isn’t there.
I’ve stalled long enough. Enough with the excuses and self doubt. It’s time to crawl out of my comfort zone (once again!) and let this story brewing inside my big beautiful brain come to life. I owe it to Alice and I owe it to myself.
I’ve accomplished something that I didn’t even realize I was reaching for when I started this blog–confidence. I know now that writing is more than just something I’m pretty good at. It’s my gift. More than the actual art of writing, I feel that the real gift has been learning to channel my journey through the pen. It’s my way of sending humor and truth and compassion out in to the universe that benefits not only myself, but others as well.
But there is more to this. There is more to writing than using it as a therapeutic tool for self investigation and reflecting with humor. My imagination is trumping all else lately. I’m seeing plots and twists and turns everywhere I look. When I lie down to sleep or begin my almost hour long commute home from work, these ideas are colliding. It’s time for me to start putting pen to paper and focus on where this story is trying to take me. My lifelong love of reading, journaling, and eventually blogging…it’s all led me here.
I am going to write a book. There…I said it out loud. Instead of my usual “some day” answer, I’m going to put one letter in front of another and start bringing the pages of Alice’s story to life. This blog will continue to be an outlet for me to write about sometimes funny, sometimes deep thoughts, but my focus has changed. My priority will be sorting out the story that is holding my imagination hostage, and completing the Trigger Points anthology that Joyelle and I have dumped our hearts and souls in to creating.
This is all very scary to me, but a good kind of scary. I mean I have absolutely no idea what I am doing, but I’m ok with that. It’s exciting. I just keep reminding myself that getting started is the hardest part, and I’m finally ready to take that step. I champion the idea of doing what scares you. It’s time to practice what I preach.
It’s time for me to just take a deep breathe, permit my imagination to take over…and write.
8 thoughts on “Time to Practice What I Preach.”
No pressure, you are a great writer. I’m sure once you get started those fingers will be a’flyin across the keyboard!
Thanks so much. I can’t wait to really dive in. I have little notes all over the place and scattered thoughts floating around in my head. It will be a lot of work pulling it all together but it’s so very exciting. Now ask me how excited I am in a few months! lol Thanks for the encouragement, Vic. 😉
I believe in you. You are an incredible writer, Dawn, and I’m excited for you. I do the same thing…some day, one of these days, when I have time….excuses are BS, aren’t they? I’ve really been wrestling with this same thing the past couple of weeks, maybe longer. You may have just given me the push I need.
I can’t wait to meet Alice.
I can’t wait to meet Alice either! lol Truth is…she is based off of my own mother and the sordid life she led due to untreated bipolar disorder. Alice is not her, but when I wrote A Borrowed Identity, she was definitely the inspiration for the character, as she did leave her family numerous times. I have seen quite a few bloggers post their own version of my post lately. It seems to be a place we all come to eventually…for some anyway. At first it felt like failure but I so easily get dragged down by that familiar feeling that I HAD to change my perspective. And here I am…with no clue how to pull off a novel but the desire to at least try. Go for it…you have so much story inside you…let it take you where ever it wants to go. I will be your biggest cheerleader Sandy because I know you have the talent and so much heart and soul to pull from. I definitely was inspired by some of your fellow sisterwives as well. Seeing the light in Beth’s and Mandi’s eyes as they are presenting their books (their babies!) to the world is incredibly inspiring and motivating.
You can do it!! I believe in you, Dawn. You’re an incredible talent and a WRITER. This novel will happen. I know it.
Thank you so much, Beth. Truly, that means a lot. I’m not sure if you read my response to Sandy’s comment but following you and Mandi on your recent book release journeys has been a huge inspiration and the push that I needed. So thank you!
This is awesome! I have thought about taking this path, took, on occasion. Best of luck to you!
Thanks, Jessica. I’ve spent so much time thinking about this. Time to stop thinking and start doing! lol 😉