I decided I wanted to be an author some time ago. A grade school thing being swept away by the story in the books. A high school thing with LARPS and characters that didn’t leave me alone. A college thing escaping back into the stories and trying to escape the next big assignment for a moment of peace and sanity. A moving out from my parents house with my boyfriend and I having a really crappy job this is the only hope I have thing. A maybe I can’t do this right now and should wait until I’m older thing. A maybe waiting until I am that old is too old thing. A maybe when I have kids and am a stay at home mom and have time thing. A maybe that is even too late and perhaps a little unrealistic in the time department thing. A not on this desk top because it is clunky and uncomfortable thing. A maybe once I get that shinny laptop (MACBOOK) I will have the necessary tools thing. A really if this what I am going to do with my life get serious find a writing group thing. A found NANOWRIMO thing and realized that my writing is a clunky mess and the only way out of it is practice. A get invited to a writing group and realizing that keeping up a NaNoWriMo pace is hard and unrealistic and only really doable consistently if unemployed and better left for a one month drama thing. A realizing that if I want to be a writer I am going to have to face that word I like to avoid: Priorities, figure them out and go for it. A time management instead of waiting on the muse thing. A little everyday rather than large chunks thing. A some days it won’t flow and others it will and some days I will feel brilliant and others like I am slogging through muck thing. A knowing that this is going to be difficult, knowing that it is going to be challenging, knowing that I need much more practice, knowing that I am building my tool box, knowing that it is going to a long road with little pay off, knowing that I still don’t know enough but have hope that I will one day or continue to pursue the challenge thing
Writing is a lot of things at once. It is realizing that waiting on the perfect timing is silly and that tomorrow won’t be today’s story, and that now is what is really important. It is realizing that it’s not going to be an overnight success. It is realizing that I have years ahead of me and that while I would love to weave that masterpiece and I see it in my head as such, when those words reach the paper they have a lot of refining to go yet.
I started sewing when I was 16 for Amtgard. I made a red velvet cape with a mock satin lining. Beautiful material. The sewing itself was clunky. I still have it. I look at it and see the ways of improving it. How I might have done it better. How if I had followed the instructions perfectly instead of jumping about and assuming my way would be better and how it too would be different and cleaner looking maybe. Also realizing that where I did follow the instructions I didn’t have the skills to execute them properly at the time. Trying to fix it with my own set of skills and still not being completely satisfied by it. Realizing that I still had a long drive ahead of me to be where I saw myself with my sewing. I have since learnt much about sewing. But it has been years in the process. What works for me and what doesn’t. How I work as a sewer and how I don’t. How other people work as sewers and how maybe their way isn’t my way. And knowing that I still don’t know it all, but am much better from where I started.
Writing is like sewing. The first book is going to be clunky, but I know that deep down it gets better. I might try fixing it, and it won’t work, and so I will leave it as it is and move on resigned. But I will pull it out and brush my hand over it and be proud of the finished mess it is because it is finished and I did it, and getting that first thing finished is a big enough challenge in itself and realizing that while it is not perfect I am still proud of it because it is a benchmark of my beginnings and where I will end up one day. I will be proud of it and so will my family. It might just be the material that I am working with that makes it so shinny, and that is fine too. But somewhere down the line I am going to master the stitches and pull my words together and the dialogue is going to flow, and it might not be perfect yet, and it might never be, but I can do this if I persevere and put the time in.
Writing is so many things in my life. The idea of it has kept me strong. When I have a bad day or the world is bothering me my therapy is a book. I curl into it and let myself get lost. I ride the waves of emotion it evokes and let myself be consumed by those rather than my own feelings I am avoiding. Writing is like reading except I am taking charge and am at the forefront of an exploration party of one exploring the great unknown. Some days I will want to take it safe but realize that safe is not progress. So I will throw my characters into the fire and be proud of myself as an author for being able to do that. I am a person who likes to avoid conflict, but also know that conflict and personal growth are what are so compelling to readers. So I will strive for that too, and face my own demons in my writing. Writing and reading, they are my therapy. They are my focus, my path, my unexplored jungle. I can do this, I will fall, but I will get up again and keep going. It will not be easy, but it will be growth. It will take time, and I will get frustrated and impatient, and then I will find my resolve and keep going. I will cry and sob and some days I will squee and laugh. I will doubt, and some days I will soar.
Writing is life.
Life is writing.