1221 words written. 1 entire chapter thrown out. All that equals 1 very, very happy writer.
Odd I know.
I read a blog today about writing and it said “the story chooses us.” My current WIP is Lucifer’s Angel. It started from a dream I had about 10 years ago. I wrote the dream down because it was one that woke me up in the middle of the night fighting an imaginary demon. A few months later, my thoughts drifted back to the dream. I built these characters around the dream and wrote about 100 or so pages and then quit writing it. I let someone in my life lead me down a path of disbelief in my own talent and in my own strength. I let them tell me my writing was shit and that I should give it up. This person was the complete opposite of my parents who let me take a year off of work to write. I was naive at the time about the publishing world. I just thought if I wrote something brilliant, I’d be published. I wrote. It wasn’t brilliant, and I wasn’t published.
So while Lucifer’s Angel always sat by my side as I started and stopped various stories, it was always there like a trusty crutch. It was my baby that I could go to and work on. It’s been reincarnated at least a dozen times. Characters have left and come back. I’ve started from scratch countless times, scrapped hundreds of pages, and deleted scene after scene.
Then one night while listening to NPR a name slithered from the speakers and into my ears. It landed in the middle of my brain and sat, smiling at me with a mischievous grin. My secondary character had been born. He was everything I needed to compliment my main character. The stars had aligned and my story was alive once again.
Once again...that’s what Lucifer’s Angel should really be called. I had my characters just the way I wanted them but once again, the story got set aside. Pick a reason, any reason and that’s why I set it aside. None of the reasons are going to be valid enough, but I had just grown tired of trying so hard to write this story. This one story that had become a battle of me against paper.
In late last year, around November, I decided to focus again on my writing. Writing has always been a salvation for me and it has always been away for me to escape. I can escape my own thoughts and fears and just play in a world of make believe for a while. I rejoined NaNoWriMo again and failed again at completing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days, but I was writing and I was happy with that even if I didn’t write 50,000 words. As wrote on The Dumbing Down of Love, I decided in January of this year that I was going to finish that damn book by February 28, 2009. Even if it killed me, I needed to finish that book, AND I did. I finished it on February 22, 2009 @ 7:41 pm.
I edited, edited, edited from that day until May 31st when I sent out my first query letter. While I was editing, I had decided to let Lucifer’s Angel go AGAIN. I had changed it from this to that, back to this, and then back to that. I had too many fiction elements, I had too many myths, I had too many blah, blah, blah. I had just had enough.
So now that I was finished with The Dumbing Down of Love, I knew I needed another project to work on. I started about half a dozen stories, not all fleshing out to be good ideas or even decent ideas, and in the back of my head, there was a slight tug from my old crutch Lucifer’s Angel. I decided to look at it from a fresh perspective and a change of main character. My little mischievous grinning secondary character had become my main character and like a domino, things started falling in place one by one. My main character was now a supporting role. My villain had turned from male to female and then completely did a 180 into something else. My supporting characters dwindled from a long list to a short list. Hallelujah, the writing grove was back and I was going to finish this novel by September.
Life didn’t like my life plan and made up it’s own. I took a writing sabbatical during July which extended into August, September, and 95% of October. I tried to set goals for myself but couldn’t keep a commitment to my dream.
I’d bitch at myself, scold myself, try to inspire myself, make myself write, rewrite, read, etc. Nothing. The passion for my writing was becoming an ember in a dying fire and it made me sad and heartbroken. I knew I would be lost without my words.
Last week, I set new goals and new challenges and life threw up another brick wall. I just wanted to yell at the top of my lungs to the Universe “GIVE ME FUCKING BREAK ALREADY!” I took a deep breath, remembered the words of Randy Pausch “The brick walls aren’t there to keep us out, the brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. The brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough.”
I had made a commitment to myself for this week. Write in Lucifer’s Angel. Rejoin NaNoWriMo and write in Lucifer’s’ Angel. Even if I didn’t finish it in 30 days, I just needed to write. Sunday, I wrote. It was pure crap. Yesterday, I wrote. It was also pure crap.
Today, I once again started from scratch. (I know, crazy, stupid, etc.) After reading the blog and a tweet from an agent I follow, I sat down with a fresh mind and a rainy night to write.
I wrote 1221 words. I found my characters. As old as they are, they were new exciting characters. The story was new and exciting.
The passion for writing is back. My muse is lingering in the kitchen with a glass of wine. I’m feeling more like myself tonight for the first time in many, many months. It’s the first time since I sent out a query letter that I can call myself a writer proudly.
My new goal is to finish Lucifer’s Angel by the end of the year. I’m shooting for at least 80,000 words. I’ve written 1221 and only have more 78,779 more to go.
Listening to “Can’t Fight This Feeling” by REO Speedwagon