Five months away may seem like a long hiatus but to me it was the perfect amount of time to step back and reflect. Why am I a writer? Why do I try time and again to make my manuscript better? Honestly, because it’s so fun.
I’m not trying to write the great American novel, I’ve found I don’t really care for most of the titles that fit this moniker. I’m not dreaming night an day of being the next over night success (which almost never happened for the person overnight.) I’m not really even overly concerned with being published. So, why do I do this? I love it. I’m a reader, I’m a dreamer and damn it I’m a writer because I said so!
That’s not the whole story though, as I also step away from the page because I have a full time job, am a mother and try to fit as much fun into my weekends as possible. Plus, I really don’t feel it necessary to chase my dreams at 5am or 11pm in order to make them come true. That may mean I’m never going to be the next Mr. King or Ms. Rowling and that’s ok with me. As it also means I don’t have to spend every other entry on my blog begging supporters to send me money so I can do nothing and try to be a writer.
Am I the only one to notice this trend? Since when did blogs become the new home of panhandling? Writing post after post about dreaming and the need to support art by doling out our hard earned money so someone else can do nothing but create. Hmmm, I’m just not a supporter of that. Dreams are great, chasing after them even better, but if you can’t responsibly take care of yourself or your family while chasing those dreams, then in the end is it worth it?
For me the answer is no. I want to be the most successful Project Manager I can be. I want to be the best Mother can be and yeah, I’d like to be in the top 10% of wives, sisters and daughters out there and I want to do all this while maintaining my own sense of self.
So, what am I working on when I do finally find time to write? Well, I am on re-write 9 of my novel working on an angle I stumbled upon via the comments received in that contest I mentioned a few posts ago. (A contest I actually was a finalist in and received third place despite being told otherwise at first? Happy dance! Also, the publisher/judge liked it and didn’t think it was young adult. Well five years ago it would have been, but now we have the new adult genre. Sheesh, I can’t keep up with the genres anymore.)
Funny thing is, this draft goes back to the feel of my earlier drafts as I added the prologue back in. I’d removed it after learning in a writing class that publishers hate those, but it fits my novel so in it goes. Everything about Emma’s journey is rooted in this one moment when she is 9. How can I realistically expect the reader to follow her journey if I’ve not taken the time to show this monumental event. What really makes me laugh at myself though is that agent who so long ago took the time to read my piece said the same thing. “I sense you are struggling with the beginning…perhaps you need to start it at another place.” She also said everything would fall into place after that. It did for me before and while I am keeping where I pick up Emma in the present, its just not where the book starts. The book starts in the past. Fun huh!
The best part is we get to see little Thorn as a kid and watch the two of them unabashedly enjoy their shared magic. It’s beautiful and innocent. We also get to meet the parents earlier in the story. Hopefully we are then way more excited when it turns out his parents are alive. Hmmm, I wonder what else this will change? Everything I expect, won’t know until I get back at it. I have two days off, loads of music queued up, a snowy day to do exactly what I want and because I have taken the time to be responsible, the security that comes with knowing I am actually being paid for this as my employer pays me to take time off. Lovely. Life is absolutely divine.
Cheers my fellow realistic and responsible dreamers.