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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Writing reboot

I've been writing a lot more lately.

Have you noticed?

And it's not just the blog that's been given an injection of writerly fuel, I started writing another book yesterday. The idea came to me as all my writing ideas seem to come, in a dream.  Not a deep sleep dream, but a half awake one.

Q let out a little cry, which came through the baby monitor and popped me out of my deep sleep bubble.  I had no idea what time it was, and was thoroughly annoyed because:
A: I had been having a good dream
2: Crap, was he still crying?  Did I need to get out of bed?

Turns out he was fine, just a little cry of "I'm turning over on my other side zzzzzzzzzzzzz." I didn't have to get out of bed, and immediately tried to get back into the dream. Isn't that the most frustrating feeling? It's fuzzy, but I can still feel it, come on, let me back in!

Call to prayer started, which meant it was somewhere in the 4am range, which meant I had at least another 2 hours of sleep if I could just catch them.

But instead I laid there for probably an hour in a fuzzy half awake, half asleep state while my dream morphed into a story. And by the time I realized this might be something I should write down, it was too late to salvage any more sleep.

I rolled over, grabbed my laptop and got to work. The first chapter is now sitting patiently on my desktop smiling at me with a half grin.

This is the 4th book I've started in the last 2 years.  To my credit one of those books I also completely finished, which is why I don't feel so pressed about the other 3. It's a weird feeling to describe, but it's like the completion of an 80,000 word novel put me on the other side of the writing fence. It's not something unattainable/toohard/woah anymore. I know that I am a writer, always have been. I'm still working on my voice, my genre, and I think the process will be ongoing for the rest of my life.

I feel totally at peace with that at the moment.

My novel, Amped was like an explosion in my brain. I was obsessed getting that story down, because it just had to be written. I was along for the ride. But the process to get a piece of writing published is long, tedious, overwhelming and a bit soul crushing at times. I tried for a year and have now acknowledged that I not only needed some time away from the process, but probably needed a break before looking at my story with fresh eyes for editing.

So, I put it away, started the first few chapters of the sequel. Put that away, then I got pregnant.  Boom, immediately, new story idea, another first few chapters. The pregnancy overtook my world and writing moved to the back shelf.  All writing.

But over the last few months, I've felt the fire rekindle. The stories have always been there in the back of my mind. My characters still talk to me, at times like impatient toddlers begging for some attention. And I think I'm in a place where I'm ready to listen again.

The best part is, for me, the first chapter is the hardest part to write, so I've got 3 starts already completed, just waiting for me to pick the story up and continue. It feels really exciting, the anticipation is picking up. And I don't feel pressured about the publishing part anymore. Sure I'd love for other people to read my writing, but it's not about the approval of others right now. Right now, it's just about the words, the story, the characters.

It feels good.


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