In January 2016, I had a great idea for a novel. I had some momentum and a lot of dynamite scenes that compelled me to sit down for a time and give it space to come to life.
But then I got pregnant. I had a baby. And then the Hamster Wheel of Life spun on ceaselessly for three years.
My inspiration and motivation drained as the questions that I had about the characters and the plot were so overwhelming that I boxed myself into a corner, unable to figure out how to get out of it.
Yes, it was a great idea. But quite frankly, it was not the right time. I worked a job that drained my creativity. My supervisors sucked my joy dry. I had diapers to change. A baby to feed. A kindergartner with a broken elbow. A toddler to follow all weekend long. A preschooler with poop in his underwear. Again.
I said so sorry to the idea and moved on.
But this past January, four years later, the idea floated to the forefront again.
It really was a great idea.
I sat on it more. I asked the questions. I thought of answers. I asked more questions. I wrote ideas down in a notebook. Some of the questions, I left unanswered. But this time, I had more answers. I had been thinking about the story on and off for the last four years, but now, things were starting to make sense.
Fuck it, I thought. Here we go.
I mean, really, what’s the worst that could happen?
Here’s the worst that could happen: I could waste my time writing a book that no one wants to read but that I care deeply about.
I’m fine with that.
I didn’t sell thousands of copies of my last book.
And I’m fine with that. It is a success because I created something out of nothing and it moved people.
That’s success to me.
For me, it really is about the process. The fact that I feel better doing the work. The fact that writing these thoughts teaches me things about myself.
It heals me.
Last month, I took a casual online writing class. One of exercises that we did was creating a voice of our Inner Critic. Then, we were tasked with defacing our Inner Critic in whatever way we wanted. Here’s what I ended up with.
So, what is the book about?
This is not something I’ll be openly talking about online until much further on, especially since I know that it’s not just one book that I’m working on. This will likely be a four to five book series.
So for now, just know that I am filling notebooks with pieces of characters and plots. I am thinking of symbols and themes, lines of dialogue that won’t go away. I’m plotting them in tables and writing summaries. I’m crafting a Shitty First Draft, that is actually isn’t too shitty. And, People of the World, I am actually now nearly to the end of the Shitty First Draft phase and prepare to dig into my favorite part–the Revision Stage.
Creating makes me excited. It energizes me in a way that nothing else does.
Here’s to the journey.