As I near the end of my novel rewrite, filled with ravenous revisions, I find myself delirious, and so alliterations may absentmindedly find their way to the page. At the same time, I am wondering how much creativity and craft is possible to crunch into one’s mind. Deadlines at my doorstep demand my absolute attention. And as my heart is soaring with perseverance and dedication to complete my projects, I am also feeling depleted at the very time I need to push through and cross the finish line.
I am a ghost writer. Not an author who secretly writes for another series, not an author of the paranormal study of spiritual ghosts. I am the writer who is now skin and bones. I have surely written myself into oblivion… yet still have a few more steps to take. Can I find the inner strength to keep myself lifted? I think so. I just may not be the same on the other end. And maybe that’s okay.
Thankfully, I have an understanding editor. I wonder if she will be so understanding after she reads my story. That is surely my fear. Fear she will have to let me down easy and explain a “family emergency” has unfortunately emerged, and therefore she won’t be able to continue editing my book – my heart. But then, as my mind fills with conversation between all my selves, I pinch my arm and remind myself of my path. My progress…
I’ve finished my book – which is really the first step at drafting a story. It must have an ending. Once I soared across that hurdle, I began what I call stage two. And that continued into stage three and four and five and six and seven and so on and so on and so on… the melding of the middle. The rewriting of the opening scene a ridiculous number of times. The reading of craft books that cause a storm in the story I’ve already spilled and now must clean up. And sanitize. And sometimes, start over.
It’s important to realize the wary path of a writer, and to always look for the curves in the road. And regardless of how mapped-out our treks may feel; I have found there are always bends in the road. These are the landmarks where decisions must be made. Though, with every wrong turn I’ve made on this path, I’ve learned something invaluable along the way. So, in my mind, there is no wrong turn. The scariest part of the adventure is the indecision at a crossroads. What does my story need? What part do I focus on? How much time will it take to…?
There is an infinity amount of questions that could be asked here. And that’s why I am a skeleton right now. I am sitting at my writing desk, writing this post, and thinking about my two big projects that seem to be coming to a head at the same time. I am currently at a crossroads wondering about that “last” stage. Is my story really done? Is my poetry book complete? Is it time to send them both off… to throw myself out there into the open space of the world to be judged?
Well, it’s obvious I have some decisions to make. Some turns to take in my travels. Some risks to reflect on and resilience to renew. I may be meandering in my writing thoughts today, but at least I’m up. I’m sitting in the right place at the right time… because the right time is always now.
This is how I will push my tired bones across the finish line. I will burst through that shiny ribbon a new soul indeed. And no; I will not be the same for it. I will be better.
Writing Advice: Reach Out
I have shared before about my online writing groups, and the enormous support they can offer. If you have a random question about any part of the writing process, someone out there will always reply. You will get several versions of the answer you need and can choose the direction that works best for you. I have even made lasting friendships with some of the members I’ve clicked with from the larger groups.
Now I want to shine some light on getting out there and taking an in-person writing class in your community. I have just completed another class through the Pacific Northwest Writer’s Association, and the confidence and support I’ve gained through working one-on-one with other writers is colossal. Some of the members from class have now gone on to create a critique group, and I am proud to be a member. If I didn’t learn anything new in class (which for me would be untrue – I learned far more than I thought I needed to know), it was the best decision I’ve made so far in my writing journey.
I believe as writers we often isolate ourselves. It’s easier when we’re working through the muddle of creating. But I tell you, having real-life people to bounce off ideas and share your work (regardless of how worried you feel about its worth) is priceless.
Get out there and reach out. Find your people. It will make your meandering more manageable (Ha! I had to end on an alliteration).
As always, happy writing (because even sad or serious writing is happy… if you’re doing the work, showing your effort, that’s a happy writing day). 😊
~ By Celaine Charles, May 19, 2019
https://awritersden.wordpress.com/2016/06/14/i-writer-6/ (skeleton at computer)
https://thepenandinkblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/writer-expose-thyself.html (dancing skeleton)
https://www.sourpussclothing.com/dancing-skeletons-and-friends-matches.html (skeleton friends)
https://www.etsy.com/hk-en/listing/502837823/journey-skeleton-on-horse-gallery (skeleton on horse)
https://www.google.co.uk/search?rlz=1C1EJFA_enGB714CA715&biw=1536&bih=759&tbm=isch&sa=1&ei=8CN4WqLINYfUgAafmKTgAQ&q=skeleton+hand+reaching+out&oq=skeleton+hand+reaching+out&gs_l=psy-ab.3..0l2.273128.274222.0.274318.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.520.5j1.6.0….0…1c.1.64.psy-ab..1.11.535…0i30k1j0i8i30k1.0.BhugTEp-NLQ#imgrc=el7vKZN_w-PE6M: (skeleton hand)
Categories: Thoughts on writing...
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