I need to write a book.
So says two astrologers, a medium, and two intuitives, over the past few years.
I’ve written two books. One is my master’s thesis, which I haven’t touched in 4 years.
The other is a hopefully literary romance novel, which I I wrote during grad school and two rounds of #NaNoWriMo.
The novel needs major revisions and time. And I need to start doing that this month.
And this kind of writing is really important, to me, and to my life purpose. One intuitive told me recently that my guides said copywriting was “too mechanical.”
I agree, but…here’s the healthy fear–trying to create a living for myself.
It seems like I’m looking at a washed out bridge and being told to cross over to this land of creative writing…which I left when I graduated from grad school. I never thought of this as a viable profession.
The memoir…I don’t think I can publish that until my parents pass. I am sure that I have four years and counting of wisdom that would re-work that memoir anyway. That’s a life’s work.
I do know the steps I need to take with the romance novel. This is what I learned in grad school.
Revise, revise, revise. Start looking for an agent. Start pitching to publishers.
I don’t think I’m being told to just drop everything and start doing that, too. I still have to support myself. Eventually, supporting myself will happen.
Right now, though, supporting myself is the main priority/anxiety. And it’s consuming me–although not as much.
It’s a lot of work to connect with people and convert them into clients, especially when you need the work now now now.
Things are looking up, though. And at this point, I need to get out of the fear of screwing this up.
I need to just start doing something, like revising that romance novel this week.
This is a part of myself that I used to not be in touch with as a kid. And I met someone recently who also was really into writing as a kid, but feels like that’s all behind him now.
For his sake alone, I hope that isn’t true. In my 30s, I went back to writing, to the daydream of working with a steaming cup of coffee, in my PJs, with a typewriter. Thank goodness the typewriter doesn’t need to be a part of this dream now, but I’m pretty close to what I wanted to do. And I have no regrets about retrieving those very precious parts of myself.
I had a conversation with an old friend last night who I had no idea was a creative. I have known her for at least a decade and that’s because we sang together at church. So I only knew about her musical side.
Specifically, in her younger years, she was into acting and dancing. She loved musical theater when she was younger but didn’t pursue it in college.
I was so excited to hear that she was getting back in touch with those creative parts of herself that she had abandoned after her mother’s death when she was a little girl.
I’ve had Lyz Lenz’s piercing essay about the importance of writing during times of despair, like what’s going on in America…like what’s going on in the world. It’s a great essay and you should read it.
I’ve journaled to make sense of ineffable pain and suffering. I’ve written to beg someone to come back to me. I’ve written introductions and conclusions. I’ve written a myriad of letters by hand. I’ve typed thousands of emails.
I’ve written about myself here and elsewhere–and rarely has that been uplifting.
But when it comes to fiction, I’ve written mainly for my own pleasure.
I realize I don’t even think about writing like this anymore, so I’m glad it’s back in my view. I should be reading The Rumpus. I should have my writing in The Rumpus.
But life has happened, over and over. That distracting little minx, LIFE.
But also, life has been asking me to write books. So I’ve been ignoring that call. Yet it’s easy to ignore when you’re just focused on trying to survive and create a copywriting business for yourself. I’m starting to see the fruits of my labor recently, too.
But dreams, little girl dreams of writing a novel. I have to feed those hungry dreams now.
But but but…it’s scary, for some reason. To start revising this novel, this means that this wasn’t some writing stunt.
I’m revising it so other people can read it. Publishing. Sending it out into the world. To share.
Unlike here, where the readership is so low, this is like writing in a diary. Although I value every little eyeball that looks at what I write.
I went to school for this. And yet. I really didn’t think I’d be doing anything really special with writing, not for a long time.
But here come these dreams, begging for nourishment.
My fears of rejection (and maybe of success) have to be pushed aside now, fear that seemed to have kept me safe.
Deep down, I’m actually a little excited. I loved the world I created and it was great respite and healing for me as I wrote those characters. It’s just strange to really take this seriously. And that may be the literary snob that has been beaten into me from earning an MFA.
But that’s the thing about writing that I love the most–the world building that ends up nourishing you. And you can only hope that other people will find the same nourishment, the same pleasure, the same solace, the same joy, the same wonder…
Writing is magical and alchemical. Even after doing this on and off since I was a 1st grader, I still don’t understand how it all works.
The connections it creates between people. The worlds that are impacted and created. The characters that we come to know and love as friends and family. The parallels that start to run through a writer’s life and the lives of their characters.
And as I think about it…it’s the creative process that mirrors the natural world, and it puts me more in tune with the earth itself. It’s something so tangible and yet something so immaterial at the same time.
And for you, reading this–I hope that if you’ve let some little children and dreams behind, for whatever reason, that you’re able to retrieve those children and bring them up as your own.
It’s never too late to find that nascent creative spark.
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