So, a blurb about myself.
I’m not going to say I’ve always wanted to be a writer, and I’ve been writing since three years old. That should be true, but it’s not. I actually did not discover my deep love of writing until roughly six years ago.
I’ve always had an over-active imagination, however, which I believed developed due to my unnatural sleeping habits. As a child, I thought that when every person in the world went to bed, they laid awake, staring at the ceiling, and made up stories for hours until they eventually fell asleep out of boredom. In my developmental years I attempted a few stories, but always thought they were terrible. Discouraged, I never tried again.
Years later, as an adult, it happened. Borne of boredom (like so many things), I began to write a story that had bounced around in my head for months and wouldn’t go away. I had the time and the resources, so why not? Enter my first book that I proudly called “A Hero’s Hero”. Writing that book opened my eyes to the pure joy of creating. For my entire life, I had been creating stories, characters, and entire worlds, but doing little with them. Now I realized I could actually get them all out.
I was quite convinced the book an amazing work of art, but it would need a little tweaking. I set it aside. Over the years, I practiced my art by writing short stories. This one would be experimenting with strong versus weak characters, another would be toying around with first-person perspective, and still another would stretch my abilities at invoking reader attachment without giving any person or thing a name. After a number of years, “Price of a Bath” hit me in the face. In that short story – or perhaps more accurately, novella – I realized a connection with the story I never had before. Effortless could be the only word to apply. No longer was I concerned with rules or experiments. The story just flowed, liquid from my mind to my fingers. And when I was finished? Perfection.
I was ready.
The very next day, with excited and quivering fingers, I pulled out “A Hero’s Hero” to enhance it with my new found skills and talent. Well. There’s a saying that goes a little something like “The first book you ever write will never see the light of day.” This thing…
The main character displayed a certain amount of bi-polar tendencies, going from hot to cold in the spans of a single paragraph. Characters disappeared. Others showed up from thin air, suddenly integral to the plot. That was to say nothing of the geographic issues. But I loved this story, and I had a whole tool belt of writing weapons to employ. I would fix it.
There is a Chinese puzzle-box made up of multiple sliding tiles, and a single free space. The idea is to slide the tiles in order to complete the picture. That puzzle box was my plot, only the empty space represented a plot hole. No matter how I slid characters or plot points around, it would simply create another huge, gaping vortex.
“Art is never finished, only abandoned.” – Leonardo da Vinci
Oh boy did I abandon it. After the frustrated had ebbed, I realized I didn’t feel sad or angry at my inability to solve the problems with the book. It showed me that I had truly grown as a writer since I started. That was enough to inspire me to write again. But what to write?
After a few more short stories, just for funsies, I started a sci-fi series. After completing the first book, I couldn’t – and didn’t – wait to start the sequel. By the end of it, I knew something was wrong. Something was…missing. Through all of my personal study, I had achieved the highest level of writerly skill I could attain on my own, but it wasn’t enough. I still hadn’t reached the point of what I considered to be “publishable” work.
That’s when I joined a writers group. I’m sure I’ll post a blog piece about this at some point in the future, but let me just say now; if you haven’t, I recommend you find one. The right one. There is something to be said for being around a group of people with the same goals and passion as yourself, as well as another set of eyes letting you know what you’re doing wrong. I’ve been a part of my writers group for almost two years, now. They’ve helped me in ways I can’t even put into words, and in turn I’ve offered the knowledge I’d gained. Together, we’ve all grown.
I believe I am now ready to present my work for public consumption. I’ve created a world, and now it’s time to let others into it. If I can help other aspiring writers along the way? All the better.
Together, I believe we can do great things.