Many of you know I’ve been working on a novel since the beginning of the year, and in five short months, I have completed the rough first draft. I did a happy dance and then dug into the edits. Boy, I sure have grown in five months, so have my characters, and in this editing process, I’m realizing I’m not nearly as “done” as I thought.
Here are a few things I’ve learned from writing:
1.) Creating a world of words is no substitute for real life. While it is amazing to relax and let my creative mind take over, and craft a story from deep within me, this is no comparison to taking life in full stride. Playing with my kids, homeschooling them, baking, going places, seeing people, maintaining relationships – is all richer than fiction.
2.) Taking time to let myself work on the book, and to live in that world for a while, gives me a new perspective on real life. I decompress, and often times allow the emotions I’m feeling in real life to guide how I write about certain scenes in my novel. The stuff from real life is the fuel the lights my writing-fire – and if I don’t burn off the fuel often enough, the backlog is mind numbing. I have to write. Often.
3.) My kids are supremely interested in the things I’m interested in. Sure, they have stuff they like that I never mentioned to them. Yet, they have both “caught” me writing, and now they both want to write books, and my oldest even wanted to start a blog. Sharing my world of fiction with them makes me evaluate my writing a little differently. Even though this is fiction, I ask myself regularly what values I’m portraying, what life skills I include, what could someone learn from my writing? And what would I not want my kids to ever know I wrote?
4.) People are interested in what I’m writing. You are reading my blog, asking about my book, and encouraging me. I often cry when someone expresses interest in, or pride, or fascination, or a number of other sentiments regarding my writing. Thank you.
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU – for your kindness, your interest, you have given me motivation, inspiration, and even a touch of fear – the great “what if” – What if you don’t like it?
But I counter that with, what if you do?