I sit here at one in the morning, waiting for my popsicle of a daughter to get home from Relay for Life (I told her it was going to be too cold but did she believe mom? Noooooo!) and I'm thinking about where I'm at in my life and wondering how I got here. As little as five years ago I was creating stories in a frenzy, coming up with new ones faster than what I could write them. Now my head is empty and I'm asking myself, what the hell happened???
I know it's me and my problem. Nothing anyone can say or do can change my situation. It has to come from within me. But how? I've tried new stories, tried revising old ones, but nothing is happening. My muse seems to have run off to the Caribbean with a cabana boy or something. I was debating about entering the Emerald City opener, a writing contest from the Greater Seattle RWA chapter to which I belong. But what do I enter?
I have this manuscript, the one that placed in three contests...the one an editor called "trite" (after requesting it and then taking a year and three months to give me that little nugget of wisdom). It was destined for Blaze but no more. That line has changed so much from it's conception, it no longer interests me or fits my writing style. I know my heart truly lies in romantic comedy...Rachel Gibson, Jenny Cruise, Christina Ridgeway, etc... So that means rewrites...big rewrites....on this manuscripit. Could it be this is what's holding me back. This story, which I love, isn't finished. There's some problems with the motivation of my charaters which needs to be fixed and there's two secondary characters who really would like their story told but it doesn't seem they want their own book. Maybe that's the problem. I haven't yet finished this one.
But how do I start? The story is cold in my head now, which is sort of good, sort of bad. It's good because it's a fresh eye, I can see things I wouldn't have seen when I was so close to it a few years ago. But the characters, although still in my head, are now cold. I'm going to have to learn them all over again. But maybe I'll see what I'm missing...what they're missing.
So my goal (yes, I'm putting it in writing for all to see) is to re-write this story. I'm going to start by re-writing the first chapter and, hopefully (hey, don't give me that do or do not crap right now) get the first chapter into the contest by June 1st. That gives me a month. One freakin' month.
I can do it (she says knowing that's what she's supposed to say but seriously doubting it)! No, I'm going to do it. I have to do it. I need to find this spark in me again because I seriously miss it. I'm wandering around the house trying to fill my time with things that aren't all that interesting to me and feeling sorry for myself. STEP AWAY FROM THE FOOD NETWORK CHANNEL! I need to buck up and get off the pity wagon...and stop whining! Yes, I have middle school and high school graduation in a month, yes my work is driving me insane again, but dammit, I want to be a writer! And the only way to be a writer is to write! I have to find a way to write!
So, staring tomorrow, er, today, I'm going to spend at least an hour writing. My lunch hour will become my personal time. It's nice outside and there's no reason I can't find a little place away from life to spend some time with pen on paper.
I feel so....terrified!