Oh, if it were just that easy to start a story … or finish it with “and they lived happily ever after”. But … it isn’t.
The last two years I’ve focused on improving my writing by taking classes and reading books, and talking to other authors about plotting, characterization, themes, motifs (which, um, still like wtf?), arcs, first act, second act, black moment, third act, resolution, until my head spun and my heart sunk.
Could I ever be the writer that XYZ is? Or would I ever say the words as eloquently, excitedly, ferociously (etc., etc.) as ABC? Would I ever stop using adverbs? 😉
Or am I just as good as I ever will be?
The questions haunted my gut like a bad fruitcake for the last quarter of 2016 while I continued to write and throw away words. And write and discard words. And write and chop words. Finally, the words ground to a halt. Not some cool sliding to the side and gray smoke in the air from the tires rubbing on the pavement stop, but a jerked-against-the-seatbelt, airbags-in-face, whiplashy stop.
And then after I’d celebrated 2017 in a grand fashion with all the hopes and resolutions my head could concoct, I was boohooing through a day and my mentor had had enough and she slapped me. No, not physically, but ironically with words. She said “Stop that $hit! Be the writer you are, but be better each time.” Or something very similar to that fact. Whatever it was, the words and sentiment made me think just long enough and deep enough that I realized I don’t want to be like XYZ or ABC…
I just want to be Jules Dixon.
I want to write about people who have problems and solve them with friends and family by their sides.
I want to write stories that find their way into people’s hearts and they remember how they felt reading about these people’s lives.
I want to find inspiration in everyday moments and share them with readers so they sigh and ooh and ah and feel.
I want to release a part of me into words and then let it go. Let. It. Go.
I want to take each day as a new beginning and know that there is no real end to writing.
I want to …. live happily ever after.
But for that to happen, I have to make it happen.
This above post originally aired on my website in January. I have no come to understand that this post was a turning point for me. I now have a different direction to go with my writing career and I’m more excited about writing and the new projects I’ll take on that aren’t writing, but writing related.
Sometimes happily ever after comes slowly. But when you take a few steps back, you can see it coming and how to make a plan to make it the best happily ever after possible.
Hoping that your 2017 is turning out to be everything you wish for.