When I was twelve years old, I saw Newsies for the first time. I fell in love with the singing, the dancing, and, of course, the cute boys.
As did every other pre-teen female….and maybe some males.
The next day, while at the store with my dad, I asked him for a notebook. He bought me a little spiral three subject notebook and some pencils. When we got home, I sat down at the kitchen table and wrote my first book – a sequel to Newsies. It had all sorts of adventure and new characters and intrigue and mystery and a happy ending. It filled the notebook from cover to cover.
I then tucked it into my nightstand drawer and never took it out again. I don’t even know what happened to it.
Whenever short story assignments came up in school, I embraced them with utter glee. I wrote long, hundred page stories that twisted through the worlds of science fiction, fantasty, romance, mystery, adventure and horror. I wrote love stories set in medieval times. I wrote science fiction set in my own little country towns. I wrote fantasty set in made up worlds. I created and meticulously crafted characters, using pages and pages to describe a single person.
I went to college firmly set in my decision to study English, with a focus in Creative Writing. While I did this, and graduated, I faltered a lot. My professors weren’t appreciative of my chosen genres. One professor went as far as to declare he felt anything written in the science fiction or fantasy genres was a copout – was not “real” writing.
Yes, I know he was a pompous ass. But, at the time, that hit me hard.
So, I put away all my notebooks and my little floppy disks. I sat in the computer lab and churned out the mindless post-modern realism that my professors and classmates seemed to relish. Looking back on it, I should have spoken up, said something. But I am, and always have been, inherently shy and loathe bringing any attention to myself because I blush furiously and my hands tremble. It’s unfortunate but true. I also have a tendency to cry if I’m really upset or angry.
It’s hard to take a nineteen year old girl seriously if she’s flushing, holding back tears and has her hands balled up by her sides.
In any case, I all but quit writing. My dreams of becoming a published author were pretty much completely deflated when the head of my English department denied me the permission to write a book for my senior project stating, “I’ve never seen anything out of you to date that leads me to believe that you are capable of completing such a task.”
Yes, I remember what he said word for word.
Oh, I’ve tried to write since then. I will occasionally sit down and peck something out. I’ll daydream scenes between made up characters. I’ll put myself into stories. I’ll put people I know into stories. I’ll put actors I admire or currently have a crush on in stories.
Here’s my problem. I’m convinced that it all sounds so much better in my head than on paper so why bother writing it? Also. My self-confidence is a bit injured, even after ten years, and it’s hard to get over something as harsh as that.
But, with this move comes a desire for change. I’m tired of feeling guilty for not doing anything and, while my writing may never earn me any money, I [need] to do it. Right now, it’s to prove to myself that I can. Later, it will be for pure enjoyment.
Last week, while Stephen was gone on his trip, I got the twinge. That little poke in my head and my fingers. I pulled out my netbook and wrote down a scene. It came out effortlessly. It was an argument between two lovers. It flowed and then it stopped. I’ve reread it multiple times. I don’t know what the rest of their story is. Well, I have an idea, but it’s not one I’m willing to share.
However, I wrote something.
Then, last night? I wrote another scene.
And, right now? My imagination is creating another.
I’m going to follow these breadcrumbs and see where they lead. I don’t know the whole story. There is no beginning. No end. I don’t know how many characters are wrapped up in this tale. But I’m following it – looking for the little glistening crumbs on the path. They are hard to see and I stop after each one, hoping the next is Right There.
But it’s not and I have to keep looking.
I’m writing again and I’m saying that here because I need you, my friends, my family, my readers, to help me. To encourage me. To randomly check in with me to see how my writing is going. Don’t ask for details or to read anything – I’m very shy when it comes to my writing. I fidget like hell whenever Stephen reads anything I’ve written.
Also. If I vanish for a while, that is what I’m pushing myself to do. We all know baby naptime is sacred so, if I use that time to write instead of blog, forgive me. I will not abandon you and will keep you apprised of our life here, how the munchkin is growing, our crazy adventures. But I’m not holding myself to a schedule.
I have a path to follow. And I hope it leads somewhere healing.