Sunday, February 4, 2018

Finding the way

For as long as I can remember, I've had this dream, no... goal, to be a writer.   I want to write a novel - to actually finish writing a novel.   I've written a lot over the years, and I can't seem to find that perfect thing to write that actually gets me to the end.   And it makes me wonder if that's actually ever been a realistic dream for me. Am I even capable of completing something like that?  Has it been stupid to hold on to that for so long?

*insert heavy sigh*

It's hard to re-evaluate dreams you've been holding since childhood.  And I don't think this one needs to be completely abandoned, but I don't think I have any idea how to move forward with it. For years, I've been participating in the November Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and I usually manage to reach the 50,000-word goal.  But I do absolutely nothing with the writing once the month is over.   And most of the time, it's because I know, even as I'm writing, that there's nothing of value in the words I'm choosing. No, that's not right.   It's not that there's nothing of value - there are bits of things that could be good, in another story at another time.   But there's nothing cohesive, or coherent, or usable as a story.   I start with great intentions, and usually, even an idea that I think is fabulous.   But I rely on my muse, and my characters to speak to me, which is a total cop-out.  I need to practice more and write more when it's not November so that I know that I have something to say during that timeframe.   And maybe I can build something more useful then.  I need to know what I want to say, and what voice I need to write that in before I start.   I need to find my writer's voice.

Which probably means that I need to figure out who I actually am.  I'm trying to do that.   I thought I had a pretty good grasp on it.  But it seems perception from outside of me, is very different than who I thought I was.  And besides that, I built my impression on myself, who I thought I was, around what other people thought of me.   That's probably the dumbest idea ever because no one out there has to live with this person in here.   I'm the only one who has to do that.   I need to make sure that I know me, and like me before I try to share that person with anyone.   And before I try to write about anyone else, fictional or not.

As I continue this journey to find myself, and on some level fix myself, I need to really evaluate what I want to do with myself - in my work and personal lives.  I'm okay with everything the way that it is, but okay is not happy... and that means it's really not okay.  I don't need to be a bundle full of perky energy all the time, but I do need to be content with life, and positive that I'm moving in a direction that keeps me content with life.  Life has ups and downs, I know that.   But also know that I need to be able to handle both directions with the same grace and kindness and to be mindful of where those peaks and valleys lead me.

And maybe that road will have a fork that leads me toward my dream.   Or maybe it will lead me somewhere completely different.  I just need to be confident enough in myself that I trust in whichever direction I choose.

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