My life at this moment is divided into three distinct parts. There is the one where I am Mama, and wife, and best friend. There is the one who spends hours looking for jobs, making a website, and meeting with mentors about starting a business. But the one which gives me the most soul food right now is the one that writes.
Some of you may know that it is NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) where a group of nutty people try to write 50,000 words in one month. I’ve joined this challenge before, but this year I had a different motivation for writing a story, my son. Sometime last year when we were in the middle of the horrors of our public school experience he asked me to write him a story. He had a few requests: it had to have magic, at least one portal, but couldn’t be like Harry Potter (because that already exists).
Of course at that point I was still in school full time. Still I started a notebook and came up with a few characters and an adventure. I had a lot of fun writing the back story of all the characters I used these questions to lead me deeper into their lives. Still it was all play and scribbles in a notebook. After all I was more interested in the way that the parents of the characters met and why one of them was working in a crooked old tea house while he was in University. The notebook would come and go from my backpack, it was even lost for a large part of July.
Fast forward to September, I was having coffee with a friend and he asked me what I had been writing. I told him about the story and the notebook and he asked me when I was going to do anything with it (he is one of those people who keep in line when I am working on projects). Since November was not long off he suggested that I use it as a way to get a jump start on the story. Sure I was looking for work, and getting A settled in a new school, but it might be really good for me to do some writing. So I took the notebook out again and started taking notes again, this time more on plot, as I felt as though I already knew my characters.
November showed up faster than I expected and I almost bailed. This time it was my husband who persuaded me otherwise. In his wisdom he pointed out if I could write an entire story, even if no one ever sees it, I would have finished something huge. Besides, he commented you love rewriting. So for the last 19 days I have been giving some time every day to this project. It has been wonderful, not just because I get to lose myself in the characters but because it reminds me that I am able to do anything that I focus on.
Being me I have a process, it is very cyclical. In the morning while I am planning my day I write down all my ideas that have come to me since the night before. Then I write (when the time is available). When I’m done for the day I take a few more minutes to do a little planning for the next day in my journal. When I am going to sleep I try to tell myself the next part of the story so that I can have the images in my head all night to gestate. Finally I get up in the morning and start all over again.
I have no misconceptions about how much work I am going to have to do after it is done to make it readable, even if it is just for Alder. But to be honest rewriting and editing are some of my favorite parts of writing fiction. I love taking what is virtually a vague telling of an idea mixed with some dialogue and action and turning it into something to read. So while there may be plenty of people writing these in hopes of being published I am more excited to give my child a gift that no one else could give him.
So here I sit putting a few more words down.