Happy Insecure Writer’s Support Group day! For those of you unaware of it, writers are often just a tad bit insecure. A few years ago a wonderful writer reached out and created a place for us all to bond and share our hopes, dreams, and fears with each other and the unsuspecting populace.
Once a month we rally and rattle our cages!
And this is that day!
Okay, so today isn’t really about insecurity, or maybe it is. Insecurity masked as nostalgia. I’ll let you decide.
A few days ago I found myself thinking about my first book. Not the first book I ever attempted, mind you. That died at 175 pages and I have no idea where the body is. But my first completed book. The Essence of Chaos.
It’s an epic fantasy and has been massively re-written over the last *cough* “many” years- losing almost 200 pages from its original starting weight, and gaining a lot more readability in the process. I still really like it, and someday it will be published.
But that’s not what today’s blog is about.
It’s about going back to that joyous feeling of writing as a brand new writer. I had written short stories before the Essence of Chaos—and the aforementioned abandoned book—but I was still wet behind the ears. Innocent. I used to write long hand back then (before my joints started pointing out that really wasn’t cool ;)).
Mostly my little flashback took me back to a really wonderful time of my life. I was unemployed (okay, that wasn’t great ;)) and living near the beach in Santa Cruz. Every morning I’d get up, look for jobs, then dive into my writing. Pads of lined paper were filed, double spaced so I could go back in for those first edits. After a few hours of the wonder of seeing a world I created come to life, I’d go walk along the cliffs overlooking the ocean, have lunch, then dive back into my world. A few more hours, then dinner, then more writing.
It was magic.
I wasn’t thinking about publishing, or reviews, or the next book, or finding an agent—I just wrote. I LOVED my characters. I’m a character driven writer, so I love all of my people, but those characters in the Essence of Chaos will always be special. The wonder of my first real book (I completed the rough draft during this time) combined with massive amounts of time and living in a place I adored really combined to create a wonderful memory.
I have to think that all the stress as of late, book two being over two months late, massive amounts of other stressors ganging up and bitch-slapping me recently, all made my mind pull up this memory. Not to make me nostalgic and sad (although it did at first). But to remind me of the magic of writing. Even though I am employed in a full-time evil day job, and no longer live walking distance to the ocean, I can still grab some of the magic back.
I really hope so anyway.
I like the idea of the "magic of writing." I think we all have that nostalgic memory of writing something just to write, just to tell a story, just to entertain ourselves. I've put far too much pressure on myself to write something that will SELL, and I'm just now getting back to fun - no expectations attached.ReplyDelete
Glad to hear you've made it back to the magic, Bob! That's something I am really working towards :).Delete
Love of writing is something none of us should give up. You're right it is magic. :-)ReplyDelete
Anna from Elements of Writing
I think it just slips away from us a little at a time and we don't notice until it's almost gone. Trick would be to keep it from slipping in the first place! :)Delete
I hear you. I often go back and read early stuff, just so I remember that fire. It is such a sweet experience falling in love with writing.ReplyDelete
It is! Those moments when we were really building our worlds for the first time--sigh.Delete
So... I'm unemployed and for the past few months have been doing the same thing. Just writing. Not worrying about reviews or finding an agent (except this past weekend when I went to a writing conference to do just that!) but mostly writing. It's wonderful, isn't it? Just enjoying the craft? Definitely magic :)ReplyDelete
Awesome! Okay, not the unemployed part, that can be stressful, but the enjoying the magic writing time! Hope you had a great time at the conference!Delete
In conclusion, we should write like no one's watching, or like every book is our first... Love it!ReplyDelete
That should be a quote, Eleanor! I love it!Delete
It's fun to imagine what it would be like to not have a full time job and write all the time, but then reality sets in and I'm glad I still have a job, even if it means the time for writing is severely restricted.ReplyDelete
I hear ya, Ken. If I could have a steady paycheck, health insurance, and whatnot writing, I'd leave my day job in a minute- but it is nice to have those things ;).Delete
Always good to go back to why you fell in love with writing in the first place. I find it motivating. :)ReplyDelete
It really is. I almost feel like writers could use some regression therapy of their own to get back to that feeling from time to time ;).Delete
I hope the stress lets up, and you're able to enjoy some magic again, even if it's only a teacup instead of an ocean. Having read The Glass Gargoyle, I know you create magnificent characters. I'm sure the ones in Essence of Chaos are even better because you love them so much. I hope to one day meet them. :)ReplyDelete
Thank you, Loni! I think now that I had that "flash back" happen, I am feeling more in tune with my writing-and hopefully that will mitigate some of the stressors. And thank you SO much for enjoying my characters! *Crusty Bucket says hi btw ;)Delete