Good news. My first story (a complete narrative arc!) is entering its 3rd rewrite with notes from an editor, a teacher, and a workshop. I refer to it as “the first” because all my previous attempts at building plot lacked a central conflict.
During the last couple months, I’ve made difficult revisions to my goals. I’ve unexpectedly dropped my focus on writing personal essays in favor of writing fiction. I’ve let go of the push to gain admittance to a summer writing workshop in favor of a more long term agenda. I’ve even let this blog sit silent.
The processes of writing and action planning have been fraught with frustration. Why wasn’t I clear about this stuff twenty years ago? Ultimately, there’s one way to move: forward.
Even while traveling last month, I found ways to work almost daily. I’ve begun preparing an application for a fellowship. I’ve chosen the class I’ll take next fall. I’ve set my sights on some 2014 workshops I’ll apply to. I’m reading more deliberately than ever. And, perhaps most importantly, draft 1 of my second story is well underway–a week behind schedule, but moving forward, nonetheless.
Andy and my parents have been completely encouraging. I couldn’t do this without their concrete support. My therapist said last week that I sound serious–not solemn, but purposeful. Sheesh, it took me long enough.
One of the unexpected side effects of immersing myself in story writing has been the way my imagination doesn’t rest. I rarely have idle fantasies any more. My internal world is a warehouse filled with props and characters and annoyances waiting to be reshaped and pushed onto the page. I feel like a fledgling puppet master on an expedition. “What if . . .?” has become one of my favorite questions.
What if she’s wearing her sister’s housecoat? What if he won’t look at her? What if the door is unlocked?
I’m not sure when I’ll blog again, but you’ll know what I’m up to in the meantime.