Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Christmas Present For Myself

You know my dreams and now you know my fears that prevent me from realizing that dream. Well, one of them anyway. I will let you in to see more of that soon. I think the process of writing it down really made a difference on how I feel it.

I made myself a promise. I even did some testing, timing and planning.

See, I have this voice in my mind. She talks to me often. Sometimes it's like she is really here. She is the person I need to write for. The words are her story and she's been here for quite some time, telling me secrets and tales about her life. She wants me to share it. She is my #1 character. I've worked with her, developing the stories and even asked her questions in my mind to understand her motives better. And I think now we are ready.

Unlike the many stories or poems I have tucked away all over my home, hers is constant. It is complicated and detailed, it is simple and true. She scares me sometimes, part of the things that I'm afraid to write come from her. But this is her story, not mine.  I will just craft it, compile it into one nice package instead of the bits and pieces I've got so far.  Some of her story has already been written down, I will tuck it nicely in the folds of the whole story.

I am considering it a Christmas gift to myself.

Not only will I complete one more step towards my dreams, I will be able to mute her voice in my mind. I will have shared what she wants shared and perhaps, she will stop calling to me at the most inopportune times. Like sitting in front of the kids school, in the van, when the only paper I have is the back of a receipt.

I've been known to send myself text messages with the ideas that pop up. I've used Evernote, index cards, the memo function in the new phone. I've sent things to blogger as drafts to save for later. I've emailed myself. And yes, I've written many notes on napkins and receipts. And now it is time to pull them together.

I've been in school, I've got a job, I've got three kids at home for the summer. I keep busy and have struggled with any writing goal I've ever given myself. 1000 words a day, 5 days a week, sounds great but the reality is that I'd spend one day a week wondering why I had to write 5000 words at once. And then it became a chore, and then it didn't get done at all. So I cut back to a goal of 3000 per week. Not specific about which days or how many days, just a single count for the week. I can go over. I can catch up quickly if I need to; a motivated writing session of just 20 minutes can spit out 3000 words sometimes. I started just over a month ago.

Sticking with this goal, I will have a novel length manuscript for Christmas. A gift for myself.

Just in the first little while, I have noticed how my writing has changed. The voice is more natural, the story is taking shaping and drawing me in. It is getting easier to lose myself when I pick up the pen. I am excited and motivated.

Publishing is a great dream, but I'll never get there if I don't get it written. I need to write this woman out of my mind for my own reasons, whether it gets published or not.  I'm not normally one to think about Christmas in July, but this time I'm making an exception. This year is going to be fantastic!

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