Earlier this month, I spent the first three days soul-searching, as at that point I was still dinking around on job websites. Having an education, varied work experiences, and many talents meant I could angle my experience into pretty well whatever direction I wanted–so the question became, what do I want? What did I regret the most not doing the in the last year? Five years? What did I wish I would have done yesterday? If I could fast forward to when I was sitting on a rocking chair in my final days on this Earth, what would I say I was most proud of, or that I wished I would have made the time to do?
My answer was the same it has always been, ever since I was a child kept awake late into the night with an imagination which made butterflies magic and the monster under the bed very real, and so Mom gave me a flashlight and a stack of books. My bed was always piled high with stuffed animals and books, even well before I could do more than think that words marred the illustrations on every other page. When I did learn to read, I would often finish a book or two a night. As an older child, I spent hours in my grandmother’s attic telling ghost stories I didn’t think were scary, but frightening my cousins into screaming fits. Once I learned to write, the pencil never was far from my hand, though my letters were–and still are–rather abhorrent in their penmanship.
I wanted to tell stories. I had to tell them. And the years and all the ways life has changed me has not changed that one core thing. For those of you who have been following me for years (what, years?!) know this is a topic I frequently reminisce on, because I find it amazing and overwhelming. When I was at my last Write-In meeting, one of the NaNoWriMo participants told me that she answered phones at a company for the money and found her fulfilment by volunteering in her down time. By all means, kudos and good work! …but I couldn’t do that. Not for long. When I was suddenly meeting and talking with twenty new people, I was asked What do you do or What do you want to do? And I admitted to pretty well everyone there that whatever ‘job’ I would work at would be only a means to supply money; I wanted nothing else but to write, and failing that, I wanted to learn.
I thought I’d give writing more of my time, that I’d cut out my internet time and focus my down time on putting words onto paper. At present I have no pets, no children, no outside chores to finish. I have the optimal free time I can ever see me having, and I thought I might as well take full advantage of these circumstances. I was expecting results. I wasn’t expecting these results: 6 dead pens, one notebook fully used, a second one purchased and already a tenth of the 200 sheets are used up in two days. I’ve finished the rough draft of a novella which has yet to have a legitimate name beyond “The Eve and Jonas Story”. I started a second novella on the 26th, and it is beyond the half-way point as of now. I hope to have it finished tomorrow, that way I can focus on the rough draft of my NaNoWriMo novella on November 1st, and hopefully I will be able to start on the second draft of “The Eve and Jonas Story”.
At the conclusion of “The Eve and Jonas Story”, I gave myself a day to organize my next project options and start up two private boards on Pinterest to use for inspiration, to build the respective worlds in pictures so I could slip into them when I wrote. I had not really planned on making them public, but Pinterest only allows for 3 private boards and I’ll want to do more world building before I finish the editing process for the stories I’m currently writing. When I make them public, if only to allow for another private board, I’ll do an individual post explaining how I’m using the subject material and add a link to that post on the Pinterest board so the average person can make sense of the randomness if they wish. And so any of you fine readers can go check it out if you desire.
I told Facebook I was boasting over my success so far. This isn’t true. I’m humbled by it. Several months ago, I thought I had lost my stories forever in the great void of depression. I had no self-confidence, and worse than that, I had no stories to tell. I could watch movies and read books as much as I wanted, and that was all the imagination I had in daily life until I tried to sleep–then the monster under the bed was very real, and I didn’t have any magic butterflies or youthful belief in unicorns to protect me. It was my crumbled mind and worn body against every itself. As weeks passed me by, I truly thought the “good days” of writing were gone and I was doomed to live for the brief rush and distraction work provided. Nothing made me more empty than when I looked around the house and I had nothing finished of my own which I could read. Months went by and I didn’t accept it, but I resigned myself to it.
Now I’m here, writing what must be thousands of words a day, and I’m tearing through everything at a rate I have never, ever met before, much less sustained for weeks at a time. It hasn’t always been easy to put pen to paper this month. Some days I threw it on the table and abandoned it until I walked away my restlessness. If I skipped one day, I made myself sit at my book first thing the next morning and write four paragraphs, and four paragraphs would turn into pages. I know now more than ever that this won’t last indefinitely and I need to make the most of today and now. Life will change. At some point I’ll need spare cash more than the need to fulfil my rocking-chair-dream, and when that time comes, I’m going to make certain I have as much done as I can possibly do right here and now.