It wasn’t until I was 34 when I decided I wanted to write a novel. I am not quite sure what led me to this mysterious and exciting journey in my life. I suppose it was when I was 33 and I had a dream one night. I can’t remember the exact details of this life-changing dream, but I do remember bits and pieces of it. Like 99% of the time, the memory of your dreams fade away, but this one seemed to have found a little corner of my brain, made itself a nice little cozy tent and is camped out there, frequently coming out and saying, “Hello, remember me? Don’t you want to write and share this story that your subconscious created when you were sleeping? There’s a reason why you can’t forget me.” Unfortunatley, this memory dosen’t realize that I am not a writer. I can’t turn bits and pieces of a memory into a full-fledged 50,000 word novel, or at least I don’t think I can.
I decided to do some research and it was then that I learned that many authors didn’t publish until late in life. Laura Ingalls Wilder didn’t pen the “Little House” series until she was in her 60’s; Mary Wesley didn’t write two childrens’ books until she was in her 50’s and she didn’t publish her first novel until she was 70!!! Maybe some of you have heard of Elizabeth Gilbert, author of “Eat, Pray, Love” now a major motion picture. She is one of my favorite authors and I came across this quote from her:
“Here’s another thing to consider. If you always wanted to write, and now you are A Certain Age, and you never got around to it, and you think it’s too late…do please think again. I watched Julia Glass win the National Book Award for her first novel, “The Three Junes”, which she began writing in her late 30’s. I listened to her give her moving acceptance speech, in which she told how she used to lie awake at night, tormented as she worked on her book, asking herself, “Who do you think you are, trying to write a first novel at your age?” But she wrote it. And as she held up her National Book Award, she said, “This is for all the late-bloomers in the world.” Writing is not like dancing or modeling; it’s not something where – if you missed it by age 19 – you’re finished. It’s never too late. Your writing will only get better as you get older and wiser. If you write something beautiful and important, and the right person somehow discovers it, they will clear room for you on the bookshelves of the world – at any age. At least try.”
Thank you Elizabeth and Julia, I think I will try.
This infamous dream that is responsible for shipping me out on this long and painfully humbling journey will be, hopefully, my second novel entitled “Jillian’s Touch.” I want to try to get a first novel under my belt, so at least I know I can start and finish a novel. My first, which I started writing in late May, is still untitled, and still a work in progress. I have not allowed many people to read any of it, as it is always changing each day, but a select few have. I will, however, allow those of you who are interested in knowing a little more about it, the premise of the story. But I will warn you – for those of you who are not into fiction, not into love stories, than this isn’t the novel for you. It is a love story, similar to the stories you will read by Nicholas Sparks, or the aforementioned Elizabeth Gilbert, not an erotic love story, but a genuine feel-good, feel-real love story. It centers around two childhood best friends – Ryan and Larkin – who grow up together but eventually grow apart due to career choices and relocation. But when tragedy strikes Larkin, Ryan must make the biggest decision of his career and his life.
To give you an update, I am approximtely 7 chapters and 16,500 words into this novel and my goal is at around 50,000 words. The hardest obstacle is finding the time to sit and write. Unfortunately, my “real” life gets in the way and there are times when it may be 6 or 7 days in between chapters. When I start a chapter, I always try to finish it in the same sitting. Right now, I am focusing on getting the plot and the dialogue down, and then I go back and embellish the setting of the scenes.
For those of you who already know that I am writing, please be patient. Please be understanding. Don’t get too excited. I don’t know if I will even finish it. The last thing I want to do is dissapoint anybody, most importantly myself. But I am certainly going to give it the ol’ college try.
When I think about it, if I think I might have something that sounds pretty good, I’ll post every so often an excerpt from the novel that I don’t think will give anything away, and you certainly can give me any and all criticism.
Thanks in advance to those of you who take the time to read my blog. Who knows, it might be the only thing you get to read that I’ve penned.
Oh and why JaxJillian? If I am ever so lucky to get published, I have decided to use a pen name, not my real name for personal reasons. And right now, Jax Jillian is the front runner.