Read a quote this morning from my favorite actor, Ryan Reynolds, that sparked some much needed motivation: “Some dream of success. Others stay awake to achieve it.”
I find this quite ironic, for me anyway, because a lot of my creativity for my writing comes from my dreams. But in order for me to dream, I need to sleep. Whenever I find myself struggling to find the right words, or struggling to find the direction in which my story should go, a lot of times I will take a “cat nap” to see if maybe something in a dream will ignite a little bit of creativity. Sometimes I find that it does, and other times not so much. I haven’t written on this blog in a while because I have been just so out of ideas, out of creativity I guess. It is frustrating. I wonder at times if I even have the will to finish the novel. I have done so much research about writing and publishing and how difficult it is and how minuscule my chances are at even finding an agent that will want to read my manuscript. I don’t know if my feelings of being able to finish stem from fear of failure or just plain laziness. I tend to lean more toward fear. I am so afraid of failure and dissapointment that writing has started to become like work to me. And that is hindering my progress. I am the type of person that once I set my mind to do or learn something, I HAVE to achieve it. But this, writing a novel, is the single most hardest thing I have ever taken on. I don’t want to just finish it, I want it to have wings and fly. I want it to have a heartbeat. I want people to want to read it and like it. Then I have to say to myself, Relax. Who do you think you are? Take a step back. This is something you are doing because you like to do it, not because you need to do it. Have fun with it.
And then I remember another quote I read from the aforementioned actor: “I know that whenever I’ve done something I was very afraid to do – regardless of the outcome – it was a win for me.”
As I remember this quote and as I read it and re-read it, the shadow of fear that has been cast around me slowly begins to fade and I realize that I am trying to have fun. This shouldn’t be like work for me. It’s a hobby and hobbies are supposed to be fun. I need to start looking forward to writing again, not dreading it, and realize that just finishing it will be a win for me.
With all of that said, here is an update on the novel: I am 10 chapters into it with approximatley 30,000 words with the goal of at least 50,000 words. It is so close that I can taste it. I know where I want to go with the remaining story, I just need to find a way to illustrate it on paper. I know I had promised to introduce my character Larkin in a past blog so here she is:
Larkin sat on her front porch swing which was still slightly damp from the earlier rain storm. There was still a mist in the air, but the clouds seemed to be breaking. She often sat out here at night after her long day at work. She needed the peace and quiet which was a far cry from the hustle and bustle of her job. She chuckled to herself, thinking that most people wouldn’t associate living in the city as peaceful and quiet. But she was lucky. She lived in a small neighborhood nestled away in a corner of greater Northeast Philadelphia that was calm and inviting. Not too much traffic and all of the neighbors helped each other out for the most part. She looked to her left and saw the tree-lined street vanish around the bend. She noticed that several houses across the street had green and white lights glowing in honor of the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day. The house directly across the street was especially lit up with shamrock-shaped lights outlining the edges of the roof and windows, and toy leprechauns dancing in the front yard. These nighbors decorated for every holiday and Larkin always knew that the day after each one, she could count on them to have decorations up for the next one, even if it was a couple of months away.
It was an unusually warm night for early March. She still had her navy blue scrubs on and she didn’t need to zipper up her sweatshirt. Just four days prior, the city got walloped by a Nor’easter, which has become somewhat of a weekly occurrence these days in Philadelphia. But it was nice to see the barren tree branches start to thaw out and small patches of grass start to emerge from underneath their white winter coat. In the distance, she could hear the regional rail train buzzing by. She glanced at her watch. 7:05 p.m. Right on time, she thought. She reached for her left ring finger and started to play with her wedding band. Just like the train, she felt like everything in her life was becoming too routine. She was becoming bored and she was longing for a little excitement in her life. Sure, she was happily married and she loved her husband Christopher, but she still couldn’t shake this feeling that there was something more out there for her.