Posted in writing

The Writing Diaries pt. 11 – New Waters

Tides will turn, winds can shift, and at times even the rain changes direction. Sometimes, our inner well of creativity changes, too. One day you might draw up the pail from the well expecting to find water, only to be met with nothing. It can be shocking and even scary to realize that it’s no longer full. And for the first time in a long time, you’ll have to consider the idea of digging a new one. Even though the old place felt safe and comfortable, the water didn’t taste so fresh anymore. But when you find that new well, that untapped resource, you might just find that it was exactly what you’d been looking for.

Recently, my “well” of creativity has changed direction. The heart I had for a certain project began to taper off little by little, almost imperceptibly, until I was eventually faced with nothing. Then one day a new story, with it’s very own spring of water, much different than its predecessor started to gurgle up from the parched ground. This new story quickly turned into a rushing river carrying me away on its current. It was a current I willingly launched out on, and now that I’ve left, I’ve hardly looked back.

A while ago, I made the difficult choice to leave an unfinished story behind, and begin a new one. I’m on that journey now, and am already waist-deep in it. This story was fairly new on my idea roster, but there was something about it that made me want to pour all of my time and energy into it. It felt new, and exciting, but it also felt familiar, like it was waiting for me all this time.

This project has been much like treading new waters, but I’m enjoying the process. I didn’t rush the plotting, or outlining phase, and miraculously, it all came together fairly quickly. It’s also the most in-depth, and well developed outline I’ve ever written. Needless to say, I’m feeling good about it. I’ve also given myself a loose deadline to (hopefully) finish the first draft by the end of summer. After completing NaNoWriMo last November, I figured it’s not too much to ask of myself to try and finish this draft in three months. I can be an incredibly slow writer, so I figured adding a bit of pressure is a good thing. But at the end of the day, the first draft is only the first step. Arguably it’s the most important step, but there are many more steps to follow, and with that in mind, the drafting process has been less intimidating.

I’m also excited because I’ll be writing this draft entirely by hand. Why would I be regressing to such an archaic form of recording, you may ask? Because the greats, like Dickens, Austen, and Shakespeare, all wrote by hand, and I want to follow in their footsteps… I’m kidding, that was a joke. Really though, I chose to write by hand because it helps my overly critical, analytical brain, to take a hike. Writing by hand is a way for me not to overthink the words I’m putting down, and allows my creative thoughts to flow more freely. No delete key, and no backspacing key. I have no option, but to forge ahead. The first draft is always the most difficult part of the writing process for me, so if I find a way to make it easier on myself, then I’m all in. Even if it means I’ll have to transcribe several thousands of words from my scribbled notebook pages later, it’s worth it.

This new story is about an urban legend, a small town, and some strange happenings there. It has elements of many different movies, TV shows, and books that I have loved over the years. One of my inspirations was The X-Files, a popular show from the 90’s about two FBI agents taking on some strange, unexplained cases. I’ve had to do a lot of research for this project, but it’s been fun. I went to the library and grabbed several books on the topic I needed, and they have been really helpful. I’m learning a lot from this book already and I still have a long way to go. Later on I’ll probably do a proper, more detailed introduction for this story, but for now that’s all you get.

All in all, this move felt like a giant leap of faith, and with no regrets to speak of yet, I’m taking it as a sign that this was the right choice. A lot of us tend to stay in the same rut, afraid and unwilling to dig ourselves out and try something new. That’s where I stayed for a very long time. I was intimidated to make any drastic changes, but I realized that I am in control of my own writing. Who’s to say I should or shouldn’t write what I feel tugging on my heart, except for me?

* * *

I hope this post has inspired you to take the plunge, and start something new if a change has been knocking on your heart lately. Sometimes you don’t know what the right choice is until you give it a try. So fear not, my friend, and open up that door.

Thanks for reading,

Lady S

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