I am sitting at my friend’s apartment in New York, about to take a bus to Newark airport, about to get on a flight to Israel! Excited, nervous, worried about not working on my novel for 10 whole days. (And regretful that I haven’t posted on my blog for this whole month – trip prep is my excuse!) My mentor, and others who know me well, or have experience as writers themselves, told me to take the vacation. Give myself a break, and when I get back, I’ll have new eyes. There was one chapter in particular I’ve been stuck on. Perhaps the time away is the perfect solution.
If I were a caterpillar, my name would be Tayloo and I would throw fabulous caterpillar parties with lots of balloons. At least, according to my six-year-old imagination.
This is one of my very first pieces, which I wrote when I was in kindergarten.
I was a sassy six.
Then, I wrote for the joy of writing. Creation. Always the artist. Whether my work would find an audience – it was never a question. Now, I write for that, and because I want to change people’s lives. I want to touch people, to be that story that threw a lightning bolt through your gut, the book that made you laugh aloud, forgetting you sat in a coffee shop, and you were unabashed when people turned to look, the one that made you cry, and pass it on for how it moved you might move your sister, or your father, or your best friend. The thing that allowed you to see the other side of someone’s story, and so you could forgive, or the one that brought you closer to someone you thought you’d lost. The one that gave you courage to do something you thought you couldn’t, or gave you insight into yourself that brought you peace, or spurred you to change.
I have always been a writer. I have been creating stories from the moment I could. I write to touch people. To change lives.
These are not original statements, but they are true.
As for the writing itself, I’m chugging along. Submitting to groups and revising, moving steadily through Draft 3. Discussing with my mentor the kinds of details I could use to lodge my characters in my readers’ memories, how to rid my story of excessive flashbacks, how to incorporate strange language. He suggested I write his fiancée, who has published several historical fiction novels, and often uses anachronistic terms. Her advice was useful. I most appreciated her comments:
I’m sure you probably feel like the book will never be finished, at this point. 🙂 But it will be finished, and you’ll feel indescribably elated.
Like it will never end is exactly how I feel. After this draft will be another and another, and so on and so on. I am so glad to have this assurance, from someone who has been through this several times, and who just had her most recent novel picked up by a leading publisher in her genre.
As always, rather than worrying, what there is for me to do is focus on the work itself.