1/13/14

Manuscripts That Didn't Happen

Well hello! Long time no see!

My break was...interesting. I returned home for Christmas, not with visions of sugarplums, but visions of manuscripts.

Manuscripts that didn't happen.

I could blame a lot of things--busiest Christmas schedule in quite a while--but it boils down to to one thing:
It's really hard to write, when you know that any momentum you create will be shattered in just four short weeks--three short weeks--two short weeks--tomorrow.
Oh, I did my share of dabbling. I worked on the post-NaNo-novel {working title: EXOGESIS}. I abandoned that for the NaNo novel. It was all very inefficient and convoluted.

 New Year's Day, I sat down to make my goals. I'm not big on resolutions, but I like laying out a plan at the beginning of each year, something to hold myself to so that I don't drift aimlessly through life. For as long as I can remember, writing goals have been a huge part of these plans. They usually involve finishing drafts, sending out queries, or entering contests.

This year, I stared at a blank page. Not because I didn't have ideas or dreams, but because accomplishing them was not feasible. I'm starting my fourth semester in college, and I've learned something about writing and physics-majoring: they don't mix well. In fact, they don't mix at all, and it's always writing that gets put on the backest of burners, because it's the one that won't be graded.

Last year, I didn't let it bother me. After all, I thought, I have the summer. But I shall have no such thing this summer; I'm going overseas from semester's end to semester's beginning, and writing times will be few and far between.

Thus, New Year's Day found me in tears because of a realization that broke my heart: twenty-fourteen was to be a year of no serious writing and no writing goals.

I don't even know what that looks like. I know that after I came to that conclusion, I became a chronic moper. "It is like I have shoved my writing into a box inside my heart," I told my dad. "And I cannot let it out because I cannot give it what it needs." He understands as much as anyone can; he is a musician.

It got so bad that I had to come to terms with it again {I had thought I was through}. Where I had formerly sworn off writing for the greater good, I now relented. And I think I have found the compromise:
  1. I'm returning to my writing roots. Those minutes stolen away to imagine a scene, the carelessness of creativity, because no one's ever going to actually read this {don't laugh--that's how I wrote Those Who Trespass}, the utter ignorance of market trends and genres and what is acceptable and what is not. When I was in high school, I allowed myself to write anything I wanted, just to get better through practice. I need to get back to that place.
  2. This year is an adventure. Writers need stimulation. They need to meet people and see new places and endure hardship and feel the wind on their face. Life is an exercise for the creative brain, and this shall be a year of triathalons.
So yes, you're reading this correctly: there is no forthcoming book. The wrong words, I know, for someone who just published. They are words that both crush me with disappointment and give me the wings of relief. Any words I write this year will be because I want to, not because I have to. This was not an easy decision. But it was the right one.

No, this is not goodbye! The blog will remain, don't worry. I'll still be here. I'll even still be writing! But I'm having to apply my epic overachievement skills to other things right now, so it will just be different. I'm not writing this blog post as an announcement, either. It's just another chronicle in the story. Because life is as much--more--of a story than words on a page, and it was meant to be lived to the full.

{And just so you know I'm not completely repressing myself, I've actually got something in the works right now. Will I finish it? Who knows. But I like it.}

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