Do you remember my call to action?
Well ladies and gentlemen, here it is July 1st. How did everyone do?
My list is a list of things I learned, what I accomplished and what I need to work on. Let’s get to it, shall we?
I am closer than I’ve ever been to finishing my novel. The edits will be massive and severe, but I know where it’s going and have a decent idea on how to get there. The biggest thing I’ve learned as a writer this month is that I need to write every work day (two days off for the family seems a good compromise in my life). Even when I think I have nothing, if I force myself to write whatever comes to mind, I realize that my brain has been at work and it takes but some jostling to shake it loose. Time away does not clear it for me. It just makes it foggy. Writing through it clears the clutter and gets me to the good, the bad and the ugly, just where I need to be.
As for volume it’s hard to quantify. I’ve made it to about the halfway mark in one of my journals. I believe it’s the most I’ve written in a month, but it’s definitely the most focused work I’ve done. I finished a scene today of which I’m very proud. I knew exactly how it would go, and then stopped. The scene I had thought out for plot purposes didn’t fit. Instead of continuing on, I wrote on a different part, and came to the problem. What would suit the plot would not suit the characters. And hallelujah, I know the characters. For the first time, I’ve been able to pinpoint their actions and reactions, stay honest to them and by some stroke of my subconscious get just where I needed them to be. Instead of letting it sit, I powered through and I think it worked.
In the month of June, I have spent too much time blogging, commenting on blogs and following what is going on in everyone’s life. This I know to be true. I wouldn’t change it for anything. I think at times if I was serious, I’d spend this time working on my novel. But as with all things, life is about living and caring about other human beings who struggle. It’s about reaching out and saying, “Yes. I get it. You are not alone.” I have met more amazing people and developed more friendships through this than I ever would have thought possible. The novel may take longer, but it is that connection, that searching, that makes good writing and great friendships. It’s what makes it all (the big all) worthwhile for me.
In the month of June, I got a care package from a dear friend who reads my daily meanderings on life. She sent me notebooks and some other things. She said she doesn’t want me to run out of places to put my ideas. She’s going through a really difficult time, and told me that when she reads me it gives her hope. What I say makes her feel she can be extraordinary. She has no idea what a gift she has given me. You never know when what you say will ring true for someone when they need it most. This is why we should write, or really, create anything in any medium whether it’s a novel or a beautiful dinner for your family. Stuff as much love in there as you can because you might unknowingly be someone’s lifeline on a given day.
In the month of June, I’ve created two tiny clay creatures, a blue bear and a green octopus. I’ve realized the act of creating outside of writing brings back a childlike joy. Playing with clay, and not just to keep my kids entertained, but doing it when they’re in bed is really just fun! The process of writing something substantial can make you lose sight of what’s going on outside of your book. Take a night and instead of vegging out in front of the television, get out some old messed up watercolors, break out the Crayola 64 pack, just do. It’ll be worth it. Lose yourself in something completely unrelated to writing.
In the month of June, I’ve realized I need to be more careful with my comments. The written word can be so easily mistaken if someone is coming at it with their own baggage. I’m certain some of my baggage shows too. I have to temper honesty with some extra common sense. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am far from judgemental. I think we’re all doing the best we have with what we’ve been given. Unfortunately humor doesn’t always travel well on the internet. Neither does complete truthfulness. Tread lightly is my new motto (says the female elephant in her tutu and ballet slippers. Okay, so I’ll try, that’s all I’m saying).
July is here and I’ve got a family vacation planned away from the internet, away from cell phone towers. My seven year anniversary is in two days, and I have a project ahead of me that would take a focused month, but I need to get it done by Sunday. The first part of July is for my family, the people that I am so blessed to share a house with for as long as it lasts. The latter half will see me tying up loose ends and getting this bad boy typed up. It’s big, it’s massive and as of this moment I’m up for the challenge.
The last thing I learned in June was that it takes as long as it takes. It’s not about anything but getting the story right, making it interesting, making someone that is not related to me hear about it and say, “I have to read that book.” Whether it’s done next week or next year, it gets done when it gets done. Then there is a whole other can of worms to open. Plus then I’ll have to worry about what I’ll write next.
And that is pretty damn cool.
Whose up next? Tell me about your month of June.