Monday, November 28, 2011
How badly do you want that dream?
Reading and writing have always been a big part of my life.
At school when the teacher passed around Book Orders, I would start circling like crazy, take it home to my dad so he could decide how much money he wanted to shell out that month on my reading. I joined book order clubs like Babysitter's Club and Girl Talk. Every month I'd get two fresh new books, read them within the week, and be begging my mom to drive me to the library. I have to say my parents were quite awesome in supporting my book nerd habit.
When I couldn't find the story I wanted to read that's when I started writing. Which I assume is how a lot of people started writing as well. I don't remember what my first story ever was. The earliest one I can remember is one I made in Girl Scouts called: Susie Is Lost. All about a girl who looses her doll, only to find the thing shoved under a couch cushion.
I've always known that writing was a massive part of my life. Even in moments where I didn't write, I was creating a story in my head. My dad used to play his record player growing up, and there I would be in the living room, walking circles around the coffee table just thinking of adventures. Honestly, if I didn't have crazy scenarios, what if's, and characters constantly chattering away in my head - I think life would be massively boring.
A few years ago I decided that I needed to be published. I needed to fulfill this dream of writing. Somewhere from there and around the time summer ended, I lost something. I gripe about writer's block and failure a lot.. I am probably the best at griping about writing instead of actually sitting on my butt and doing it. The thing is, I know I haven't lost the ability to write. If anything, I have gotten better. I am not being self-centered about that either. I can look at a story from seven years ago to a story now and I can proudly say: I am a good writer. I may not be the best writer, but I'm still a good one.
But what I lost was my drive for it. I didn't come across this until about August. I was at work, talking to a lady who said she wanted to read an expert of The Unexpected Clash of Strangers. I started laughing saying: "Oh you know me, I dropped the story again!" She was trying to tell me: "Hey, it's okay. Writers do that all the time." Seriously this lady is like the best at encouraging me and has always supported my writing. While she was trying to give me a pep up speech, I realized something and blurted it out:
I don't think I want it bad enough.
And I didn't. I had no desire at all to write when it came down to it. If I wanted it bad enough, I would have been going for it. I would have just done it. I wouldn't care like I used to NOT care of what was wrong here and there. I would just keep going and writing and getting these characters are were so alive in my head out onto paper. I would tell their story. Life hadn't exactly been my best friend around that time or for the past few years, and I let all those bad things take control of me. And somehow without knowing it, I let it take control of my dream. I let it tear it and me down to a point where I felt like I just didn't care anymore. It's weird knowing that I didn't care about writing.
Then October rolled around. I started thinking about past stories, one in particular Fairy Tale. I decided that I would use it for NaNoWriMo. I had no high hopes. I've done NaNoWriMo, and even Camp NaNoWriMo (around the same time I claimed defeat of my dream), and I've never really "won". I plotted and I changed things. When November 1st rolled around, I sat in my chair, and I just started typing. Some days I didn't write anything. Other days I went crazy and wrote 7K or more. I did word races on Twitter. I texted Cheryl many times at all hours of different ideas and ways things could go. Then last night, I reached the 50K line.
And it felt amazing. Beyond amazing.
The story isn't finished. The first few chapters are going to have to be completely scraped and rewritten. I'm missing huge chunks of the story, and I even decided to rename my main character from Gabby (short for Gabriella) to Ari (short for Arianna). I know this is a very rough skeleton of a story, but it felt amazing because I wrote. I dove in head first, typed furiously, and kept going and going and I'm still going.
Every day on Facebook I have been putting something I am thankful for. When I woke up this morning, there was really only one thing to be thankful for: NaNoWriMo. For giving me back that drive. For giving me the kick in the butt I desperately needed, and making me realize what I've always wanted out of life was what I've always had. It's writing. It will always be writing no matter what I'm in school for or what I'm doing. I'm glad it's back. I'm glad that I can look at all 122 pages of complete crap and smile that it's there.
Things in life are going to suck. Sometimes they're going to tear you down and make you doubt yourself in ways you'd never thought could happen. But the trick of it is, get back up. Don't let it win. No matter how long it takes you - a week, a month, or even almost three years - get your dream back. Fight for it, and dont' stop until you know it's fully yours. You'll be glad you did.