Ernest Hemingway:

As Ernest Hemingway once said...
'All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.'

Thursday, February 28, 2013

and so it begins...again

So I'm working on something new. Yes, you read that right - me, having been engrossed in a new job and figuring out life anew, is writing again. A little bit. Just thoughts and random chapters for now, as I'm still reading a manuscript for a lovely, talented, and inspiring critique partner. But when it's done, yeah, it's on. I'm ready.

It's been a long four? five? months, I can't even remember anymore. A long time of rediscovering my worth as a cog in the wheel of the corporate world, albeit a much more tolerable and giving and understanding world than I've been used to for the past eight years. However, while doing so, I've lost myself as a writer. I've worked so hard on becoming (or rediscovering) Jen the teacher, Jen the learner, Jen the...well, Jen the gal who learns from mistakes and works hard to fit into the mold left for her. Jen the writer, Jen the creative, Jen the spinner of tales and molder of words has been pushed to the back of the crowd.

Well no longer. Because thanks to a fabulous member of my now defunct writers' group (a fact we proudly proclaim as we drink and rile our way through the dive bars of SLo MO) who graciously gave me an old Mac that, despite its years, still chugs on much better than my much newer Toshiba, I'm able to tuck myself into a basement corner of my office building and tap out word after word for an hour a day. I'm busy for the first time in my life at work, but at least 3 out of 5 days (and I'm working on four) I'm going to make sure to carve out an hour to stuff my face and clack on the keyboard. It's coming. I feel it.

So this post started out as a way to thank myself and preach the importance of keeping EVERYTHING (even terrible, smelly, embarrassing old drafts) because you never know when it will evolve into the story you meant to tell all along. That's what happened to me. Characters from old novels/drafts are coming together like they were meant to be the whole time, and themes written previously all of the sudden make sense in their new home. I thought of a fucking fantastic beginning, and knowing enough to recognize that I was unsure of the end, have always been unsure of the end, I thought of a fucking fantastic one of those too. And documented it, no less. So I've got a start and an end. And a few great ideas for the middle.

And for the first time I've really thought about perspective. How to tell a story in a meaningful way. When it makes sense to write in first person and when it makes sense to do something else. I'm going to write it about the main character, from many multiple points of view, but never from his. Because his story is scary. I'm not sure it would be good to dive into his head, not first hand, anyway.

Anyway, it's an experiment. One I'm damned excited to start. I'm proud of my desire to try new things, to push the limits. Because yeah, I could churn out romance after romance. I've got a head full of sex and hot men (and a bed...well, one hot mAn, anyway). And I admire people who are cool with that - lord knows, they're making more money than me. As in I'm making none. At writing, anyway.

But I want to write from the heart. I want to entertain, yes, but I also want to shock. And to inspire fear, love, hate, pain, desire, and whatever else. I want my characters to stick with people for a long time. That's what's important to me.

I also want to help people, to share what I've learned. Which may or may not be enough, I guess I'll find out when I try to sell the next one. And probably fail. But I don't care. For the first time in my life I've stuck with something for more than six months (MUCH more), It's been years of hard work leading to this, folks. I know what I want to do. And I'm fucking excited as hell.

Just a FYI, I also worked out so hard the other day I can barely walk. Like I have to physically lower myself into a chair. Oh, isn't it glorious, getting old?


Kelly Hashway said...

Good luck with the new project. That's very exciting. Sorry to hear you are so sore from working out, though.

Jo Michaels said...

Welcome back to the land of the authors, Jen! :) I haven't had much time to write lately and I miss it. But the novel I'm working on does a number on me emotionally and I have to take days off while processing what's going on in my head. Ha! WRITE ON!

Andrea said...

Your enthusiasm is contagious...and the fact that you have a solid plan? Impressive! Good luck!!

Rissa said...

I hope the fresh writing is coming along well! I just wanted to creep on over here and see how things were. It's amazing how I am in the same mind frame right as you were in earlier this year! And I concur, your enthusiasm is definitely contagious! I think I may push my daily writing goal up a bit now!