I was going through some of my old writing yesterday- poems, novels I started, that sort of thing. I was shocked at how many there were; how many different little worlds i had opened up and never finished, for some reason or another. I managed to find one I really liked the beginning of, and I remember that I'd ditched it when I was stuck about where to take it next. Usually, for me, if it's going to happen it just flows. the characters I create seem to take on a life of their own and write their own stories. If that doesn't happen, if I don't feel that click, it's best to walk away from it. I wrote one novel that I didn't care for ... and by "didn't care for" I mean by the end of it, I hated it with a passion and wanted the characters to leap off various cliffs. That was when I decided trilogies are for others to write, LOL.
It's odd how much of my life is documented in old notebooks, folders, and now in my handy Word program. I can tell so much about who I was when I read that stuff... especially the over-dramatic teen angst stuff. Wow, I'd forgotten how tragic everything is at that age. But it's so strange to look back now and see where that girl wanted to go, who she wanted to be and what she planned on doing. The plan was always to write- I just didn't end up with a best selling novel by 25, a penthouse in NYC and alas, while I did marry a blue eyed man, he is not the one I planned my wedding around at age ten.
I think writers always put pieces of themselves and their own lives into their work- it's too natural a thing. It's the core of "write what you know." And we add other pieces, our own wants, fantasies and dreams, until what we have is a patchwork of fiction and fact, reality and imagination. I love to write- whether I'm any good at it is in the eye of the reader. But good or not, I know that it's essential that I do it. It's like breathing- when I don't write for a time, i go slightly crazy. I get twitchy and start jonesing for it.
My life can be measured by endless spiral notebooks, filled to the very last line, on the very last page. Basically twenty years of words, feelings and pieces of a girl growing up on paper. Some things have changed... I no longer use a notebook. I gave that up, reluctantly, three years ago. It took awhile to grow into using Word, but now I can't imagine hand writing hundreds of pages the way that I used to. Gotta love progress. :)
I'm still that girl, in a sense. I'm still that writer, the one who wanted a best selling book, the one who wanted to world to fall at her feet. Now I just get that there's work to be done, in order to achieve. Sucks, LOL, but it's true.
So I'll work. I'll do the best at what I do, and let the rest happen as it's supposed to. Maybe someday I'll have that best seller, or a beach house on the Cape (revised that from the penthouse a long while back, LOL). You just never know what you can have- and the only way to fail is not to try at all. I'd rather not fail. I'd rather have another twenty years of writing to look back on, just to see how much I've changed from now to then. And to see how much, deep down, at the very core of me, I haven't changed at all.