It is the end of my 30-day writing challenge. Quew epic music and streamers!
I realize this post is kinda late, well a lot late, well almost a month late. But who’s keeping track…
Let me first start this weeks blog post by saying that I completely bombed the writing challenge.
Amidst the mass of self-confidence and idealism, there was something else lurking beneath the surface. It was the reality of what I actually set out to do. I just wasn’t prepared for it. I had a concept, but the connection to my characters and their purpose in the story just wasn’t there. It was all superficial, I could tell you what they looked like and their small talk facts, but I don’t think I really knew what made them tick, or why someone (the reader) should care about them.
After doing hours of googling on the subject I was bombarded with suggestions and motos. Almost every writer out there has something to say on the topic of first drafts. Some writers believe that you can’t really know your characters till you dive in head first and just bang out the first draft, others take a more leisurely approach and outline every detail.
So what kind of writer am I?
Honestly, I’m still in the process of answering this question. I love doing research, and character creation is so much fun. But, if I had to narrow down my individual writing style or process I just don’t have an answer yet. But I’m okay with that.
Do I feel like a total failure? No, and here’s why.
I spent the last thirty days of my writing challenge staring at blank screens, typing, deleting, and then typing again. The anxiety and panic attacks came, they always do, but I dealt with them head-on and feel better for it. They are part of the creative process, struggling to come up with the right words (or any words) is way more real than some genius sitting in a coffee shop magically typing a brilliant first draft of a life-altering novel that will sell millions of copies. We spend so much time focusing on the end result of our favorite authors that we forget they had to wade through the muck of a blank screen just as much as the rest of us.
So here I was wading through the sludge of bad prose and shallow characters.
I became so successful in this process of avoidance and writing block that I ended up working on a lot of poetry. I went to open mic nights, probably one of the most difficult things I have ever done. I signed up for a poetry class, and while I don’t have an entire rough draft, I do have a better sense of just how seriously I want to take my work.
I learned to, take chances and reach outside my comfort level, put my writing first, and being okay with not knowing.
I submitted my work to some writing contests, didn’t win but did get one of the most reassuring rejection letters to date, and I plan to keep trying, keep writing and just enjoy the ride.
So here it is a full honest account of my journey through the world of fiction and poetry. I don’t know what will come next, but I’m sure it will be exciting.
How has your own writing journey worked out? I would love to hear about it. Feel free to post below, and remember to follow me on Twitter – @AlishaKwrites.