When I fired up the Work in Progress yesterday, a strange thing happened: I felt like something had been lifted from my shoulders.
That maybe be difficult to understand, so let me see if I can explain.
The story I’m working on, Echoes, was something that called to me, or at least the idea did. Probably because the stress of the month of December was getting to me, and there were things happening to me that were outside my area of control that really pissed me off. I’ve been through therapy, so I know when you encounter things you can’t control, then don’t. Leave it be.
I did, but that doesn’t mean my mind doesn’t go there and wonder, “What might be? What happens if–?” Yeah, that’s a trap we all fall into now and then. We want to change things even when we know we can’t.
Echoes is, for me, about something that happened to the main character at some point in their life, something that happened with another person, and he not only learns about what happened to this individual, but he also discovers what might have happened. He also finds out something else at the end of the story, but I haven’t gotten there yet, so I can’t tell you just what it is. Well, I know, but I’m being a freakin’ tease . . .
I’m at the point in the story where the main character has see the “What If”, and is now learning about what happened in his time, what happened to someone whom, you discover, he cared for more than even he admitted to caring for. And it’s in this part that I started to break through and actually write like I can write. Not just slog my way through 500, 600 words like I’m having to pull the damn words out of my head, but actually write.
Yes, I took my time getting through the 1000 words I created yesterday, but it came out of me feeling good, like I wanted to put the words down on my electronic paper. Now that I’m at the point where I’m talking about what ultimately happened to the person in the main character’s life, all of a sudden I feel better.
Why is that? Probably because I finally feel connected to the people in the story, instead of just thinking of them as “there”. And that’s strange, because the main character is really one I’ve lived with for a very long time, and I know him like I know the back of my lying hand.
My mind works in strange ways. It sees things that aren’t there. It imagines things that aren’t real. And that’s not just for writing: that’s for life. That’s the way I’ve been for a very long time. Sure, having a good imagination is great when you want to be a writer, but when it’s making you think things all the time that aren’t true, trust me, it’s not a lot of fun.
The next few months are going to see change for me; this much I know. As I spoke with my own Marissa yesterday–yes, I did!–I said that I think this is my year, that things are going to change for me. How will they change? Well, I have ideas, and I have dreams. Part of it is going on right here, on this forum. Other things are happening with my writing.
It’s finally coming together. Maybe all I had to do was go back and see what might have been.
And do something about the what is.