The Courage to Write

ImageI am reading a new book. I found it in a sporadic stroll I have started recently of “how-to” books for writing. As I slowly wade through, picking my way on each word and paragraph like an explorer through swampy land, I am realizing things. The sedate pace is not because the book isn’t amazing — it definitely is — and I recommend it for any who are struggling to believe in their writing. It’s because something about each phrase resonates so profoundly within me that I cannot rush. There are a hundred things clamoring for my attention right now, and I continue to come back to this book.

“Faulkner had the courage to accept that flawed work (flawed to him anyway) was better than none at all.” – Ralph Keyes, pg 27

That line accompanied by the facts that I respect Faulkner’s work, the section in the book on writing about what you are afraid to write about, and the crazy response to a short, throwaway post here on the emotions I needed to let out to sleep has thrown into sharp relief what I have been hiding from.

Book 1 needs rewriting not editing. 

Let me outline the differences for my own frame of mind. What I wrote last night was emotional and resulted in a gripping snippet. The opening chapter of my book 1, no matter how I edit it, falls flat. Is it bad? Essentially, I don’t think so. There are elements and emotions there that work well, but it was written by a complacent girl who didn’t live or die by her writing. Alright, that’s a bit melodramatic but truthful enough. I lost my job over my writing, I refuse to lose my heart too.

Right now, I am prepping for NanoWrimo 2012. It’s probably cheating to rewrite the book again. But I was worried about having enough prep to write book 2 on a shaky book 1. I think my old-standby will work instead: writing out of order. I will write 50,000 new words for this November, but they officially don’t have to all come from the same novel.

So I will rewrite the first chapter, and hopefully have enough courage to maybe post some examples of the before and after here. Either way my writing has improved and simply re-editing the same words won’t add my heart back into that opening chapter and it needs to bang.

Write what I should write. Write the way I know how. The rest will follow.

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It Worked

My persistence paid off. After 5 days ( including my initial introduction day) of shadowing, I have been offered a position. It’s not full time employee, I am a 90-day contractor, but I am in the door and working!!

Which means, since turning in my official resignation to the school on May 17th, I was hired with pay by June 25. As Dave Ramsey talked about earlier this month, there are people who are going through some really hard times, but besides that I think I want to tell the unemployed to suck it. It’s not always perfect, but you work tirelessly beating down doors until someone decides that your skills are worth it. I did.

I have changed my fate and my career. I am now working under a man who doesn’t just think I’m worth it, but went to bat for me to get a position opened up for me. And instead of fear, I have this overwhelming sense of excitement to do well and live up to these expectations. As a teacher, I always believed that a student did better when better was expected from them. Here is my better. And I plan on fighting til the end to keep it.

In 90 days, I may be back exactly where I was on May 25th, but I will know so much more by then. And hopefully, I will have shown the company how much they need me to stay. Either way, I have walked through this fire and made it. I can do it again.

On an original reason for the blog note, editing of the introduction has been coming along in my spare time. Having some help by a beta. So sometime before November I hope to have a legitimate first draft that is worth showing a few more people.

And I’ve started the outline for book 2. New character and everything. But I hope to edit deep into book 1 to really nail down my characters’ voices before continuing on. I want to know them more before I develop the deeper plot in book 2. I read a book once where author truly had ongoing dialogues and arguments with their characters. I need to find that.

So work and a rough, rough, first draft. A good start to the summer if I say so myself. ^_^