(Warning: CRAZY LONG POST!)
So earlier this week I did a Facebook post talking about the book I am currently working on. Well, one of them anyways. I won’t reveal the name just yet but I did just see the cover art so more info will be coming soon! I can however, talk about the change it has made in me. The post I made on Facebook was:
“Working on a new series (Don't worry, SoT books 3 and 4 are written :p ) and I am in LOVE with it. I can hardly wait to share it with the world. I feel like this novel is teaching me so much about writing and the world around me. Very tempted to do a The Writers Voice post on it but still haven't decided.”
Obviously I have decided now. :-p
With The Thirteenth Chime, Anasazi and the other two books (I will be able to say the title of book three soon!) I felt like I learned a lot about writing and slowly started to grow as an author but this is the first series I have written where I feel myself growing as a person. I realize I have probably grown as a person over the last few books as well, especially considering a few years ago I didn’t even believe I would ever write past a third chapter in a novel and now I have two on the market, two coming out next year and more planned but somehow this feels different. It feels more substantial.
It is like every chapter I am writing I am learning something new about myself and the world. Even my writing process has changed for this one. I have re-written it over and over again but this specific re-write is the first one where I have had that “THIS IS THE ONE” feeling.
It started out with me realizing that re-writing is not a waste of my time (Thank you Keri who has been telling me that for ages). TTC and Anasazi were written in practically one go and now that I have written this I feel like I sold myself and my readers short. Then I realized that I can’t regret TTC and Anasazi or any of the other novels I have written because otherwise THIS never would have happened. I wouldn’t have met so many amazing people and learned everything I am learning now.
I also realized that I have more inside my heart and imagination than I had ever realized. I would be sitting there and think of something and my eyes would go wide and I would start going all “valley girl” as my fiancé calls it and say “OMG”. (Yes… I occasionally go “valley girl” or “ghetto” if my moods are too intense thanks to growing up in Los Angeles.) I would sit there and think WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THAT… and then realize I just did.
More than that though, I looked at my main character and how she was acting in different situations and started to look at myself and my own actions. I noticed things I have done that she would never do because while she is finding her balance between selflessness and concentrating on herself she always leans towards putting others first. I had thought that was the type of person I was but slowly I looked back on more than just the big picture and specific interactions but on individual things I do or habits I have and realized I was wrong and that I was actually in the middle of a few situations where I was being both selfish and self centered.
You can probably guess why I hesitated writing about this. Who really wants to say “Hey world, I have been self centered.” But then I realized I couldn’t tell you the following without having told you that.
The novel I am writing is making me a better person with every word I write and every page I edit. It is making me realize that while you can write any character you want and make anything happen in a novel, you can do the same thing in real life with enough work. You can see that you are being selfish and decide to be selfless, you can see traits about yourself that you don’t like and decide to fix them and you can decide the life you want and make it happen. I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do with my life other than write but slowly, I am realizing that I don’t have to but if I can dream it, I can make it happen. After all, how crazy is it that now days people can fly, you can have heat without fire, diseases that wiped out entire populations are curable and even able to be stopped before they begin, you can type words just like these words here and someone who-knows-where can see them and read them, you can talk to people on the other side of the world while sitting in your own home and it is considered casual, you can live without a heart and a heart can live without you and while it all might seem normal to us, even just a hundred years ago some of those things have never even been imagined.
After all, you are sitting in the comfort of your own home (or work) and reading this instead of me having to send a letter and wait weeks for it to get to you (or longer if you live far away :p ) So while my new series may never be J K Rowling status or even a kindle best seller it has changed everything for me. I decided to write about a girl with a unique perspective and ended up getting a bit of perspective myself.
If you could have any life, what would it be? Have you ever gotten perspective from somewhere unexpected?