To be honest, I have been writing stories and even poems as a child, but later in life, other priorities took over my world. Writing became solely concentrated on university assignments and later to the articles for the newspaper I was working for.
The most challenging for me was to write the first page. It didn’t seem to lead me anywhere. So, I did what I had done before – I abandoned the idea of writing a book.
Yet, the urge to write a book has always been there. It grew substantially when my boyfriend at the time (now my husband) told me about the story he had in mind and was actually writing it.
I tried to come up with ideas for my own story, but it was not the most challenging part, however. The most challenging for me was to write the first page. It didn’t seem to lead me anywhere. So, I did what I had done before – I abandoned the idea of writing a book.
It remained so until a little over a year ago. I had a weird dream, surreal even, but I could not shake off the images of it for a couple of days after. Grabbing my camera and going for a long walk, I was hoping to find a solution as to why it was so vivid in my mind still. And right then I came up with an idea – I had to write it down.
Instead, when I opened a new document on my computer, something else happened.
The story came to life.
The words I had struggled to find before now kept pouring out of my mind and onto the pages. They flowed out of me like a waterfall, and I couldn’t stop. Hours turned into days, days into weeks and weeks into months. I know it sounds like a cliché way of saying it. Honestly, I was obsessed.
It was not me telling the story, it was the storytelling itself through me, and I had no idea where it would take me. It’s true – I was completely unaware of what it would turn into. I certainly did not expect it to take the course it did, but I am more than happy it did take that course.
At the time I had no idea of any writing techniques. I just wrote (which is why, probably, I am now slaving over it again one year after). All I knew was – this story wanted to be told.
Then, one day, my mind went blank. I could still write the story, but I didn’t like where it was going. Or that it was not going anywhere after about 50 000 words…
I am determined to finish it, no matter how terrified I am of being judged
I decided to leave it alone for a while. Also, because another story was trying to find its voice. This time I wrote down my plan. I wrote the storyline, divided it into chapters, and defined my characters. It was supposed to be a relatively short story, just to distract myself from the one I had been stuck with.
Guess what? It turned out to be not that short after all, and it eventually took its own course despite all the preparations. It is finished now with 63 000 words and more to come after I pull myself together and edit it. And, despite it taking its own course by the middle of the book – I am happy it did. It also evoked another story of a side character that ended up in a draft version which is now semi-finished (Yes, I know…).
But in the midst of all these other stories, one morning I woke up, and a fresh idea came to my mind.
The bingo moment!
I knew what to do with my very first story now. I figured out a plot twist, I never even thought of before. And the tale regained its life.
I am working on this exact story for NaNoWriMo one year later, and I love the way it all pieces together now. And yes, I am determined to finish it, no matter how terrified I am of being judged. But the fear of finishing and getting judged is a subject for another topic.
To sum this up, when you find your story that wants to be told, writing will become as essential as breathing. You will not struggle to find the words like I did for years. They will find you. Trust me.