looking back to see forward

When I first started writing novels, I was sixteen years of age. There was no question in my mind about subject or purpose; I had a crystalline view of the characters, their story, and the struggles and blessings along the way.

That young adult fiction series gave way to dramatic and inspirational  romances which, later, gave way to epic fantasy adventure novels and romantic mystery adventure novels. Over the span of 25 years I never faltered when it came to ideas and motivation. I was driven and never thought of the possibility that fact would change.

Then I entered the dating fray, met my now husband, and experienced the first halt to my drive. Although I would classify it more as a pause because I did not feel as if inspiration were silent. It felt more as if my characters waited with baited breath as I experienced true love and relationship for the first time in my life.

After our 2nd anniversary, I gladly – and anxiously – leapt back into the waiting maw of story and character with To Save a Soul and NaNoWriMo. What a thrill! TSS led to Silver and Iron and Para and a few others. My writing habits had matured as well, giving me an appreciation for outlining the most notable.

But I could sense the change in the driving force, for it wasn’t what it once had been. It was no longer all encompassing to the detriment of everyone else. I wasn’t so jealously guarded of my time. Inspiration was still with me, but tempered.

This waning continued, finding my days no longer overflowing with hours at the computer–no longer stealing time at work to write a story that simply MUST be told. It is then, years later, we come to where I stand now, utterly at a loss as to the beginning. Devoid of ideas due to the terror of not being able to find one worth its time. I have come to the place, finally, where so many others have stood–trembling with the desire to be a writer but overcome by the “How?”

Before, I never understood. I thought to myself, ‘just write something!’ and thought it easier than drinking water to do the same. I ask the forgiveness of all the writers before me. If I ever minimized your agony, I apologize with all of my being.

Rest assured, I am serving penance.

The fact that so many have succeeded gives me courage, and a bit of relief, because it is always comforting to know you are not the one blazing the trail; you are following it.