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.

writer wednesday: challenges

Writers have it hard, though we revel in the thought of being a “glutton for punishment”. Why? It may have something to do with the expressions which fall over (or glaze over) the target of our conversation. It could also be the fact that, as a writer who has seen her share of happy and unhappy endings actually make it to the page, we know we are a misbegotten few.

It’s a pleasant thought, knowing “see it through to the end” writers are a rare find.

But back to my initial point: we have it hard. Not because we are furiously determined to write tales and adventures, but because we are gloriously “trapped” by our own imagination. Not be bombarded by character tales and “what ifs” on a daily basis? Impossible! Watch a movie or read a book without being inundated with possibilities, tangents, and continuations? Inconceivable! (Yes, I had to say that….)

As many of you know, my mother passed away suddenly in December of 2014. She was 68. Since her death, I allowed myself to become enclosed in a room of shadows. Imagination, stories, characters… none were allowed beyond the door to rescue me from the misery of her loss.

But no more. Now I struggle to push through the cobwebs and weeds and make good my escape. It will mean reawakening my diligence, my determination, and my desire to revel in being a “glutton for punishment”. The danger is trying to shoulder too many challenges before I am ready.

Challenge #1: Balance editing time with creation time.

Too often I get into the revision/editing stage of a manuscript and forget that I also need to allow myself the time to create new tales; find new characters and new worlds. Playing with new ideas is essential! Even if it’s just a brief doodle, at least it will be a possibility that is now free and waiting for me to weave into something more. It is even okay to let it quietly slip into a pleasant memory.

Challenge #2: Don’t give yourself an unattainable goal.

What I mean is, don’t start writing a rough draft and give yourself a complete date/goal for a FINAL DRAFT. Goals are best done in stages. Set a goal for an outline. Set a goal for a rough draft. Set a goal for a second draft. See the pattern? Of course, if you’re the type of writer that needs the pressure of a final completion date, try and limit it to a Quarter or a Year and not an actual date. At least, not until you have completed draft #2 and have a better idea of how the storyline is coming to fruition.

Don’t sabotage your success by setting an unrealistic expectation.

Challenge #3: Partner with someone you trust.

After struggling through organizing/writing this post, I will send it out for review to my husband and partner Michael King. This is something new and different for me, but I trust his insights, especially since he is a talented mentor and understands – to a greater extent – how to present leadership/mentoring material in a helpful way. Not only that, in regards to my fiction I know I can trust his ability to keep me on the straight and narrow, including the necessary torturous events for our faulty hero.

When we have access to someone we trust who challenges us in a healthy way, that enables us to grow. Growth is the key, and it should always be the target.

That’s all for now. Here’s hoping I will continue to have something to say as my reawakening continues.

Blessings,

Nona King

Have you had similar challenges? What did you find most/least helpful?

another beginning

A few of you may wonder why my site looks different than it did just a few short weeks ago. The answer is quite simple, I installed a theme that caused my site to crash and have not been able to recover it.

Oops. Such is the reason why you are supposed to backup your data before installing updates.

So, I gathered my very few belongings and shuffled over to WordPress (good ole reliable) and had them map my domains to this more stable location. The good which will come out of all this mayhem is the swift kick to the lower regions (read: motivation to make forward progress) to generate new content etc.

Never a bad idea.

Please be patient with me as the hubs and I “go forth and multiply” the pages and posts. Perhaps we will even stumble upon a weekly adventure with Para and Phillip along the way. One never can tell.

Nona King