Hope: Life of a Writer

Tonight, I stepped out into my backyard and tilted my head back to view the sky. Scattered clouds hid what few stars I can normally see at this time of night, but I was able to glimpse one or two. There was no moon to look upon or shed light, and I closed my eyes, feeling the soft breeze flit strands of hair across my face… and I breathed in the night air until the worry was but a lingering shade. It is a concern that has plagued me these last few months, and I had hoped I would be in a better place by now, but alas, I must pass yet another test of will. That is difficult to accomplish when one holds my beliefs. When I look at the stars, I see the Universe, not the Heavens, though occasionally one might find me praying. It is a hard habit to break. I also see the characters of stories ages old in those stars.

A character sprung to life while the wind drifted through leaves of a nearby tree, but I held her back because it is not inspiration for a tale I seek this night, but for life. And funny it is that life is what inspires me to write. Every character, every facet of the story, is based on some true personal life aspect or pending possibility, and there is always an immeasurable number of those outcomes because that is what life is about—infinite possibilities.

At a time when my personal life hurtles toward the abysmal hell that has seized America, I sit here and ponder the countless solutions I know are out there but just out of my reach for one reason or another, and my claws grasp at the edge of that infernal well I have found myself in once before. It is not quite as dark as it once was and I will not allow myself to fall completely, but it holds an eerie comfort within which keeps me from crawling back out these days.

My now ex-significant other does not understand why I write, or why I spend so much time doing so. It is because an idle mind breeds those worries, and when I write, when I create, my mind races through other worlds. The worry comes in those moments when I am not in front of my laptop. Since I am not working at this time, I make every attempt to be in front of my computer, whether it entails a job hunt, a blog read, or writing, because I have learned throughout life that I must remain busy, lest my mind become troubled.

I am in the process of editing one book for a contest in which the deadline looms around the corner and I am but one-third of the way through the novel and cannot seem to move any further. At the same time, I have three others speaking to me and work on each one throughout the night when one has a moment of intermittent silence. Each novel is different in genre, so I have preternatural creatures running rampant through my mind along with the fantastical tales of heroes and heroines, and let us not forget the drink-slinging mafia princess.

These tales are where my comfort lies, in the darkness of night, in the wee hours while the rest of my time zone sleeps. They are what keep me from falling, from failure, from giving in to my darkest of moments, because they wish to exist.

I have often said this:

When I live, I leave one foot in the door of my imagination.

When I imagine, I leave one foot in the door of life.

Either way, it keeps me from getting too lost in those worlds I write, or in the world I live in.

But I always dream

Slipping into that dream world is so easy to do, and so hard to break away from when the characters speak and the story wants to be written right now. I have told the story on several occasions to shut up, but there are times when I lie awake in bed at six in the morning with dialogue racing through my head for several hours. This is the very reason my schedule has altered into total nocturnal activity. I know if I get up to write down that phrase or conversation, or entire story, I will not return to bed because it will grow into four thousand words faster than one can blink. It has happened often over the last two months.

But there is hope.

As my characters evolve, so too have I, because they face obstacles that lie in their paths and I must find a way to get my characters around them, enabling me with solutions for my own. They are not always easy solutions. Some, I know, could break my heart (and it did), but I must endure.

I discovered today that I must kill a character I adore, and that is never an easy thing to do.

And I realized once again this evening while I sit outside and listen to the wind, look at the sky, and feel the earth beneath my feet, that life is full of infinite possibilities and that only I control my destiny.

I do not make it a habit of writing resolutions for each New Year, but I have made a decision to do so now.

My personal resolutions are these:

Every day I will write

Every day I will read… something

Every day I will do some form of activity to keep the aches at bay

Every day I will tackle a project outside of writing

Every day I will hold my head high and smile

Every day I will be thankful for what I do have

Every day I will hope

Added by a friend:

Every day I will believe

Updated 30 Jan 09 and 10 Jun 09