I am a writer. Or so I believe and have believed since the day I scribbled my first Barbie play. Unfortunately, I was far more determined and prolific from ages five through twenty than in recent years, thus published I am not.
I’m transforming that last bit, which (coming from me) is a bold statement because I’ve given up on the writing process a dozen times in the past decade. Flung notebooks across rooms. Deleted files. Eradicated blogs. Shredded short stories. A few of these moves were smart- even justified- but for the most part, I quit due to fear. Well, fear and a lack of dedication (easy to submit to if you fear success is not to be yours).
I’ve written countless short stories, poems, one pathetic novella, a dozen chapters of a book, and an hour’s worth of scenes for a couple of screenplays only to walk away when the writing bit back. I think many people know that place well: your muse leaves the building, characters fumble through their scenes, stale dialogue and clichés smite your pages, and your bulleted story begins to sink. When I hit that wall, I have- no, I had– a nasty habit of walking away instead of drilling through it.
I’m not walking away again.
I started to write a book during NaNoWriMo last year and never finished it. I’ve worked on it many times since last November, but (as usual) discovered ways to distract myself. I recently dug the story out of a buried file and read it from its uninspiring beginning to its mid-sentence brick wall. Some scenes made me smile while others made me cringe. The story needs a great deal of restructuring and polishing (and, of course, finishing), but it plays with intriguing characters, conflict, and- dare I say- an enchanting story line.
My goals are simple: Rewrite, finish, and finely tune my story. Find an editor and literary agent who like the book. Attract a publisher. Ultimately: Walk into a bookstore, meander over to the fiction section, and scan the rows until I pull a book off the shelf by an author named Stodden, Michelle.
Did I say my goals were simple? Hmmm… Perhaps I should rewrite that bit.
At any rate, here I am to declare my intention to the world (or at least my mom), hold myself accountable for these goals, and document my inevitable stumbles, ideas, and discoveries along the way.
First stumbling stone: Where in the hell do I begin? (Again.)