Three weeks ago today, I was driving home to my parents’ house, realizing I was going to fail the One Month Challenge. Such a simple task, to stick with one story for one month, and I couldn’t do it. The doubts were just too strong. And once I let them in, I thought I knew then that I wasn’t going to be a writer. Maybe a worldbuilder, maybe a blogger, maybe something else, but not a writer.
Today, I have a finished draft of a novel.
I really can’t say what did it, exactly, what finally clicked into place. I also have no idea how I did it this fast, because it just… fell out of me. But I never, never, NEVER thought I would be sitting here with a finished draft of a novel right now. Maybe someday, if I was very lucky and worked very hard. But not like this.
I expected my first novel to be agony, hard work, pushing through the doubts and gritting my teeth the whole time.
I did not expect pure joy. I did not expect to have it confirmed so fully and beautifully that this is what I was born to do.
That’s not to say there weren’t moments when I wasn’t sure. After finishing the draft of the first ‘episode’ (the novel is composed of five), I didn’t think I was going to write the next one right away. But a combination of motivations (including watching The Princess & the Frog, go figure) pushed me to keep going, and then it was just one after the other… until THE. END.
Now, I have a TON of revision to do—it was written fast, and while I think it’s a solid foundation, it’s not a finished product. But I am so okay with that. I’m going to wait a month before looking back at it, so I can have fresh eyes, and in the meantime I’m going to try and work on something else to keep this momentum going (and see if it’s a fluke).
But right now I am in a place I have been trying to get for… my entire life. I’ve finished shorter projects before, but never something like this.
The only reason I’m going on about it so melodramatically (besides how big a deal it is in my life), is that I truly hope anyone out there struggling with their own creativity realizes: YOU CAN DO THIS! Believe me, if I can do this, anyone can.
I’m going to be exploring some things I learned along the way, how I turned the tide (or at least think I did, because honestly I don’t fully know), and I hope anyone reading this blog sees it not as boasting, but as sincerely trying to help. I know the pain of blocked creativity, and now I can say that I know the joy of releasing that creativity.
Whatever happens next—and it may be nothing more than a few more kilobytes of data sitting on my hard drive—I can now call myself a novelist (I think—is that only if you’re published?). Either way, I am most definitely a writer.
And trust me—if I can do this, so can you.