So far on Scripturiently, I haven’t spoken much about writing — I read a lot, which is why this blog is overflowing with reviews and opinions on them regularly, but my main focus is and will always be writing. With writing comes a ton of stuff that you, as a writer who is happily hopping over the hills of creativity, do not want to deal with. There’s the well known writer’s block/well that pretty much every writer goes through, but it’s okay — we eventually find a way to break the wall or climb back up again. You see, that’s the amazing thing about being a writer — I don’t think I’ll ever stop.
In September of 2012, I traveled back and forth on a tram between my internship and home, and while I did that, I would listen to movie soundtracks. On one particular occasion, a scene manifested in my mind, charged by the music coming from my earbuds, but faded the moment I got home. The next day, the same thing happened, only the scene progressed, developed, and stuck with me longer. By its reoccurrence on day three, I knew I had to start writing things down — after all, that’s when characters started to emerge.
As of right now, August 5th 2014, I have written a total of approximately 69,000 words and no one has read a word of it. I used working a program named YWriter, but when my laptop crashed and became unusable, I was unable to access the writing software. My story is at a standstill right now — that’s what it felt like for months. In my head, however, things were till brewing and developing, and I kept writing things down ‘for when my software could be used again’. It wasn’t until two weeks ago that I realized I didn’t need my writing software to write — sure, it would be easier to have, but it’s not like the software ran off with all my ideas.
This is probably the thing I love most about writing. You can take away my computer — I’ll be pissed, but I’ll have pen and paper. I could have a writer’s block, but my imagination would find a way around it. It took me a while to realize it, but I realize it now: your imagination cannot be stopped (can’t be tamed, hey!). It is, to me, incredibly empowering to realize that my gift involves making things up out of thin air, that I want to amuse people and cause people to experience emotions just because of the words I give to them.
The fact that I’ve been writing this for nearly two years is a sign to me — the fact that I imagined one scene for almost two weeks up until the point my main characters practically introduced themselves to me — both signs that I need to keep writing this, that I shouldn’t fight my own imagination. People might not like it, and your work and you will be criticized — but at the end of the day, you still let your imagination run wild. I think that’s a beautiful thing.
I don’t have a go-to step by step guide as to how to write a popular success story, and I can’t say there’s a golden rule to writing. All I can say is that I’ve tried every trick in the book, followed every step to help me write, and at the end of it all, the reason I kept writing is because I felt I needed to. I felt like my characters needed to go through these adventures, the hardships and everything that came with it. I did not write every day — lord knows I tried (and failed very miserably, I might add) but at least I wrote.
I’m up to 69,000 words and I take pride in that, because previously I couldn’t get past the first two chapters before I would give up. My story isn’t done, and it might take another two years to get the rest of it done, but it’s there. I did that. My imagination did that.
If you are a writer, all I can say is this: keep writing. There is no success formula, no cheats or hacks to the end of the finish line (no up up, down down, left right, left right, B, A, start here guys!). Your imagination will get you there. Take pride in the gift you have, don’t worry, and if all else fails, there’s always Neil Gaiman to kick your butt into gear.
(I’m kidding about that last one, though you should really watch that speech.)