Every couple years I get the crazy notion that I should sit down and try to put into words the millions of crazy thoughts that go through my head. Ok well, maybe stating that they are crazy is giving myself too much credit. It’s like putting it out there that I am in any way amusing or entertaining. Which in reality, probably isn’t true. In fact, I think in general I live a pretty boring life.
I am a stay at home mom to 3 beautiful daughters. That in itself is somewhat interesting. My oldest, we’ll call her “F” is 13 years old and is coming into her “Mom is boring/stupid/too strict/utterly annoying” phase. My middle child is 2 1/2 and of course that means she is in that terrible two’s heading into threenager phase. I get yelled at at least twice a day by “S”, which I guess is a nice change of pace from the eye-rolling of “F”. The youngest, “A”, is 9 months old. And I guess I shouldn’t be afraid to admit (mostly since the other two have no idea this blog exists) that “A” is the favorite…right now. Even though, since she is still nursing, she thinks it’s funny to bite Mama at least once a day and also thinks twiddling boob skin between her fingers is just the bees knees. (No wonder “F” thinks I’m annoying, I just used the term “bees knees”) Between school, homework, dance class, swim classes, daycare, housework, doctors appointments, etc. these kids really do keep me on my toes.
As for anything that I do for myself…well…does this count? I have always loved writing. In school English was always my best subject. (Knowing that please don’t judge my current grammar, sentence structure, or overuse of punctuation on the fact that 10 years…over ten years ago English was my best subject) I would write poetry during the disaffected youth years. I always knocked the essay questions portion of tests right out of the water. (Even when I didn’t quite know the right answer, I still somehow tricked the teacher into believing what I wrote)
When it came to writing short stories in English I really flourished. I had almost every English teacher I had convinced I was going to go on to great things. (This was obviously still in the time when kids were told they could do whatever they loved in life and live the American dream as long as you went to college) My 11th grade English teacher (after having read a short story I wrote) came up to me with the graded paper in tears and told me, “Jessica, if you do nothing else in your life, please pursue this as a career. You have a talent that I have not seen in my 26 years of teaching.” Those words have always stuck with me. In fact, I still have that assignment. A short story titled, “Pia, the Wonder Pixie.” It has been my inspiration to write a full length novel based on it.
Which I suppose brings me here, to this blog. I have been working on my novel off and on (okay more off than on at this point) for almost 4 years. The original paper sat in a box for years until I really sat down and realized that I could at least attempt to honor my teacher and what she had wanted. But thanks to writer’s block and quite honestly a paralyzing fear of rejection I suppose, I am stuck. It’s been at least a year since I’ve even looked at the close to 20,00o words I was able to mash out.
In an attempt to kick start the process I joined an online community of writers. This one in particular is more based around the Sci-Fi/Fantasy genres. Which is perfect for me, since my novel is a Fantasy. I posted about my writer’s block and the fear of being unoriginal in a genre that has been so overly done already. (When someone says Fantasy novel who doesn’t think of J. R. R. Tolkien or George R. R. Martin) The response I got from I guess we could call, my peers, was overwhelmingly supportive. But one piece of advice in particular really stood out. “Write. Just keep writing.” This author explained that even if I’m not working on my novel, I should just keep on writing. Whether it be a blog, an online review, or some letters to family, keep writing. (Insert Dory’s “Just keep swimming” song here)
Now 3-4 months after getting that key piece of advice, (and after giving someone else very similar advice) here I am writing. Pouring out my thoughts, my feelings, my everything in the attempt to push past my own insecurities. I’ve always compared having my writing actually read by anyone to that horrible dream where you are standing up naked in front of your class and you’ve forgotten your homework. But instead, since this is the internet, it’s like standing up naked in front of the entire school reading aloud my diary.
So here I am guys, naked and scared and doing it anyway.