I just finished the first draft of a story I’ve been working on (sporadically) for the last month. I don’t know if you remember me telling you that I have always struggled to write stories. They usually slip their leashes and become novels, or I try to shove them into this small package I don’t understand and they suffocate.
But a little while back, I read an interesting NPR article. A few days later, this story inspired by the article came to me fully formed. I knew almost everything about it from the get-go. I knew that it would have 5 scenes (or parts) and what each of those scenes were. I knew my two main characters, though getting to know them better was the part that took some time. I knew what happened to them, but I needed to know them, in order to know why.
I started by hand writing the first scene and a half in a new journal that I picked up at Scriptura with Jamey. It’s actually a field book and is kinda perfect for me. Small enough that I can take it everywhere and substantial enough that I can write a story in it. It has a blank page on the left side and the right side is a grid. It makes me feel very scientific and organized. See below:
I told a few friends I was working on a story, then languished. Maurice asked me about it last Saturday read me the riot act (in the kindest possible way) for not writing.
So I wrote. I wrote 5 pages that day. Like I said, I already knew the story. I just had to write it. And I wrote the last 3 or so pages of the first draft today. It feels like it might actually be good. But that’s part of the writing high — what you’ve just written often feels like a masterpiece. It’s better than the times when everything you write feels like garbage, but it can be misleading.
I’m like a child fighting bedtime lately when it comes to writing. I know I’m tired (a writer) and I need to sleep (write), but I kick and scream (procrastinate and stall) and fight sleep (writing) with everything I have. Why do I do this? It feels so good to write. It makes me happy. Right now, I can’t stop smiling. I feel effused with energy, even though I’m starving.
Promise me, all of you, that you will never let me forget how good it feels to write again. Wait, maybe this is a promise I should be making myself.
I will do my absolute best from now on to remember that writing makes me happy.