What new project(s) have you decided to take on? Will you continue them in the New Year?
I'd like to think that 2014 was the year that I re-discovered my passion for writing. Not that I'd begun to hate it at any point, but the task of writing itself had lost its luster a little bit because of research papers, fact checking, and the supposed absolution of having to write something one way with no room for imagination. There was also the overshadowing of word counts and page limits, which still make me cringe a little because it seems to limit creativity. I found it again, but with a little bit of help from experience.
I took a class in my final semester of college that focused on reinterpretations of other stories; the topics went across to the spectrum from Shakespeare, to (my favorite) fairytales, to modern-day authors and story-tellers. During the fairytale unit I came up with a fantastic concept that heavily centers around Tinkerbell: I have always loved Peter Pan and jumped at the chance to lend my own voice to a beloved but underrated character. It lit a fire under me, and I had never been honestly more excited to write something than I was writing about her. It brought the magic back to my craft, which I hadn't really experienced since freshman year. I went through four drafts of it with the help of my professor and classmates, and it still needs work. With that being said, I don't want to give too much away about what I plan to do with it, so I'll leave it at that.
But more recently, I've decided to dedicate the rest of this year (and the upcoming year) to writing a book.
Yes, I'm writing a book.
For the last several years I have strongly considered writing my life story; not necessarily as a memoir per say, but a book of essays that take a closer look at the important moments in my life. I've only become more motivated to do it as I've utilized writing as a tool in the healing process. Not only has it helped me get a lot of crap off of my chest, but it gives me a broader and at times a healthier perspective on the situation. I've been through a lot and I've overcome a lot, and that is more than enough to warrant having a story to tell. God didn't give me this gift so that my words would just sit in a computer folder and never see the light of day. A lot of people believe that when you experience something painful, the only way to get over it is to put it away and never speak of it again. I've gone that route, and it doesn't work for me. I need to be able to reflect in order to recognize how far I've come; the key is doing so with a sense of hope rather than hopelessness.
This book is not only going to be about appreciating the beauty of small moments, or just the small moments that had a large impact. It is also a re-purposing of pain, if you will, to use it for something meaningful instead of only lamenting about what I can't change. What that looks like, I'm not entirely sure of. It's a going-along process and I'm content with that.
For now my focus is on pulling everything together. While the majority of the work is a compilation of essays that have already been written (most that need revising), there are still a few that I need to get down on paper. I admit that it's very easy for me to envision what an essay looks like, but difficult to tell it without feeling the need to censor myself. I tend to hesitate out of fear of possibly hurting other people, though that is hardly ever my intent. And similar to how I was as a little girl, I'm still wary of showing that deep, introspective side of myself because I don't want to be told that I'm wrong or push somebody away.
But it's my story. If I can't talk about it, then I'm going to write about it.
It might take anywhere from six months to over a year, at least as far as the writing process goes. My schedule is light right now, but that will probably change once I take on another internship or a full time job. Getting it published is a whole other ball game and I'm nowhere near at that place yet. If there's one thing I know for sure, it's that I'm ready to speak.
And I'm ready to share.
photo credit: Lívia Cristina via photopin cc