The Return of Creativity
Six years ago, I graduated with a Masters of Fine Arts in Writing for Children and Young Adults. I spent the next year and a half writing the story that had been on my heart for a long time. I had a blast. I could hardly wait to get out my paper and pencil. One rainy Tuesday, I poured cup after cup of coffee and hand wrote twenty-two pages, a record that still stands. (For those of you who computer write, that’s twenty-two double-spaced computer pages.) I made myself cry multiple times at work as I thought out scenes while folding stacks of clothes. My writing was amazing (comparing to myself). With only three drafts, it was good enough to send to friends. One friend called to tell me she had planned to read a chapter or two and couldn’t put it down! She sped through the first fifteen chapters. She was super excited. So was I. I was having a blast. I finished the manuscript and set it aside for a little while to brew.
In fall of 2012, I moved. I turned to writing, as I usually do, to anchor myself and give me something solid during a time of transition. Writing is also my recreational activity, but now, it was my job, too, as my health prevented me from working outside the home. I embarked on a new story (rather an old one that I was revisioning). I was excited to get my manuscript ready for publishing, but it was like pulling teeth. After fifteen drafts, it was still terrible. I would go back and read that story that had gone so well and wonder why I couldn’t do that again. When I thought I finally had things near submission ready, I had the opportunity to join a critique group. They told me I have a lot of work to do. I didn’t enjoy writing anymore.
So I took a break. I had some other lovely family things going on that needed my attention anyway. Sometimes, I feel as though I’m letting people down (almost everyone has been so encouraging and genuinely interested in my progress). I feel as though I’m letting my degree go to waste. Most (if not all) of my classmates are published. Why aren’t I? I finally realized I need to give myself grace. I’m still settling in to a new place, trying to put down roots and make friends. I have a family now, and I don’t want to miss out on precious moments that pass so quickly to write a story that will still be there when I’m an empty nester.
I realized I couldn’t NOT write, though. But what I had been doing wasn’t writing anyway. It was polishing to get submission ready. I decided not to care about publication for right now. I just want to love my story again. I picked up in a new place, and guess what? I’M HAVING A BLAST!!!! I can hardly wait to get to my pencil and paper. I fall asleep imagining scenes. I want to tell everyone about my characters and their struggles and how much I love them. I want to share what I’ve written because this is a good story. My writing isn’t as good straight out of the pencil as it was when I first graduated, but it’s a whole let better than it was when I was pulling teeth!
I still may not update regularly because I have a busy life now (yay for making friends!!). But as I have no writing buddies in the area, I may post here when I just cannot contain how excited I am about my characters and my story. Praise God for the return of creativity!!