Starting Nowhere

I’m not sure what to write about, today.

I’ve been writing on the blog very consistently since I first announced Baby Roque here, and I’d like to keep up that good habit.

So, here goes.
You’ll be getting these thought processes fresh & raw, as they come to me, no agenda in mind.

Yesterday, I wrote for hours. About 6 weeks ago, I started writing this short story about a little girl who got separated from her parents.

(On a side note, I’m an exceptionally good speller. If there’s a spelling mistake, it’s generally due to a typing error, because I rarely make spelling errors. BUT, I always, and I do mean always misspell the word “separate.”
Even now, I wrote it, looked at it, and started to move on, only to realize… It was spelled wrong.)

I’ve no idea where this particular story came from, I usually don’t when it comes to these things, it just came… and I just let it go through me.

I wrote about a page and a half, edited it, and much to my dismay, it ended abruptly. Mid sentence. I had nothing more to say, at all.

So, it sat, (occasionally glanced at).
For 6 weeks.

Until yesterday.
I read sixty five pages, or so, of Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, and it could sit no longer.

I wrote for ages.

Now it’s ten times as long as I ever imagined it would be, and it’s ended again. Abruptly. Mid sentence.

And now I’m thinking of whole new things I want to write about this character, this lost little girl. Things I want to write about her life ten years later, about her parents’ lives ten years earlier.

And I wonder… Is this how it starts when one decides to write a novel?
Do you just start writing, and it just goes until you have to rewrite all of it?
And then there you are with a few hundred pages of a story you never thought you’d write?

I wouldn’t know. I’ve certainly never written a novel. For that matter, I don’t personally know anyone who has.
I have no one to ask on this matter, and Anne Lamott (albeit a brilliant writer and wonderful insight into the life and mind of writers) disappointingly did not tell me.

I guess I’ll find out.

John (among many others) has asked me if I’d like to write a novel…
Rather, if I’d like to be published.

I guess there’s something in all writers that that makes us want to be published. Of course there is. Just like there’s something in all humanity that makes us crave acknowledgement, acceptance.
But, I don’t crave publishing the way I know some writers do.

Actually, the way that I discovered that writing was it for me (and maybe never being published) was through a conversation with my Dad.

We talked about life and passion, and how frustrating it was that I didn’t know the answer to what my passion was…
And, honestly, I don’t remember if he asked me this or if I thought of it myself, but at some point it was said:
“Is there something you just cannot imagine yourself not doing?” (Or something along those lines.)

And that’s when I realized…
My life would never be full if I ever stop writing. It is the way I process. It’s what keeps me sane, and of course, what keeps me crazy. It’s what keeps me honest.
It’s what helps me come to life more and more. It’s what Jesus breathed into me that helps set me free from all the mess that has been and will continue to be my journey.
And I can’t imagine not doing it. Ever.

It would be fantastic to be published.
Most days, I’m absolutely certain I completely lack whatever it takes to write anything worth the time it would take someone else to read it.
So, I think, I’ll probably never be published, because I’d have to write something I think publishing worthy to send off to someone, somewhere.
I don’t know if I’m brave enough to submit myself to that kind of easy rejection. I don’t know if I’d ever be secure enough to send it anyway.

Interestingly enough, I once emailed a piece that was one of three short stories I’d ever written (at the time, see; now there are five or so) and got good feedback.
They said they’d like to publish it in their startup magazine that most people (including most people I’ve ever known) have never, and may never have heard of.
Boy, but was it ever exciting!

I remember clicking “attach” on the email to send this file to this acquaintance, and thinking, I may avoid her for the rest of my life if she hates it. She’ll sit with the others and they’ll laugh and think I’m a complete moron, and maybe, I’ll just avoid that entire clique, for, the rest of my life.
“John, are you sure I should do this? It doesn’t seem like such a good idea…”
I honestly don’t remember if I ever clicked send or if he did it for me, but it happened. It got sent, and within a few days I got a great response with helpful feedback, and they wanted to use it. And I was in complete shock.
Come to think of it, I haven’t seen it in print yet, so there’s a good chance they changed their mind completely. But for now, I’ll just keep believing what she said in her email.

Anyway, for me, I think it’s important that I not focus on this thing: this, being published.
I think for me, it’s best that I just write. That I just do what I do, and if someday I read something I’ve written and think, ‘Hmm, I think I’ll have someone else read this.’ Then, maybe, I’ll send it to five people that can read it and give me real feedback, and then I’ll let it sit for months, all the while pondering whether anyone else would think it’s worth five cents, or five minutes… Much less, the hours it takes to read a book.
And maybe then, I’ll send it to an agent, or an editor. Or a friend of a friend that maybe won’t quite reject me as terribly as I might deserve to be rejected for sending this horrid piece of writing to them.

In the meantime, here we are. I’ll keep writing little musings, rants & raves, venting & complaining, going on and on… And you’ll (hopefully) keep reading, and telling me what you think.
And I’ll just keep on doing it. And I’ll keep writing things you don’t read, too, just because it’s harder to post the stories than the thought processes. (But maybe we’ll get there.)

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