Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Freedom

These last few months have been full of hectic activity, personal growth, and of course writing. I've been enjoying my rediscovered ability to exercise regularly, but I've been delighting even more in my new found mental and emotional clarity. Eight weeks of therapy have helped me (among other things) to let go of my childhood me and embrace my grown up self. A very necessary step for me.

With my new more mature outlook on life I've let go of one writing group that no longer suits me. Which, in fact probably never really suited me despite being a science fiction writing group. Funnily enough, I'm absolutely loving the romance writing group I joined months ago. They suit me down to the ground. The other writing group I belong to has kinda fizzled out at the moment since we're all so busy with life in general, but that's okay, it tends to go in phases anyway.

I'm currently working on two different paranormal romances and have shelved Serenade for awhile. Serenade will always be my first baby, but I've come to realise that I don't have the skill level to fix the problems that are inherent with the novel. Namely, that it's three novels I've tried to squish into one and there's no real antagonist for my main character to overcome. And my main character? Everything works out for her far too easily and coincidentally. My world/universe also needs more building than I'm currently capable of doing, but that's all right. It's something to look forward to in the future and if it doesn't work out, well lots of authors have what they call trunk novels. i.e. so awful that the only thing to do is lock them away in a trunk forever.

At least I've finally figured this out and can put Serenade aside. I made one of the classic beginning writer mistakes: thinking that my first novel would be the only idea I'd ever have. Thus, because it was my first and took me so long to write I'd have to get it to a point where it could be submitted somewhere. Inherent in that was a fear of having wasted my time with "nothing" to show for it and that my family wouldn't take my work seriously if I ditched what I'd been working on for over five years.

The problem wasn't my family, it was me. I didn't take my work seriously. If I continued farting about with Serenade, then I didn't need to grow as a writer and thus wouldn't ever need to face rejection. However, I need to grow a little as a writer first to be able to do Kh'Leesha's story justice. So I'm working on shorter stories for now. Still novels, but stand alone novels, not a whole series' worth of story. And you know what? It feels good.

With the help of therapy I learned to recognise my inner perfectionist plus my black and white thinking patterns. Who says I have to stick with writing only Fantasy or Science fiction? There're SO many genres out there for me to sample. I'm still learning what I like to write. My muse was demanding those two paranormal stories be written, and who was I to argue? So, I embraced my inner romance author. And my instant reward is that I'm loving it! Writing has become a joy again instead of a struggle to perfect all the little minutiae of a story that really needed to be trunked for now.

I'm free. Free to enjoy the learning process of the current writing course I'm taking. Free to release my inner child. Free to play with words and drawings and all the things that make the writing craft so much fun. Free to be me, an Author.

6 comments:

Ali Katz said...

Brava, Kada. Never think those years were wasted. Look where you are now. You've got people waiting to see the next installment of you WIP.

Ellie Heller said...

It is hard to let that first one go, isn't it. But, so very often, necessary.

Writing and completing our first novel is like learning how to cook while making a souffle. Even if you've worked with eggs before, on something far simpler like hard boiled eggs, learning how to separate eggs and whip the whites and temper the sauce and the fine art of folding everything together so it's mixed but not deflated takes skill. Most first attempts are not successful, even with a cookbook to guide you.

And with writing there is no guidebook!!

Hugs. Love what you are doing now. Hope you get the 'questions' issue resolved and more posted soon.

Judith Leger said...

Way to go, girlfriend! You're on the right road! Persevere and you'll succeed!

Hugs,

Kada said...

{Grin} Yeah, I do, don't I, Ali! I'm trying to look at anything that comes before being published as equivalent to the very first year of an apprenticeship. It helps to lessen the frustration a little.

Kada said...

Funny you should mention that, Ellie. I've never made a souffle before. Sure I know the theory behind it, and have used the skills separately in other dishes, but have never actually constructed one.

Letting go was hard up until the moment I actually let go, and then it was done. Big sigh of relief, lemme tell you!

Kada said...

Thanks, Judith. Lately, I've been going one better than the little red caboose. Not "I think I can," but "I know I can!"