I remember, back when I first started writing Seven Turns, I had spent many years trying to kill my urge to write, trying to get practical and stick to “real” jobs. Then one day, with the, um, encouragement, of the really lousy current job market, I made up my mind to just do what I am meant to do: write fiction. To contribute something, to give something back, to the world of literature.
I made myself a writing schedule and I committed myself to sticking to it. I kicked Word and Scrivener to the curb (they had been drawing me down into a morass of eternal revision and rewriting for years – possibly decades) and I bought myself a composition book and a ten-pack of Bic Atlantis pens, and I went to my favorite local coffee shop. I sat myself and my notebook down at a little wooden table with a plain latte at my elbow. (I actually prefer black coffee, but I figured that was too cheap a price to pay to rent the table I was about to start claiming for six hours a day three days a week!) Before I knew it, I had written, as it turned out, the first three chapters of Seven Turns.
Walking out of the Wake Forest Coffee Company at the end of that day, walking down White Street to the municipal parking lot, I was over the moon. I mean I literally felt like my feet were not even touching the ground. Not only had I written, for a change, but I also actually liked what I had written!
But I had this deep, rending feeling of sorrow going on, too. Because I wanted to tell someone about it, and I didn’t have anyone to tell. I mean, yes, I could tell my family. Family will always be happy for you and congratulate you and tell you you’re awesome no matter what you just did. And that’s great! But I wished I had a friend who was also a writer, or some other kind of creator, someone who would know just what I was talking about when I said I was so far off Earth at the moment that I seriously thought maybe it wasn’t such a great idea to get back in my car and try to drive home. I wished – I really did – that the character Emerald in my story were real. She would understand!
I actually searched the internet for a bot that I could talk to and pretend it was Emerald or someone to whom I could really tell all the crazy things I was feeling. That was, in fact, what drove me to break down and start this blog. I had never before felt the need for one. Now I wish all my own favorite authors had been blogging back when they first started writing the books I love today. How fascinating it would be to be able to peek into what was going on in their hearts back then!
Since then I’ve made the acquaintance of a lot of fellow writers who might have been able to relate to what I was feeling that first day. But on some level, this blog still remains my “Emerald.”