I Am Writing A Book (This Means It's Real, Right?)
I am writing a book. There. I've said it out loud and I've written it down. I've shared it in public. That means it's real, right?This is something I have always wanted to do but never dreamed I actually would. My main dream was to be an actor. That is what I've always focused on. I majored in it at college. I spent all my efforts (and money) in the first years in New York on auditions, headshots, networking, outfits I swore were for auditions. I spent hundreds trying to market myself and meet everyone I could. This dream is not dead but it has changed. It has taken a backseat. It has surprised me how much I am willing to let it drift away. It is still in the distance, staying afloat, but I am not swimming towards it these days.I have always loved books. Books are there for me when I need them most. They taught me to dream and imagine. They are an escape, a comfort, a sanctuary. I have friends in books, characters I feel I know personally and I care deeply about. Worlds I imagine myself living in, no matter how imaginary they are.I wrote a blog years ago about The 4AM Book which is the type of book you can't stop reading and stay up all night, moving chapter to chapter, unable to sleep because you just have to know what comes next. That is the kind of book I want to write.My book right now is a hot mess. A hot damn mess. I know that it is and I am teetering on the line of freaking out or being excited. Finishing nanowrimo was the first step and now I stand at the precipice, either about to fall or fly. I can't tell. I know books take time to craft and shape and mold. I have no publisher breathing down my neck or deadlines that someone else is looming over. That's a relief and also a bummer at times. It might be easier if I did have a shadow over my shoulder telling me it needs more pages. But is just me and my pages waiting to be magicked into a compelling adventure. Right now, it is a broken roller coaster where some tracks go up and down and others are broken around corners, leading no where.My ideas are bubbling out too quickly. Because I finally am writing something I love, I have almost too many ideas. I'm sure they will dry up eventually but for now, I am borderline frustrated I can't nail down exactly how I want to tell it. I'm writing a young adult fantasy novel so, let's be honest, it can be a lot of things. I've invented an entire world and lore and it changes every 20 pages. I have altered the plot several times, will need to rewrite the beginning, and my characters need far more development. So...typical book obstacles and challenges. It is nothing surprising or unique but now it is happening to me which means it must NEVER HAPPEN TO ANYONE ELSE I AM SO ALONE IN THE WORLD.I know I am not alone in this at all. I went to a Harry Potter exhibit at the New York Historical Society and it has been on my mind ever since I committed to this novel. It is a collection of her early drafts, research, letters, and scribbled on pages alongside the lore it is all based on. You go through the Hogwarts classes, such as Herbology, and see the history of the craft as well as the work Rowling put in as she weaved it into her world. There are countless pages full of crossed out lines, arrows, and notes scrawled into the margins. Letters from her editors and publishers regarding plot lines and character and the title. She changed so much most of us will ever realize as she took Harry on this journey. Characters, the through line, and how Hogwarts functions were all altered in the small and large ways. It was fascinating and inspiring. While she has stated she always knew the ending, it was actual magic to see how her brain put it all together and how much work survived and how much went into the trash.I think about that as I trudge ahead into the mess of my own creation. I am not even in the thick of it and if I lose my way now, I won't ever exit the woods. Therefore, I am writing a book. It is a tangled, shining, glorious, misshapen pile of words that I will make into a 4AM book. One where you relate to Clara Marlowe and wish you were there with her as she figures out how to save a world she never knew she came from. If I do it right, you will be.