When Art Imitates Life

Not infrequently, the hard stuff in life is what pushes me to write. Sometimes what I write ends up on my blog, in an article, or in one of my stories. Sometimes it only ends up in my journals because it’s much too personal for me to discuss publically. Over the past few weeks, writing has been falling into the second category.

Re-writes have ground to a halt because a sub-plot in Starry-Eyed Dreamers is hitting a little too close to home. My main character, Tess, had given up hope on a particular thing ever being resolved. Yet at the very end of her story, when she’d just given up on it for the last time, there was a glimmer of hope. It didn’t fix everything overnight, but it was just enough to show her that there might be something there worth salvaging after all. (Forgive my vagueness; I don’t want to give the whole story away!) Tess gets the scene that I’ve always hoped would play out in my own life someday. In this moment though, I’ve given up hope. I don’t think I’ll get that scene after all. Facing that hurts, and it makes me angry. You can see why I haven’t been able to bury myself in re-writes…

Ernest Hemingway said, “Write hard and clear about what hurts.” Easier said than done Mr. Hemingway!

NaNoWriMo is the reason why I finished the first draft of Starry-Eyed Dreamers in the first place. Camp NaNoWriMo takes place during the month of April, and I find myself toying with the idea of diving into writing another story for Camp NaNo. I still want to finish the re-write/edit with my first novel, don’t get me wrong! On the other hand, maybe taking a month to go through the writing process with a new story will get me back into the habit of regular writing time. 50,000 words worth of writing practice can’t hurt either. Tackling another project of this magnitude is definitely crazy, but maybe it’s the kind of crazy that I need right now. In any case, I’ll be pondering the idea over the next couple of weeks…

Anyone else out there struggling through writing or edits?

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