I’m not talking to a mob, not even a gathering. It’s probably just me and you (yes, you.) So before I become wildly popular and end up directing my blog posts to an audience, I’ll say a few things about this novel I’m writing. More like get it off my chest.
I’ve been with this thing for 3.5 years. In this time it has metamorphosed so much from the original concept as to be almost unrecognizable. The ex-con and the older woman have remained. The best-friend-cum-adversary is there. But they’re all younger and the ex-con and woman have a different sort of connection. All of them have become so firm in my mind as to be almost as real. When I don’t spend enough time with them, they call to me. I feel as though I have a phone call or email to return, but then realize, no, it’s just my characters trying to get my attention.
I’m in a sense held captive by my novel. Whether I call today a good day or a bad day is frequently dependent on how my writing went today, whether I had time to write or not, whether the words flowed well or came out like dice-shaped boulders rolling down a hill.
And not just any writing, writing the novel. I should say “The Novel” as I refuse to work on any other novels until I’ve done at least a couple drafts of this one and have a few readers perusing it. The things I write in between don’t bring me much pleasure. I’m happy for a day or two, and then I go back to fretting over The Novel.
What I’m saying is, either my mental state has really gone to hell in three years, or writing fiction is a form of mental illness. After all, I spend hours a day in an imaginary world talking to and listening to imaginary people, who have sort of taken on a life of their own. They can actually surprise me, talk to me at odd times and they try to infiltrate my “real” life. Sound nuts? Thankfully, I’ve heard similar things from other writers.
I’m blogging my journey with this thing mainly to keep me accountable to my writing. Not just writing my novel, Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of Your Fist, but whatever else I might write or reflect upon. Writing a novel can be a very long and lonely journey, so it’s a good thing to find a few fellow travelers along the way, others with whom one may weather the storms, cross the deserts and wait out the doldrums. So I welcome comments, advice, amusing anecdotes, drunken sailor tunes, NSFW photos, whatever. I might say “no thanks” to the week-old sushi…