It started when I was just a child. I’d concoct stories which would be turned into plays. When in eighth grade, I wrote a full length play, which would’ve required a cast of thousands, a set worthy of Cecil B. DeMille, and costumes by Edith Head. There would be music of course, composed by Leonard Bernstein. When I turned the assignment in, I did so with high hopes of getting an “A.”
My teacher said it was good, but would be impossible to produce. I didn’t hear the part about it being good. I don’t remember if I even got a grade for all my hard work. The only thing I recall is the word “impossible.” My first rejection occurred when I was twelve years old. From then on, I felt that being an author was just a means of chasing the wind.
My fear of rejection actually put my writing on hold for a while. An eighth grade teacher doused my hopes of ever succeeding. After a year or so, I couldn’t contain myself. I determined this was going to be my life’s adventure. I would knit words together, create art through them and become a famous author someday.
So here I am, almost 77 years old and I’m still writing, but unable to submit for fear of rejection. Words come easy to me. I rarely have trouble filling a page. My novel is now up to 40,000 words. I’m finding the editing process to be the most difficult. Something new always pops into my brain and I have to change the whole course of events. I’ve tried to kill off two of my main characters, but they won’t die. How is it that these inanimate creatures have lives and minds of their own? Things that are appearing on the page are so unlike me. It’s frightening at times and humorous as well.
Writing a blog every day has helped me achieve some level of confidence. It’s helpful to hear good comments as well as useful critique. Creating a novel is challenging, because you want it to flow from one action to another smoothly. You desire your characters to come alive and be more than one dimensional.
You pray that the story will come together in the end. Then what? If you’re brave, you send it to a publisher. If you’re not so brave, you self-publish. Then you wait and wait and wait some more. I self published my memoir, “Stages – A Memoir,” several years ago. This was my first published work ever. So much time has passed since then, it’s time for a sequel.
The time it takes to put thoughts into the right words is sometimes overwhelming. I appeal to all my fellow writers for advice. I’d like to get this done before I die, so any experiences you have would be helpful for me. I’m just a novice at this. It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but I feel my story is strong and worth reading. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
I often feel I’m getting too dark or weird. I wonder how others make it through this process unscathed. The really good authors seem to pop one out after another with great ease.