Last year, I tried something. I tried something, and I failed. I failed hard.
I tried to write a book. In fact, I tried to write a serial novel, sharing with a few select friends on facebook. I might have gotten to chapter eight before the novel crashed and burned. I had no more direction for it at that point. What I'd written was pretty close to terrible. So I put it out of it's misery and went back to my writing cave, licking my wounds.
I was thinking about this failure earlier this week. I haven't really attempted to write anything big since then, and I'm pretty sure at least a tiny part of that is because I'm scared I'll just fail again. A part of me has been wondering if I'm even a good writer at all, if I should continue to pursue the dream of being a legitimately published author. Maybe someone like me should just watch kids and be happy with her lot.
But no. I can't exist without writing. Half the time, when people see me out and about, I'm only half in this world. My mind is somewhere else, figuring out plots, forming dialogue with imaginary people. And despite the failures and really horrible writing, I've actually managed to produce some good stuff. Not just decent stuff, but truly good stuff.
I just think that last year was supposed to be kind of a break. I read a lot of books; I wrote several songs; I wrote a few short stories. But there wasn't anything big that happened in my writing universe. And 2011 ended and I felt like I had nothing but a trashcan full of crumpled up paper.
And I haven't completely abandoned the story idea for that novel that failed. I just don't think that it was ready when I started writing it, nor was I ready to write it. When I began that project, I was forcing it. I was forcing it from the beginning. My mental process was 1). Readers and agents are really into YA Paranormal books right now. 2) I might be able to get a foot in the door if I write a YA Paranormal. 3) The only idea I have for a Paranormal isn't exactly YA, so I'll need to adjust it, change some characters. 4) I'm really not wanting to write this, but if I am going to finish it, I'll need to have readers to hold me accountable. In the end, I was making the story something it wasn't, and something it did not want to be, and I was writing it before I was ready to write it.
And it failed.
It's amazing how quickly January has gone by. I haven't really even figured out that it's 2012, but I feel that this year is supposed to be something more than last year. I'm not sure what I'm going to write, what I'm going to imagine and envision. I'm just looking forward to this year in hope, praying for the wisdom to write the right stories at the right time.
Somewhere along the way, I'll figure it all out....