Every new book is a journey. I learn something about myself and the world around me. It's an adventure. Sometimes, that adventure leaves me jaded. It's like I am embarking into a huge cavernous world without a flashlight. I stumble, I fall, I make mistakes.
Except, every book gives me a little more night vision. During the first I was blind. No light was there to help guide me. I had no idea what I was doing. I read books on writing and read even more books studying other authors craft and I surged ahead. Reading about something and doing it are two very different things. You can prepare for the hurdles others have warned you about, you can ready your mind for the skull splitting amount of space a story will occupy.
I don't know how I can hold a novel in my head and not die of an aneurism. I don't know how Stephen King in his crown of superior Authorhood isn't a twitching vegetable. He has created so many stories. And though after you have written them that laser like focus dissipates, you don't forget them. They are parts of you. Each character carries some attribute that you can relate to. The protagonist that had issues with abandonment. The hero who fights the demon voices that tell him he is not good enough.
People are shards of broken pieces. They are jagged and sharp. They can cut you and harm you. They do not always fit together. These are the characters I love. The walking contradictions. The sweet face and petite frame of the cussing protagonist with so much personality its a wonder it can fit inside her small body. I love her. She is a small fraction of the person I am. A pebble out of the brook.
This is my fourth novel. Two of which were not nearly as long as this puppy. This is the biggest novel I have written so far. 127,000 + words. I didn't know I had that many words inside me. It's always a surprise to watch the numbers tick higher on the word count. It amazes me. I hope that feeling never goes away.
Writing has become a sort of therapy. That stumbling in the dark reveals so much about human nature, my nature. The nature of the imperfect creatures we are born. This fourth novel has made my vision in that cave a little sharper. A lighter in my hand to find the way. Someday I'd like to think I'll hold a flashlight, then maybe a spotlight, and eventually maybe even a whole room in that cave will be engulfed by light.
Write what you know...my father once told me.
It's a shame that his disease makes him incapable of seeing what I've done. I'll continue writing my stories. I hope you will continue to read them.