It’s been longer than I’d like to admit since I’ve sat at my computer. What little writing I’ve done has been with paper and pen, and part of the creative process has been lost for me. I finally pulled out the laptop, dusted it off, and turned it on to see where I left off. It was almost as if I were looking at an archaeological find. Everything I had been working on (months ago) was still opened; the webpages were still active. In a story I had all but abandoned, I was in the middle of a sentence. It was as if time had been frozen, and I was able to travel back in time. It was cool, but eerie. But I am back right now. For how long, I can’t say because life with a toddler and infant is unpredictable.
What I’m trying to work on right now is developing a writing routine. I’m committing to writing – or doing some part of the writing process – daily. I have a tendency, as do most writers, to think about writing far more often than actually writing, and that’s not how words get written. I’m taking the next 25 days to dig deep and take action toward my writing goals, even if it’s only fifteen minutes a day, and I’m excited to see how much progress I can make in that time.
My most recent project is something that largely deviates from my normal area. It’s a middle grade chapter book that incorporates time travel, history, and science. Since I normally live on the adult end of the spectrum with books, I’m getting in touch with some of my favorite children’s literature authors (hello, Roald Dahl!) and studying what they do. I’ve read several articles about the craft of children’s lit – and, yes, it differs wildly from adult literature.
What prompted this change – almost a life-crisis of literate proportions – was that I was rocking my infant and thinking, fearing, the day he would ask me to tell him a story. I’m a good storyteller – on paper. Or in my head. Not so much out loud on the spot. It was this that prompted me to think of what kinds of stories I’d tell him, what adventures they would go on, and what would happen. A character presented himself and a story started to unfold, and before I knew it the plot became bigger than I could have predicted and turned into a series. I’m excited and nervous about this new venture into children’s lit. It’s something I haven’t done before, and my fears of failure (and success) are right under the surface. I’m holding onto the age old wisdom that nobody comes to something new being perfect (or even decent). This will be a laughable experience, especially the first story, but hopefully, if I keep my mind open, I can begin to improve and hopefully succeed.