I know, I know. It’s been a long time since my words have graced the screen of our blog and really there is no excuse other than the fact that I’ve been having a mad love affair with procrastination. It’s a horrendous thing. Seriously.
That doesn’t mean that my thoughts haven’t been on writing my new book or continuing to polish up AoE with Stacey. It does mean that I haven’t felt as reflective in recent days as I have in the past. That, I hope, will change. I’ll hold my muse hostage if I have to, but I certainly hope I won’t have to lower myself to such drastic measures.
Stacey and I have been focused on our publishing dreams for going on a year now (okay, longer than that separately, but you get my meaning) and I have to say I feel like we have both grown tremendously in that amount of time. I learn something about writing and about myself as a writer every single day, which is something that I am proud of. I hope it never stops. That’s how writing should be. A learning experience…constantly. Whether it be learning how to listen to the voices inside our heads, allowing the characters to take on a life of their own, or just recognizing the uniqueness of our writing styles, there is always something to take note of and pay attention to when writing.
I think back to some of my favorite authors like J.K. Rowling, Nora Roberts, Richelle Mead, Stephen King, etc., and I realize that you can tell a lot about writers when you read through their works from their first novels to their most recent. The talent is always there, but the polish and technical skills show a vast amount of growth. For the authors mentioned above, it is a testament to the gift of storytelling that they possess and to the amount of work they’ve put into honing their craft. This tells me that even for those writers who have been serving up books for over twenty years are still, even now, continuing to learn about themselves and evolving into whatever comes next.
Of course there are those choice few authors on my list who are on the opposite side of the spectrum. Those who, instead of learning and growing, become stagnant and irrelevant because they are more interested in earning the mighty dollar. They produce mediocre work on a regular bases to fulfill their contract requirements and show no growth in talent or understanding of themselves or the characters and stories they create. This is not who I want to be.
I want to be writing 20 years from now and be proud of what I’ve accomplished. I want to look back without regret and know that I didn’t lose sight of why I became a writer in the first place.
And do you know why I am a writer?
I am a writer because not writing would be like living life without taking a single breath of fresh air. Because I love the worlds my characters live in. I want to live there too and I get to live there every time I sit at my computer and put words to page. I share joy and sorrow, pain and laughter, and love and loss with my characters. They are a part of me just as much as I am a part of them and I can’t imagine having it any other way.
Now I’m not going to say that I am completely faithful to my writing. God knows I allow myself to get distracted often enough, but it is always at the forefront of my mind screaming at me to get my ass in gear and do what I was born to do. But, again, I’m still learning and every day I learn more about the writer I am and the writer I will be someday. For me, writing is life. And it’s a life I fully intend to live to the fullest.