When we are kids, we sould see something and think “I can do that!” It didn’t matter if it was cartwheels or going to the moon or even flying. Nothing was out of our reach. Nothing was impossible.
Once we grow up, it’s like a switch gets thrown. It’s easier to come up with excuses to not try things rather than try and fail. It’s easier to take the safe road than to make a fool of yourself or do something that might hurt later. It’s easier to dream small than admit we’re scared, or to take a chance and realize we can’t do a cartwheel, we might never go to the moon, and if we tried to fly, we just might look like an idiot.
That’s no way to live. It’s ok to be scared, but it’s not ok to let the fear of failure stop us from trying something that just might be spectacular.
I’ve been so obsessed with the same idea for so long that I’ve had a hard time understanding why no one believes in it as much as I do. Maybe it’s just not good enough or fresh enough or maybe I’m not trying hard enough.
Or maybe…. just maybe…. I’ve been on the wrong track for the past few years.
I’m stubborn to a fault. Set in my ways. But even I can learn, and grown, and change – so why can’t my characters? I’ve been looking for a fresh spin, and tonight, I think I’ve found it. It will take a whole lot of hard work and more than just a major edit or even a re-write. We’re talking a full on overhaul. These are characters and plot lines that I love and believe in, and while I could just rip them up and start all over, I think that I can breathe new life into them and maybe, if I’m very lucky, the whole world will someday love them as much as I do.
Why do I write? Because in real life, actions have consequences. In fiction, actions still have consequences, but someone else gets to pay them.
In a lot of ways, writing is like identity theft. You get to pretend to be someone else for a while, and they end up picking up the tab.
I have been too quiet lately. I’ve had too much on my plate at work and have been in school full time. It seems like I’ve been sleeping less and less, but still never have enough time. All of the little things that have to get done just aren’t getting done – the laundry is piling and up you don’t even want to ask about the dishes. So, I haven’t had time to write or edit and all of these stories are just piling up in my brain and I have no stress outlet. Bad combination.
So new personal rule – I have to manage to find a way to get more writing time. Instead of finally finishing school and work and wanting to crash out in front of the TV, I need to write. Instead of eyes glazing over as I randomly search the web, I need to write. And that rare night that I put my foot down and say “I’m taking the night off from schoolwork!” is the perfect time to buckle down and write instead of watching a bad movie on TV.
I can’t keep neglecting writing and expect it to not neglect me.
My characters have a life of their own.
No matter how much I try, I can’t always make them do what they are supposed to. The ones that are supposed to be good turn out to be evil. The ones that are supposed to be evil turn out to be good. The ones created for an ancillary role turn out to be pivotal to the entire series.
I make a concerted effort to give a shout-out to real life friends when developing new characters. Even if a friend has nothing in common with the character, I like to use their names on occassion.
Unfortunately, a lot of my characters – let’s be generous and say 90% – meet with some pretty gruesome endings. If I know I’m going to kill a character off, I don’t want to use the name of someone I care about.
But the funny part is, on occassion you go back and re-read a particularly gruesome scene and you realized that the name you chose is similar to someone you don’t like? Coincidence? For legal purposes, let’s all agree that it’s confidential, or at the very least, subconscious.
Old writers don’t retire, they just rewrite.
I’ve got a lot of material out to a couple of great editors and a bunch of new stories floating around by head right note. So how do I use my time wisely? I redesign my website http://www.olivialeigh.com, of course.
Good news is that it now works on most browsers and mobile devices. doG bless CSS. I will be posting more excerpts in the coming week, also.
Stay tuned, and if you haven’t checked out the website lately, browse on over tohttp://www.olivialeigh.com!
Some people spend their whole lives paddling against the stream, only to never get to where they were trying to go in the first place.
I’m more of a let the river take me where it wants to go type of person.
Right now, the river is more like rapids and I’m very swiftly being carried away by the currents. I’m going to see where this leads, but one way or another I’m going to be up to my neck in whitewater for a while.
Lucky me, I can hold my breath!