I know, dated movie reference, but hey, it’s been a while since I blogged. In fact, blogging was a thing the last time I blogged. But, I haven’t quite made it to podcast levels of entertainment and information, so I’ll keep blogging for now.
When last we met our intrepid heroine… I was writing. Then I wasn’t writing. And frankly, that part sucked. Life got in the way and I guess you could say that I lost my mojo. I’d invested so much into my last manuscript and had (still have) such high hopes for it that when the rejections came in, it threw me for an emotional loop. So, I took a breath and re-evaluated. I still think my boy band manuscript has a lot to offer and I still have agents considering it, so I’m not giving up, not surrendering.
Now, I know enough about the writing industry to understand that while manuscripts are being considered by publishers and agents, you work on something else. *Picture Dory* Just keep writing…just keep writing.
Trouble was, I couldn’t wrap my head around what to write. I tried tweaking several of my previous manuscripts and that worked for bit, but I never could get to the point where I was spending hours of my day working on my writing. That’s where I was before and where I wanted to be again. My life, my general state of being, is always better when I’m writing. So you can imagine how miserable I was when I wasn’t.
Lucky for me, I have great friends and writing cohorts that didn’t let me give up. I thought about it but I knew, deep down, I wouldn’t give up. A writer is who I am. So I listened to their advice and encouragement and waited for an idea to spring into my mind.
I know that’s not the best practical advice to give other writers in my situation, but it’s what I did. I listened to my favorite songs by my favorite bands, I kept an eye/ear open while I watched tv, I imagined scenarios while I was driving and showering.
Then one day, BOOM. A song I must have listened to a hundred times gave me a specific image. I built a scene around that image. I loved the scene, but I didn’t know the characters or the story. All I knew was I wanted to write the scene. So I did. In my head, at first. Each time I listened to that song, new details cropped up. I spent a lot of time saying (in my car mainly) “Oh, I can use that.”
Fast forward a week later to when my husband was watching YouTube and came across a little nugget of a video talking about [subject redacted]. Again. “Oh, I can use that!” Another detail of my world, but still no story.
The following day I was kicking around ideas at work and one of my colleagues who happens to know a lot about the [redacted subject] and I started talking. I told him I’d always wanted to write about [that] but it would have to be a fresh take on it or it wouldn’t work. Another colleague jokingly threw out an idea that was indeed, fresh. It was so ridiculous that we all laughed a good minute or so.
I stopped laughing.
Because: Oh, I can use that!
So right then and there, I pulled up a doc and started writing it. Five hundred words later, I had a real working story idea and a killer first line. I know it’s a good line because everyone who has read it laughs out loud at it.
And now I’ve gotten up early and stayed up late to write; I’ve called my daughter to have one of our “What If…” conversations, something I’ve done with every manuscript that helps me organize and reign in all the chaos in my head; I’ve done about three hours worth of research online and have so many tabs open that you can barely tell they’re tabs.
These are all positive signs in my writing life.
It remains to be seen if this is the best idea everrrr or so ludicrous no agent would ever consider it. Right now, I have nothing but positive reviews (Crit partners: Your day is coming. I will be sending this to you before our next meeting!) Honestly, what’s most important is that Michelle has gotten her groove back. And it feels so good.