…to a writer, they’re just potential skin cancer and choking hazards.
I am a writer.
I am not necessarily a novelist.
The past few weeks of fighting with the final scenes of my ‘novel’ (if one were so inclined to call it that) have been brutal. Nightmarish, even.
But I’ve learned something: not only am I an outliner and not a pantser, I’m a backwards novelist. I should have written the ending first. And I’m in good company. Sorry, John Dufresne. I’ve got Joyce Carol Oates, John Irving , J. K. Rowling and pretty much every mystery writer EVER on my side.
Check out Writing the Final Chapter First. Wish I’d seen it a year ago!
I knew how my original story would end. The problem is, the story I wrote can’t end that way. It doesn’t make sense. And trying to envision an ending for the so-called ‘novel’ I did write has been torture.
You’ve probably heard stuff like, “There’s no such thing as writer’s block,” or “Writer’s block only happens when you try to write and edit at the same time.” I’m here to tell you, writer’s block happens when you have no idea what your characters are supposed to do. No clue how to get them to the end of the book, let alone into the next scene.
It’s frustrating. However, I’m not ready to stab myself repeatedly with the sharpened end of a used lollipop stick just yet. Because not being a novelist? It’s not an entirely bad thing.
In the past two weeks:
- I’ve outlined two nonfiction books. Both have serious potential (way more than the ‘novel.’)
- I write stories every day about pugs and cats that my struggling emergent reader can decipher.
- I’ve been invited to participate in a local poetry reading event.
- I’ve been nominated for the Sunshine Award by two fellow bloggers: Jeny Runningbrook and Taiylor Wallace.
So I may not be a novelist. I almost am! Soon I’ll have something WAY more embarrassing to hide than a skeleton in my closet. But better than that, I’m a mom, a phonics teacher, a poet, a soon-to-be local celebrity (just kidding) and a blogger who sometimes brings a bit of sunshine into someone else’s day.
Thank you, Taiylor. You are ambitious, eagerly discovering who you are, blazing your own path.
Thank you, Jeny. You are passionate, joyful, and so very talented.
Thank you, God. For words, creativity, and inspiration; for a sunlit lifetime to explore them; for sweet friends to share them with.