Sunshine and lollipops…

…to a writer, they’re just potential skin cancer and choking hazards.

Pink lollipops

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.

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7 thoughts on “Sunshine and lollipops…”

  1. Blessings as you continue your quest 🙂 Good that things are coming out of your lull. I know it’s not easy, but sometimes I find if I get stuck on what characters should be doing, it’s because somewhere a chapter or two back I made my character(s) do something they wouldn’t have. Don’t know if that’ll help. Wishing you best of luck.

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  2. I liked this. For one thing, I relate to the writing backwards, having been told somewhere back in school, and I am talking 50 yrs about, that my sentence structure, probably in others words, was backwards, similar to a European language (German?) So much attention is given to the opening. Not to sound snooty but may I recommend The Artists Way by Julia Cameron, who I found incredibly helpful and humorous, for all artists; and Visual Thinking, which when I found it, and it depends on the site you find, I can’t find the first one anymore, was a revelation, you know, when the gears suddenly shift and a window opens, or something like that. Cheers..

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    1. Very interesting about the German. I’m currently studying French and the sentence construction is a bit backward… but then I often relocate words in my poems, as it makes sense or as it changes the emphasis of one or the other. Thanks so much for the book recommendations! I’ve heard of The Artist’s Way before. Need to check it out. Thank you!

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      1. Hi, IF you can find the audio for The Artist’s Way they are really enjoyable. I often drive around listening to Julia speaking on much of what is in the book.
        Visual Thinking I mentioned as I found it on the Web, not sure if there is a book on it. If I find the site I originally found I’ll send it. Thanks for the link to the post on writers beginning with endings.
        Jeff

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      2. I haven’t found much on Visual Thinking, but just got a copy of The Artist’s Way yesterday. I’ll have a look through it this weekend. Thanks for the tip about the audio version. Could come in handy!

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