Last fall, in a burst of creative desperation, I took Lani/Lucy's Discovery class. I'd just moved away from the home I loved to live with my parents on the other side of the country. The yankee side. The class was my attempt to hang on to my image of who I was as a person before my health trampled me.
It wasn't a terribly successful venture, not through any fault of Lani's. The day after I arrived in Massachusetts my parents got an offer on their house. What might have been difficult suddenly became impossible. I attended all the classes, but there was no time or space or energy to do the assignments or participate in any meaningful way.
At about the same time I got the idea for the book review blog, and suddenly my attention was split even further. About a month ago I decided that I really wanted to get serious about the blog. I want the reviews to go up like clockwork. I want to have interesting reading related essays at least a couple times a month. Good steady content will drive more people to the site and increase comments. Eventually, it will become what I want it to be: a conversation about books among people who love them. But that relies on me reading and reviewing at a steady rate, at least once a week. My current reading project, which should wrap up next week I hope, hasn't allowed that. But after the first of the year I want to be going great guns.
The desire to review, the personal train wreck of the class, and the fact that I've done basically no fiction writing in the last four years led me to the idea that fiction writing wasn't the dream for me anymore. I decided to quietly shelve the idea. Nothing else about my life was what I'd dreamed or hoped or even wanted. Walking away seemed like the right thing to do.
That, of course, is when the itch returned. The idea, the very, very small idea. Someone laughing. They're happy. I have not the tiniest clue who they are or what their story might be. But I think I want to write it. Just for me. Not for a publisher. Not for my imagined future adoring fans. Just for me.
My happiest times writing were back when I first started. Every night I'd come home from work, eat dinner, and then sit down to write on my word processor. (Did you ever use one of those? It was like the bastard child of a typewriter and a Speak & Spell.) Every night I'd work on my story. I wasn't picturing the beta readers, I wasn't wondering what some editor or agent might think. I was just telling my story to a very interested party-- me. I want to go back to that. I want to write because it's fun and I like it, and damn what anyone else thinks. But first I need a story. So I'm going to do Discovery again.
Lani leaves the class recording up and available to class members. Tonight I downloaded them. Maybe next week or maybe sometime after the first of the year I'm going to go through them again. I want to find out who that laughing person is. I want to know why they were laughing. And I want to laugh along with them.
Ordinarily I'd wonder if I was setting myself up for another fall, to do this again after failing so recently. But you know, it's funny. It was only two months ago, but it feels like a lifetime. Like I was a different person then than I am now. I think there's value for me in those lessons if I just play around with it, take it at my own pace, and see what happens.
I still intend to pull my act together with the book blog. I feel bad that I haven't been as steady and organized as I would have liked. (Also, with only two of us reviewing, the work load is much heavier than I anticipated. If anyone else would like to write a review or two, please let me know.) I think if I can develop a routine for all of my writing, and that includes blogging here, too, the whole process will smooth out.
It's the getting started that's hard.